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Ocean care group founder here to pick up marine-friendly tips

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THE FOUNDER of a US-based organisation promoting care for oceans has visited Guernsey to pick up marine-friendly tips to share with followers across the globe.

Ellie Jones (right), a marine biology major and founder of 'Everblue', has come to Guernsey to hear about local marine organisations. Here she is meeting with Plastic Free Guernsey's Helen Young.. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 25838219)

Ocean Everblue was founded by 22-year-old marine biologist Ellie Jones, who recently completed her degree in marine biology at Oregon Institute of Marine Biology.

During time in Europe this autumn, Ms Jones visited Guernsey to meet island organisations helping the marine environment.

‘We’re doing very similar work and I love learning from what others are doing across the world, just being able to go back to those who follow Everblue and say look this is what people are doing in different parts of the world.

‘I’m curious about how people in different countries relate to the oceans, particularly on an island where you are completely surrounded by the sea.’

It was through Sustainable Guernsey’s Richard Lord that Ms Jones heard about the island.

‘I was doing my thesis on microplastic pollution and I was in the library looking at microplastics along shorelines and soon after I received an email from Richard talking about microplastics on shorelines.’

On Friday morning, Ms Jones met with founder and chairwoman of Plastic Free Guernsey Helen Young.

‘It’s good to get ideas of how we can do things differently and new ideas,’ said Ms Young.

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Later that day Ms Jones was set to join Pick It Up Guernsey’s Andrew Munro for a Herm beach clean.

Ms Jones said Everblue was about recognising that groups worldwide were all doing their bit to help the oceans.

‘Each week we post a scientific paper and then a tip post, a really small, easy, cheap and accessible thing to do to help.’

She said some people asked why they did not tell people to just go zero waste but Ms Jones said she thought it was more realistic for a person to make small changes and keep building.

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Part of what Plastic Free Guernsey does is produce sustainable, reusable products as alternatives to plastics including reusable make up wipes, sanitary products, kitchen roll and vegetable bags, often recycling materials to make them.

‘Unless you make everything yourself, it’s very difficult to be completely zero waste,’ said Ms Young, who creates a lot of the items.

‘You can just say you can do a little bit at a time.

‘When you look at everything it can feel quite all-consuming and upsetting but if you start by doing a little bit, then you can keep adding to it.’

Although her visit was short, Ms Jones said she enjoyed her stay, from the south cliffs to the shores at low tide.

‘It’s new but at the same time it feels very familiar because the species are quite similar – different, but from the same genus.’

A genus is the next classification up from species. Two different species of crab might have similarities because they belong to the same genus.

‘I absolutely love it. This is a lovely island. Any place I can be surrounded by the ocean is heaven.’

Charlotte Le

By Charlotte Le
News reporter

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