The Deep launches new fundraising initiative

Published: Monday 9th November 2015 by Rich Sutherland

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The Deep has today launched its newest fundraising effort to help save the endangered Galapagos sea lion in conjunction with the South Wolds branch of the Lions Club International.

Spanning three years, fundraising efforts are going to be aimed at two specific areas within a new initiative launched by Galapagos Conservation Trust called The Galapagos Future Fund. Firstly, a species monitoring programme that will help identify reasons behind the high mortality and low breeding rates during severe El Nino events, and secondly, an investigation into the impact of marine plastics on sea lion populations and the surrounding environment.

Katy Duke, Curator at The Deep, said: “It is a wonderful opportunity to continue our work with the Galapagos Trust and concentrate some effort on not just a single species, but the environment as a whole. The on-going issue of marine plastics and micro-plastics in the ocean is really coming to the surface now, and projects such as this are a great way to raise further awareness and encourage people to make responsible choices”.

Founded in 1917, The Lions Club is a global organisation that is dedicated to making a difference in local communities, with 17,000 active members belonging to 900 clubs in the UK alone. Globally involved within 208 countries, The Lions Club has more volunteers in more places than any other service club organisation.

Bryan Riley of the Hull branch tells us more: “We are just ordinary people that aim to do extraordinary things, we love to help others and make things happen. The overriding principle of “lionism” is to help those less fortunate than ourselves locally, nationally and internationally. Every penny raised going directly to good causes, we take nothing for ourselves”.

2017 sees the Lions Club turn 100 and in a bid to celebrate whilst giving something back, in true Lions style, they approached The Deep to do their bit for animal conservation.

Margaret Riley of the Hull branch continues: “Our organisation across the UK is split into districts. South Wolds Lions is based in the West Hull villages, which is designated District C. We wanted to choose an animal that would mean something to the club, and with The Deep holding such a high profile for animal conservation not only in Hull but across Europe, the sea lion (district “C” lion) was an obvious choice – and being our centenary year we want to collectively raise a total of £100,000!

“We aim to take our efforts to an international level. We hope to make use of our contacts with the Lions Club in Chicago and, with the assistance of The Deep, extend the project to Shedd Aquarium to join in the cause, offering us the same support and level of involvement – and enthusiasm– as The Deep has so kindly done”.

The Lions Club spans the globe and every year in Europe alone club members volunteer around 6 million hours of time and raise around £88 million for charitable causes.

The Deep will be selling T-shirts and canvas bags onsite and via their online shop in a bid to raise money, alongside a wishing well near the exit for visitors to drop their loose change into. Donations can also be made via Just Giving. All profits raised will go directly towards supporting the work of field researchers, buying high tech equipment for monitoring the sea lion colonies and also to fund a study investigating the impact of waste plastics on their numbers.

Published: Monday 9th November 2015 by Rich Sutherland

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