2016 Student Awards launched for marine conservation

26th April, London: P1 Marine Foundation today announced the launch of its 2016 National Student Awards in partnership with The Crown Estate and supported by the Marine Conservation Society and Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology.

The National Student Awards, conceived and launched by P1 Marine Foundation in 2011, recognise and reward UK students who present outstanding work that will help to protect and conserve the marine environment. Students are now invited to submit projects focused on the conservation and innovative sustainable development of the marine and coastal environment. This year also sees an addition of an exciting new category for Seabed Innovation.

“We’re delighted to be supporting this new category for Seabed Innovation, which will help ensure we continue to unlock the potential of this fantastic natural resource over the long term, from enhancing precious natural habitats and sustainably using our natural resources through to unlocking the potential of offshore energy” said Olivia Thomas, Marine Policy Officer at The Crown Estate.

The P1 Marine Foundation prizes include £1000 for the winner and £500 for one runner up, with the additional prize, the Wakefield Memorial Award of £500 from the Marine Conservation Society. The Award winners will also have the opportunity to present their research projects to businesses, NGOs and academics at a special presentation evening.

The entries will be judged by a panel of scientists, leading academics and environmentalists which includes Dr Trevor Dixon, Marine Pollution Specialist at Advisory Committee of the Protection of the Sea and Dr Laura Foster, Marine Conservation Society Pollution Programme Manager. The panel will be looking for projects with environmental merit, originality, practicality and ground-breaking content.

Last year’s Awards attracted high-quality entries from students throughout the UK. The winner Alice McNeal from University of Exeter, was awarded the top prize for her ground-breaking project ‘Plankton eating plastic: worth worrying about?’, the MCS Wakefield Memorial Award went to Jack Emmerson, at Bangor University, for his project ‘Sustainable static-gear fisheries in the Irish Sea’ and the runner up was Catherine Hinds from Queen’s University Belfast for her project ‘Using social media as an untapped resource for a photo-identification study of bottlenose dolphins’.

“We are delighted to be supporting such a fantastic initiative. Ultimately these projects will contribute towards the next generation of marine research” Dr Bev MacKenzie, Technical and Policy Director, IMarEST

P1 Marine Foundation director Roy Mantle said: “The focus of our major programmes within the Foundation is on schools and universities, and we believe that our Awards play a valuable role in encouraging students to help shape the future of our oceans through outstanding research projects. The UK has some of the richest marine ecosystems in the world. However, there are still many threats to this natural resource which hinder a healthy future for its habitats and species. We believe that our Awards focus attention on the need to find solutions to combat these threats.”

For more information or to enter, please visit: www.p1marinefoundation.com/Awards.ink