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WWF’s Blue Mile makes a big splash

Hundreds of people took part in WWF’s Blue Mile recently, to raise awareness and funds to help preserve our marine and freshwater environments. The event, which was officially sponsored by Ecover, saw hundreds of people swim, kayak or stand-up paddle board one mile around Stoke Newington Reservoir in London.

Celebrities including BBC Presenter Paul Rose, Triple round the world sailor Conrad Humphreys and organic entrepreneur Jo Wood, along with her son Tyrone, took part in the event, as did WWF-UK CEO David Nussbaum.

David Nussbaum, CEO of WWF-UK, who kayaked his Blue Mile, said:
 “Today has been a huge success and we’d like to thank everyone who took part in the event, or came along to show their support. The UK is home to an amazing array of marine and freshwater species, but just two percent of British waters are currently under official protection. WWF believes we can all do more to help protect our fragile water habitats, and the Blue Mile is an excellent place to start.”
Organic entrepreneur Jo Wood, who took part in BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, and completed her mile in a kayak said:
“Our beautiful blue planet is being threatened.  Marine and freshwater habitats are being challenged every day by the serious issues of pollution and climate change.  WWF’s Blue Mile is the perfect opportunity for us to take on a challenge ourselves and enjoy our seas, rivers, lakes and waterways, whilst doing something pretty unique to help preserve them.”
Triple round the world sailor Conrad Humphreys, the creator of the Blue Mile, took part in the triple challenge at the London event – swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding his way around the reservoir.  He said:
“Sport is intimately connected to nature and for some athletes it is the relationship with the environment that inspires and motivates us. As Jacques Cousteau once said, "People protect what they love" and it is a love for the environment that we need to engender throughout our communities.”
“The challenge is to move people beyond awareness and find the mechanisms to involve more people with our blue environment. WWF’s Blue Mile is one way to connect people and their emotions with water.”
Diver Paul Rose, who presented Oceans and Britain’s Secret Seas for the BBC, and swam his Blue Mile, said:
“The oceans are the least understood ecosystem on the planet and one of our most precious. They deserve our respect and protection.  I’ve been diving in our waters since 1969 and I have seen first hand that some areas have significantly less marine life than they used to.”
“It’s not all doom and gloom though – WWF’s Blue Mile is a fantastic way of getting people to engage with our marine and freshwater habitats and a fun way to help protect these vital environments.”
For further information, please contact:
Kellie Rollings, tel: 07990 661336, email: krollings@wwf.org.uk
Editor's notes
The Blue Mile event was sponsored by Ecover, who have previously worked with WWF to help raise awareness of the natural environment and have a solid environmental programme. With global projects specifically aimed at water conservation, Ecover is committed to making sure their products have a minimum impact on our marine and freshwater environments.
WWF is one of the world's largest independent conservation organisations, with more than five million supporters and a global network active in more than one hundred countries.  We're working to create solutions to the most serious environmental issues facing our planet, so that people and nature can thrive.  Through our engagement with the public, businesses and government, we focus on safeguarding the natural world, tacking climate change and changing the way we live.  In 2011, WWF's 50th anniversary year, we are celebrating what we have achieved so far together, and are positive about tackling the challenges of the future. Find out more about our work, past and present at www.wwf.org.uk

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