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I spent a lovely day today on the Isle of Arran at the official launch of the RV Arran Coast Explorer in partnership with Arran Outdoor Education Centre.

Officially launched by Màiri McAllan MSP for Clydesdale, The Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero and Just Transition, this versatile and multifunction vessel will help deliver a range of restoration, research and education projects.

This unique multi-functional vessel, can be customised for various uses and is adaptable to allow for different deck configurations for a range of different research and outreach purposes.

Undoubtedly RV Explorer will become a vital resource to COAST facilitating the advancement of marine scientific research in collaboration with leading universities as well as allowing the monitoring of the recovery of the waters around Isle of Arran and surrounding areas.

In addition, the vessel will be invaluable in enabling COAST to develop its research into the recovery of the Lamlash Bay No Take Zone, which recently celebrated its 14th birthday, the South Arran Marine Protected Area and the wider Clyde region.

COAST aims to expand its programme of scientific monitoring and citizen science, using the vessel as a platform to deploy remotely operated vehicles and drop-down pole cameras.

COAST hopes that the arrival of the new vessel will allow the island to realize the full potential of Arran’s marine conservation areas and raise the profile of Arran as a destination for marine environmental education, knowledge exchange and eco-tourism.

Procuring this vessel was supported by the Scottish Government’s Nature Restoration Fund, which is facilitated by the Scottish Marine Environmental Enhancement Fund (SMEEF), and managed by NatureScot.

I enjoyed the opportunity to have a wee sail in this fantastic boat and catching up with COAST members, Andrew Binnie who has long been a key member of COAST for many years, Cicely Gill, Chair and also Howard Wood, co-founder of COAST.


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