David Levy Blog – Life President of Marinet : The Marine Community Network – May 15

Marinet is an organisation sprung from the concerns of the people for the marine world and its need for protection.

Marinet communities and individuals spread across the country share these concerns and unite to spread the conservation message through many mediums. They have done so for over decade and were led in the early days by Patrick Gowen, Marinet’s first Chairman.

His integrity is beyond any question and his guiding influence on Marinet has been profound. The Directors now wish to honour with the role and title of Life President.

As we are a new entity in our own right, and no longer part of Friends of the Earth, this role can be what Pat wishes to make of it. The Directors would wish for him to provide an oversight for our General Meetings which are every other year.

Note from Stephen Eades.

When Marinet was formed, it was born out from the desire of campaigning activists in Friends of the Earth Local Groups for that eponymous national organisation to become actively involved in marine issues. The national organisation declined that request, but did allow Marinet to be formed as a Network organisation using the Friends of the Earth name. Pat Gowen became its first and founding chairman.

Pat has campaigned relentlessly over the years on a very wide range of marine issues, and with particular and notable persistence on the elimination of sewage contamination from coastal bathing waters and the serious adverse effects of marine sand and gravel (aggregate) extraction from the seabed around UK shores, and very specifically off East Anglia which has borne the brunt of this rampageous and unacceptable licensed activity.

Many of the items on our website which record and explain these two subjects have been written by Pat, and there is scarcely an expert in the land who could claim better knowledge of these subjects than he.

Pat’s persistence, self-taught knowledge and dogged determination never to take ‘no’ for an answer (especially when the authorities know that to say ‘yes’ would have proved we are right, and that’s not acceptable in their book!) is an example which speaks to us all, and particularly to those younger than he who must, as we all grow older, step forward to take on the task of protecting this Ocean planet on which we all live. Pat is an exceptional campaigner and the entire marine campaigning community, whether experienced or young and still novices, can learn from his example. It is therefore with honour and deep respect that I recommend him to Members as our first Life President.


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