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Welcome to the latest edition of the CCN newsletter, where you'll find news and updates related to the Network.

We kicked off June with our World Ocean Day webinar as we celebrated community action for the marine environment - from citzen science to beach cleaning to native oyster restoration. There's truly a wealth of ways individuals and groups can bring about positive change for our shared seas and coasts.

There was then the Sea Scotland conference in Glasgow, at which I co-facilitated a workshop on the human dimension of ocean recovery. Here I emphasised to the audience the crucial role of communties in supporting the delivery of restoration projects , but that often community experiences are left out of policy discourse. I hope to see greater recongition of - and support for - communty efforts in the new Scottish Biodiversity Strategy, which is being consulted on this summer. 

Meanwhile, Kerri was away attending the first ever restoration training weekend with Seawilding, which was delivered to organisations implementing marine restoration projects. Check out the blog later on to hear more about it!

June ended with CCN's second meeting with Mairi Gougeon (Cab Sec for Rural Affairs and Islands) and Mairi McAllan (Minister for Environment). Lots of issues were discussed and we look forward to continued dialogue and input to various pieces of work being taken forward by the Scottish Government, including the Vision and strategy for Sustainable Aquaculture.

Alan Munro
CCN Coordinator
CCN Forum updates
CCN has been assisting our member, Sea Change Wester Ross, to fight off a new fish farm application at Horse Island, Summer Isles. If this goes ahead, it will place an industrial salmon farm within the boundaries of the Wester Ross MPA and impact the recovery of the diverse and fragile benthic ecosystem there, including regionally important maerl beds (a Priorirty Marine Feature). Both SEPA and NatureScot have determined that risk of a significant impact to the maerl and other features is low.

On a positive note, Friends of Loch Hourn successfully managed to have the application for expansion of a MOWI salmon farm in Loch Hourn rejected by the local planning authority, on the grounds of potential risk to wild salmonids and local freshwater paerl mussels. This sets a huge precedent as there are few cases where applications for new and larger fish farms are rejected based on risk to wild salmonids.

The Restoration Forum met with the University of Edinburgh's Department of Social Responsibility and Sustainability to discuss how to develop better partnerships between community groups engaged in restoration activities and academia. There is a lot of untapped research expertise which we hope groups will eventually be able to access.

Marine plastics
Later this month we will be holding a joint workshop with the Marine Conservation Society and Scottish Islands Federation to look at the Circular Economy Bill Consultation and ensure that issues important to local coastal communities are featured. Staff from the Scottish Government's Circular Economy Team are going to be hand to answer questions.
CCN east coast gathering

There is going to be an east coast CCN gathering at the Ecology Centre in Kinghorn, Fife, on Tuesday 23rd August from 10am-3PM. This will be an opportunity for the 7 east coast CCN groups to meet one another for an afternoon of networking & knowledge sharing plus, rather excitingly, seagrass spotting/potential seagrass seed collecting from Pettycur Bay.
World Ocean Day webinar

Many thanks to those who attended the CCN WOD webinar. We welcomed a keynote from Dr Meriwether Wilson of the University of Edinburgh, followed by a fantastic set of presentations from the Kilchoan Native Oyster Restoration Project, East Haven Together and Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust. A great celebration of local initiatives! A recording is available for anyone who wants to see it.

Our next virtual session is going to be with Sir Professor Ian Boyd, co-chair of Nicola Sturgeon's Environment Council. If you're a CCN member or Friend of CCN, watch out for an invite coming shortly.
Current consultations of interest:

Circular Economy Bill and Route Map deliver a circular economy in Scotland (closes 22nd August)
 The proposals in the consultation form part of the wider plans for a step-change in our approach to reducing, reusing and recycling materials as part of our transition to net zero emissions.

Scotland's Biodiversity Strategy (closes 8th September)
The Strategy is the starting point in a process which will lead into the development of rolling delivery plans and, through the introduction of a Natural Environment Bill, statutory nature restoration targets.
The CCN Community Support Fund
The Community Support Fund is a dedicated small grant fund operated by Fauna & Flora International to support member groups of the Coastal Communities Network.  Grants can be sought by Network members for discrete projects, to build the capacity or governance of a group, or to support learning and development. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and there is no deadline. Get in touch to discuss ideas!

Scottish Marine Envirionmental Enhancement Fund
SMEEF – the Scottish Marine Environmental Enhancement Fund - is now open for applications, with grants of up to £100K available to groups for restoration (and activities related to). More information is available on the new website.

Sea-Changers Innovation Fund
In 2022 the Innovation Fund totals £30,000. £10,000 of this will be awarded to projects developing novel solutions to the problem of plastics that damage the marine environment. A further £10,000 will be awarded to Scottish based projects with the final £10,000 earmarked for projects across the rest of the UK. The absolute maximum that can be applied for is £10,000 for any one project. The fund is open to a wide range of UK based organisations including: charities and ‘not-for-profit’ organisations, companies, schools, universities or students who are carrying out marine conservation related activities, and community groups. Full details can be found here.
In case you missed it!
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