GLOBETROTTING eco bear Ed has been taking part in a project to restore a damaged coral reef.
The small bear has just returned to Shoreham with a big message for schoolchildren, linked to the Shoreham Beach Nature Reserve Education Programme.
Ed the Bear has been travelling on and off since 2009, thanks to co-creator Steve Savage, environmental educator and author.
“He has dived on coral reefs and shipwrecks, come face-to-face with great white sharks in South Africa and sat on the Antarctic ice with penguins,” explained Mr Savage.
The recent visit saw Ed the Bear join young people on a Dive With Purpose trip for a Coral Reef Restoration Foundation project to record important information about a shipwreck.
Ed was a guest of the Tennessee Aquatic Project, a youth group for eight to 18-year-olds, including includes youths who are at risk or underprivileged.
The One World One Ocean project works with schools to teach children about the global ocean and the amazing diversity of life within it.
Sending Ed round the world helps them to gather a collection of photographs in real time, as he is recorded everywhere he goes.
Mr Savage said: “We also aim to explain just how valuable the oceans are to all of us. The ocean moderates our climate, creates our freshwater, 50 per cent of the planets oxygen, and provides food, resources, new medicines, a means of transportation and sources of recreation and wellbeing.”
As well as the work abroad, Ed also helps raise awareness of the rich and fascinating marine biodiversity at home, including the rare vegetated shingle habitat on Shoreham Beach.
Mr Savage said: “Sadly, we have a great impact on the ocean, ranging from toxic chemicals and plastic pollution to our impact on sea temperature and acidity through climate change, and Ed has witnessed many of these damaging affects, too.”
He has sent Ed the Bear to scientists and experts around the world to find out what they know. “There is a lot conflicting information out there so we wanted to connect schoolchildren and the general public with real scientists and their work.”
Visit adventuresofedthe bear.blogspot.co.uk to follow Ed the Bear and his real-life adventures.