1354. Andy Dinsdale
Andy Dinsdale, from East Sussex, created the 'Strandliners' initiative to train hundreds of members of the public as citizen scientists, recording and disposing of 870 kilos of toxic waste and marine debris in the Rother basin to better tackle plastic pollution.
Drawing on his experience working in marine education, Andy realised how training volunteers in surveying litter and identifying different types of plastic waste could enable them to act as stewards of the aqua environments in their communities. Last year, ‘Strandliners’ conducted 58 beach and riverbank cleans, along with 26 marine and aqua surveys, working closely with national organisations such as the ‘Marine Conservation Society’ and ‘Surfers Against Sewage’ to conduct clean-ups and raise awareness.
In a personal letter to Andy, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I know you do this with no thought of praise or reward, but allow me to offer my own recognition of how you are mobilising an army of citizen scientists to record and eradicate the rubbish which blights our precious rivers and coastlines.”
“It’s great to get recognition after the long hours of braving all weathers down on the shore, getting essential data in the unending quest to stem the ever-increasing tide of plastic!
“This award is as much for the many enthusiastic volunteers working with me at ‘Strandliners’ and who care as passionately about our marine environment as I do.
“I will work harder to enable coastal and inland communities to take charge collecting data through the Strandliners Community Action Team training, so that we can begin to create strategies and lobby organisations to turn the plastic pollution tap off at source.”
Pictured below: Andy and volunteers conducting cleans and surveys in the Rother Basin (credits: Poppy Rampling and Andy Dinsdale)