Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City is marking World Oceans Day with a call out for Ocean Heroes to celebrate people within our communities who make a difference and make Plymouth a better place to live, work and play for all of us.

The UK’s first National Marine Park in Plymouth Sound has launched these awards with five categories, to represent the five recognised oceans of the world and is asking the people of Plymouth to nominate their Ocean Heroes.

Elaine Hayes, Interim Chief Executive of Plymouth Sound National Marine Park said: “Our ambitions with Plymouth Sound National Marine Park are to establish a network of people that care about and engage with the water, whether in, on, under or next to it. By launching our search for Ocean Heroes today as part of World Oceans Day we hope to highlight the many local people doing amazing work throughout the city to support engagement and tell the stories of Plymouth Sound.

I’m really excited to find out more about the many people who are doing great things across the city, and encourage everyone to make a nomination to celebrate someone they know who should be celebrated for their efforts. Whether it’s beach cleans, community days out, telling stories of our heritage or creating artistic responses to the Sound there are so many different ways that people can make a difference.”

Nominations for the Ocean Heroes will close on Friday 8 July.

Winners of each category will be chosen by a judging panel, and winners will each receive a tech tour and general access ticket for the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix, taking place in Plymouth on 30 and 31 July along with a category prize at an Ocean Heroes award ceremony during the National Marine Park Big Blue Splash weekend on 23 and 24 July.

Councillor Pat Patel, Cabinet Member of Customer Services, Culture, Leisure & Sport said: “Protecting and celebrating our Ocean city is incredibly important, and so we’re really excited to be supporting this initiative to find five Ocean Heroes to represent the National Marine Park. I look forward to seeing the nominations and to finding out more about the many people in our communities who are doing incredible things to celebrate, engage and protect the waters of our National Marine Park.”

The categories open for nominations are:

Community Ocean Hero

For an individual who has worked with their local community and encouraged them to visit and engage with their marine environment. This could be through organising visits, supporting a local group with marine-based activities or inspiring the next generation of marine citizens through learning. This award is aimed at celebrating someone who you feel gives their all for their community and has the sea at their heart.

Culture, Tourism & Heritage Ocean Hero

Plymouth is a city with an amazing heritage – both above and below the waterline. Conserving and sharing our culture, tourism and heritage with others is our responsibility and so we are looking for someone who fits that profile. Someone who has been directly involved in looking after our history, has taken the time and trouble to share their knowledge or an artist who has captured the essence of the sea through their creative practice. This category is also for all the amazing volunteers out there who are involved with helping explain our history to residents and visitors alike.

Environment Action Ocean Hero

We all know that our wildlife is facing challenges from rising temperatures, pollution impacts and loss of habitat. We are looking for nominations for people who have demonstrated an overwhelming passion to reverse that trend. Is there a person in your community who picks up after everyone? Someone who ALWAYS does their 2 minute beach clean when they visit the beach? They may have helped restore a habitat, worked with a local conservation body, planted seagrass or helped people learn more about the coast and the sea. Green-Blue credentials are essential!

Young Ocean Hero

We are looking for nominations for this under eighteens category covering for a young person that shows dedication to protecting or engaging with our ocean environment. The young person could have undertaken activities in any of the other categories or even something completely different. The next generation will have some of the greatest environmental challenges to face and we are looking for those who already understand this and want to make a change. Who will you nominate?

Health & Wellbeing Ocean Hero

Plymouth is a city blessed with green and blue places to help support all of us with our mental wellbeing. These spaces are vital but many people need additional support to be able to access them. Whether you are a carer who helps someone enjoy the fresh air, a group that provides support for those who wish to take a dip in the sea or someone who helps with green prescribing – you have an important role in our community and we want to celebrate this.

Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City is home to the UK’s first National Marine Park. Plymouth Sound National Marine Park aims to deliver a positive response to climate change, improving access and engagement to our natural and maritime heritage to ensure all citizens can enjoy the significant benefits that being on, in, under or next to the sea provides. By increasing community connection with the natural environment, the National Marine Park aims to improve engagement with sustainability and ocean protection, improve the health, wellbeing and resilience of our community and boosting the blue economy.

During 2022 the Plymouth Sound National Marine Park Horizons project is delivering a series of engagement activities, programmes and events, made possible thanks to money raised by National Lottery players with £9.5million of funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Plymouth Sound National Marine Park Horizons Project has been made possible thanks to money raised by National Lottery players with £9.5 million of funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.