The University of Plymouth has been announced as the Education Partner for the marine-themed Big Blue Splash event being held in and around Plymouth Sound National Marine Park on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 July 2022.

The two-day water-based event will open up the National Marine Park to everyone in the community by providing free, fun and learning activities which it’s hoped will see more people having access to the water and becoming aware of what’s going on in, around and under the UK’s first ‘Park in the Sea’.

As well as having a go at traditional boating and watersports activities, the Big Blue Splash will also give people the chance to learn about the ecosystem of the oceans, find out what’s living both on the shore and under the surface, the conservation of marine life and fish stocks and how the sea is helping the fight against climate change.

Councillor Pat Patel, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Culture, Leisure and Sport said: “We are delighted to welcome the University of Plymouth to the Big Blue Splash as our Education Partner.

“The University has a world-class reputation with its marine and conservation work and it’s great that they are able to bring this knowledge and expertise to support this event, which will be hugely beneficial to our city.

“Over two days Britain’s Ocean City is opening up the UK’s first National Marine Park for the whole of the community to enjoy. We hope this partnership will give people the chance to learn more about what is happening in and around the water, as well as the effects the sea has on our lives and on our planet.”

The University of Plymouth has one of the largest marine research and teaching portfolios of any institution in Europe, and was this year ranked fourth out of more than 450 universities worldwide for the quality of its marine research and teaching.

Professor Richard Thompson OBE, Director of the University’s Marine Institute, said: “We are excited to be supporting the Big Blue Splash as its Education Partner, and it perfectly complements our role as the key academic partner in the Plymouth Sound National Marine Park.

“Our world-class campus and facilities look out across Plymouth Sound, and we are working with partners across the city and further afield to pioneer new and exciting research programmes in its waters and along its coastlines.

“In addition to advancing knowledge, it is essential to find ways to connect the city and sea and events like the Big Blue Splash are essential to that. It can help people understand how the sea benefits the environment, society and economy, but also the role they can play in helping to preserve it.”

The Big Blue Splash will feature more than 20 exciting activities from water skiing, snorkelling and jet skiing to boat trips, rockpool explorations and swimming. The family-friendly fun days will bring skilled marine experts and the community together to explore the ocean and its benefits as well as increasing awareness of the need to protect and sustain this natural resource.

The Plymouth Sound National Marine Park is the first of its kind in the UK. Its aims are to provide better access and engagement to the natural and maritime heritage for everyone so they can enjoy its benefits as well as boosting the blue economy.  

The Big Blue Splash has been funded through the Plymouth Sound National Marine Park Heritage Horizon Award, which has been made possible with a £9.5 million grant from the Heritage Fund, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.

As well as the University of Plymouth, a number of local companies are also supporting the event including Brittany Ferries, Mount Batten Watersports and Activities Centre, South West SUP, ACE Swimming, Planet Earth Games, the Ocean Conservation Trust and The Rock Pool Project. 

For more information about Big Blue Splash please see: