B&FC awarded LOVEmyBEACH Hero award to recognise marine biology students' work with the Environment Agency

Published on 24/10/2018 by pfi

Since 2012, a variety of organisations have been working together under the Turning Tides partnership to improve the water quality of the North West’s bathing waters.

From United Utilities investing in new infrastructure to reduce storm water spillages into bathing waters to Natural England working with farmers providing advice on how to reduce diffuse water pollution; everyone has worked together on water quality improvement projects.

Blackpool and The Fylde College’s Marine Biology students have been working on real life bathing water projects, in conjunction with the Environment Agency, since 2015. Their work has included:

  • Identifying redundant out-fall pipes to confirm contaminated connections

  • Undertaking in depth water quality research, using telemetered water quality probes and analysing the result

  • Working with local landowners to assess potential bacterial run-off from their land

Many of these initial research projects have led to further investigatory works by the Environment Agency and other partners; helping to protect bathing water quality across the Fylde coast.

LOVEmyBEACH Campaign Manager, Stephanie Wyatt, has now awarded B&FC a LOVEmyBEACH Hero award to recognise the work carried out by Marine Biology students. Stephanie said:

“The work undertaken by the Marine Biology students is highly commended and extremely valuable to our campaigns objective to improve and protect bathing water quality.

“In addition to their academic studies the College regularly support other areas of our campaign work; joining us on beach cleans and at public engagement events.”

Simon Bennett, Catchment Co-ordinator at the Environment Agency has been working with the College for several years on projects, and added:

“Blackpool and The Fylde College is a great partner to work with; the students show impressive enthusiasm year after year and are a pleasure to work with.

“Their investigations have led to additional project work and allowed me to make applications for significant additional funding, which has in turn reduced risks to bathing water quality and the protection of Blackpool’s Blue Flag.”

B&FC science lecturer Trevor Lund, who co-ordinates the project, said:

“Real life projects are so important for our students and give them valuable industry experience as part of their study programme.

“Working with the Environment Agency and the LOVEmyBEACH campaign highlights the importance of multi-agency working when tackling huge issues such as marine pollution.

“It is very much a ‘win-win’ situation for us. Our students get the experience of working alongside industry professionals on projects which have a big public impact and give enormous job satisfaction.

“Our students are completely engaged with this work and it really is a proud moment for the College to be awarded with a ‘LOVEmyBEACH Hero’ award.”

B&FC offers more than 60 degrees - including BSc Marine Biology and Coastal Zone Management  - accredited by long-standing partner, Lancaster University, ranked in the top 10 of universities in the UK.

The College works closely with industry partners and co-creates many of its programmes with leading organisations so they remain relevant for the ever-changing needs of business.