Dog walkers on Watergate Bay beach Paul Nash

'Our Blue Heart' reveals power of the ocean

1 minute read

As part of the Marine Conservation Society's 'Our Blue Heart' project, we explored the well-being benefits of spending time by the coast and how a deeper connection to the ocean affects our mental and physical health.

It is clear that spending time on the coast and by the sea has a positive impact on our well-being.

Over 70% of people surveyed agreed with the statement “I feel the benefit of time spent by the coast and sea even when I am away from it”. Most respondents agreed that the coast and sea’s effects are felt long after being beside it, an uplifting thought during these times of lockdown.

The Marine Conservation Society's 'Our Blue Heart' project sought to get to the very heart of what the sea really means to people in the UK. The research and resulting film reveal that, for many of us, the coast plays a unique and irreplaceable role in our lives. The data suggests a complex web of values and feelings, of the sea providing a sense of freedom, of escape, of connection to nature, accomplishment, fun, inspiration, creativity and spirituality.

Sue Ranger, Conservation Engagement and Education Manager, said: “Throughout the myriad ways in which the coast and sea promote a sense of well-being, it is clear that the ocean is a uniting force which improves our sense of self and connection to others and the environment. This incredible resource deserves our respect and admiration.

The ocean is a uniting force which improves our sense of self and connection to others and the environment.

Sue Ranger

“There has never been a more critical time for people, globally, to do what they can for our Blue Heart. From the research we have conducted to inform Our Blue Heart, it is clear that supporting and protecting our ocean is crucial, not just to supporting the rich marine ecosystems below water, but also to safeguard the future well-being of those who live beside it.”

Interestingly, many respondents also agreed that the health of the sea itself played a part in their happiness. Of those who had visited the coast in the last year, 75% said they feel better just knowing that the coast and sea and all the plants and animals living there are thriving. This intrinsic link between the health of the ocean and our own happiness highlights how important it is for us to protect and safeguard the marine environment, even during these trying times.

Please find more information about the Our Blue Heart project here.