A message from our Chief Executive Lesley Jones:

“Year of the Sea 2018 is now underway and we’re proud to be joining in the celebration of our epic shores.

Year of the Sea is a continuation of Visit Wales’ themed years. It provides a fantastic opportunity to promote our award-winning coastline, invite visitors to discover epic experiences and put Wales on the map as a 21st century, sustainable destination.

This year is even more special as it marks 30 years of Blue Flag in Wales. For three decades, the international Blue Flag programme, which is owned by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), has had a transformational impact on water quality, environmental awareness and protection, safety and services. During this time, it has become a world-renowned eco-label with more than 4,400 award-winning sites in 46 countries.

Events to mark the 30th anniversary in Wales will be taking place throughout 2018 as part of the Year of the Sea, starting with the publication of our brand-new report ‘What Blue Flag means to Wales’ next week. So, stay tuned – follow @KWTCoast and #BlueFlag30!

Sustainability and caring for our marine environment are important aspects of the Year of the Sea. We want to celebrate our wonderful coastline, but we mustn’t lose sight of the global challenge we’re facing – the devastating impact of marine litter.

Over eight million tonnes of plastic pollution are dumped into the ocean globally every year, with some scientists predicting that by 2050, the quantity of plastics in the oceans will weigh more than the fish.

Of course, the issue of marine litter is not just relevant to coastal communities – in fact 80% of marine debris is from land-based sources. So, to address marine litter, it’s crucial for everyone to understand how litter from land ends up in our rivers and oceans and to come together to tackle this problem.

This year, we’ll be working with Welsh Government and organisations across all sectors through the Clean Seas Wales partnership to tackle the issue of marine litter through practical action, education and campaigns.

The first Keep Wales Tidy campaign of the year will be Spring Clean Cymru (1-4 March 2018). We’ll be bringing people across Wales together to clean up our neighbourhoods, beaches and rivers – bringing home to people that plastics and other waste ends up in our oceans because of irresponsible littering.

Our ambition is that 2018 – the Year of the Sea – will mark a turning point in the fight against marine litter. Everyone can play their part to make a positive and lasting difference to our marine environment."

Please join us. 

Welsh page link