Norfolk coastline protector and former UEA scientist Pat Gowen dies

Pat Gowen pictured in 2004 aged 72. Photo: Nick Butcher

Pat Gowen pictured in 2004 aged 72. Photo: Nick Butcher - Credit: Archant � 2004

A scientist who helped Great Yarmouth beach achieve Blue Flag status and tirelessly fought against pollution of the sea has died at the age of 85.

Pat Gowen, born in Norwich, left school at 14 years of age with no qualifications before beginning work at the University of East Anglia when it first opened.

Prior to retiring from the UEA in 1983, Mr Gowen had a broad working scientific career in analysis, pharmacy, radiology, space electronics, food research, adult education, HM Prison and in University teaching and research.

In trips to sea gathering samples for the marine biology programme he became aware of the massive damage being inflicted on the sea bed and marine creatures due to the input of untreated sewage and other waste and by mining the seabed for minerals.

He first joined Andrew Lees in the Broadland Friends of the Earth successful campaign saving the Norfolk Broads grazing marshes from drainage and arable conversion followed on by yet another successful major campaign fighting the industrial mercury pollution of the Norwich soil, groundwater and river.

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He then went on to form the North Sea Action Group which in turn later joined forces with MARINET to become chairman and continuing to work on the conservation and protection of the sea and its shoreline, fighting offshore aggregate dredging, sewage and other pollution and the damaging and unfair impositions brought about by the Shoreline Management Plan.

Prior to retirement Mr Gowen was a Member of the Institute of Science Technology and a Justice of the Peace, a director of AMSAT and a gold medal holder awarded for his work in space communications.

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