Endurance swimmer and UN Patron of the Oceans, Lewis Pugh, has been appointed as the first Ambassador for Plymouth Sound National Marine Park.

Pugh was the first person to complete a long-distance swim in every ocean of the world. He was also the first to swim across the North Pole, and the first to swim the length of the English Channel from Land’s End to Dover.

“We all depend on the Oceans for our survival, and now they need our protection. We all need to get involved.” says Pugh.

As an Ambassador of the Plymouth Sound National Marine Park, Pugh will encourage the public to take an active interest in our oceans. “People protect what they love,” Pugh says. “And right now our oceans are threatened by serious over-fishing, pollution and the fast-moving impacts of the climate crisis.”  Pugh believes that every person needs to get involved – “whether they are scientists or schoolchildren, swimmers or sailors, people involved in fishing or shipping, or members of the Armed Forces.” 

As Ambassador, Pugh will connect with organisations and individuals from around the globe, further strengthening the work being done by the Plymouth Sound National Marine Park.

Elaine Hayes, Interim CEO of the National Marine Park, said: “We’re delighted to announce Plymouth-born Lewis Pugh is the first Ambassador for Plymouth Sound National Marine Park. As well as being the UN’s Patron of Oceans, he has an incredible record of achievement in both the sporting and environmental world, and it’s great he will be sharing his experience and ideas with us.

“This appointment will mean the work being done by the UK’s first Marine Park will be stronger and better connected and its impact will be greater. He’ll also make sure we are doing the right thing in our aims to help protect the environment, create jobs and ensure the good health and well-being of those who use the park.”

Pugh was instrumental in the creation of the largest protected area in the world in the Ross Sea in Antarctica, and has protected over 2 million kmof vulnerable ocean. He has been calling for at least 30 per cent of the world’s oceans to be protected by 2030.

Plymouth Sound National Marine Park is the first of its kind in the UK, protecting marine diversity to help the ecosystem better withstand the effects of climate change; improving access and engagement to the natural and maritime heritage; and ensuring that citizens can enjoy the significant benefits that the sea provides.