Boat leaving Hastings harbour Peter Richardson

The Agents of Change project works alongside coastal communities to make Marine Protected Areas matter.

Agents of Change is a community focused initiative which seeks to understand the importance of our seas to those that live beside them.

Our Agents of Change programme is part of the Marine CoLABoration, funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. The project supports coastal communities in driving action which benefits everyone, including the ocean.

Often, we work with local communities to make Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) matter. MPAs aren’t often valued by local society and ocean protection is not widely supported.

Making Marine Protected Areas matter

This film shows the Agents of Change project approach, using our work in Norfolk as example. In the film, you'll see how the project is helping communities navigate discussions around fisheries management deliberations at the Cromer Shoal Chalk Beds Marine Conservation Zone.

There are hundreds of case studies around the world showing that Marine Protected Areas benefit local communities in lots of different ways. The designation of these areas of protection are often a point of contention for local communities, but we work to break down those barriers and build support through Agents of Change. We tailor our approach at each location depending on local needs and aspirations.

We can’t address everything that local people ask for on our own and so we work closely with local policymakers and authorities to communicate their asks. We also support authorities in communicating effectively with local communities.

Learn more about our Agents of Change projects in Sussex and Norfolk.

Agents of Change is currently funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

Learn how our Seasearch divers are helping to create positive change

Explore the Seasearch project