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Our Eco-Schools team shares everything you need to know about the new marine topic

This month we are launching a brand new topic for our Eco-Schools to work on – the marine topic. At such an exciting time for Eco-Schools (we’ve not launched a new topic in over a decade) we asked the Eco-Schools team to tell us more…

Why did you want to launch a new topic, and why pick the marine topic?
Eco-Schools team: ” ‘Eco-Schools said. We did’ Eco-Schools have been submitting Green Flag applications that included ‘marine’ actions under the Litter, Biodiversity, Waste and Global Citizenship topics for over a year now.

“To quote one Eco-School ‘we were ahead of Attenborough.’ We also have some amazing Eco-Schools who have held a Green Flag for over 12 years now and we wanted to give them something new to help reinvigorate the programme in their school.”

I don’t know much about the sea, will you have new resources and guidance to help me?
Eco-Schools team: “Of course, we’ve updated our Environmental Review and watch this space for LOTS of exciting new Eco-Schools resources to help with all of the Seven Steps coming in the new academic year!

“Don’t forget to look at our new Marine Pinterest Board for inspiration too and we always encourage schools to share their work with us on twitter @EcoSchools. We expect there will be some fantastic actions we could never have dreamt of- that’s what’s great about letting students decide on their Eco-Schools actions.”

But my school isn’t by the sea, can I still get involved?
Eco-Schools team: “Wherever we live, our actions and choices affect the sea – what we buy, what we do, what we flush and what we eat. And, as no one in England lives more than 70 miles from the coast, what you do in your inland Eco-School is just as important as the work carried out by coastal Eco-Schools.”

Do I have to do work on the new marine topic?
Eco-Schools team: “No, it’s included in our new Environmental Review, but it’s up to you and your Eco-Committee if you want to work on it or not. Why not take part in a community plastic litter pick, linking the Marine and Litter topics.

“Speak to your school’s catering staff to see if the fish on your school menu has been sustainably caught or your school’s maintenance team to see if their cleaning products are environmentally friendly.”

We already discuss marine topics in our lessons, can we include this in our Eco-Schools work?
Eco-Schools team: “Yes please, if you are already discussing marine issues in lessons, this is fantastic for Step 6 (linking to the curriculum). Don’t forget to talk to your colleagues about what they are already doing about marine issues in their lessons- it will definitely be covered in Geography (Lee- the best subject in the world!).”

Will it affect how we apply for our Green Flag?
Eco-Schools team: “No – the Green Flag application will remain exactly the same whether you are applying for your first or tenth Green Flag, celebrate and share your Eco-Committee’s marine work with our Green Flag Assessors. If you have any worries about applying please get in touch.”

And finally, we asked the team for their favourite marine locations?
Lee: I live near Ullswater Lake in Cumbria, so I’m very biased. We love a good family stone skimming contest; it’s a bit cold for paddling though.
Karyn: The banks of the River Avon as it is so picturesque and peaceful.
Francis: The River Mersey, as it is the heart of the best city in the world and has a catchy theme tune.