Recently, the managing body of the marine protected area has also devoted attention to the new, emerging field of “citizen science”, within the context of actions aimed at environmental education and awareness-raising.
“Citizen science” directly addresses citizens and individuals, who are involved in activities with a scientific approach, such as research, analysis, monitoring on specific aspects of environmental protection, but also on concrete environmental restoration actions, overseen and guided by scientists and experts in various fields. The volunteers involved, through their activities, are also educated and trained in the various protocols and scientific knowledge, thus achieving the dual purpose of engaging in environmentally useful actions and enhancing their cultural background. “Citizen science” actions are proposed and promoted by citizens themselves, individually, in groups or through voluntary organisations.
These activities greatly increase people’s environmental awareness and concretely apply one of the most important principles of the direct protection of natural areas: if you practise and experience you learn, if you learn you appreciate, and if you appreciate you protect! That is: nature protection from the grassroots, directly by the people.
Starting from 2021, a specific project called “PlasticheAMare” has been launched in the Secche Meloria MPA, promoted by the Livorno-based non-profit organisation SONS OF THE OCEAN with the collaboration of the master’s degree course in Environmental Sciences at the University of Pisa – Department of Biology and with the operational support of the Associazione THALASSA – Marine Research and Science Communication.
The underlying objective of the “PlasticheAMare” project is to protect the sea from pollution and in particular from plastic and especially micro-plastic pollution. The project activities involve groups of citizen volunteers, of all ages and backgrounds, in specific monitoring and cleaning campaigns of stretches of sea in and around the Secche della Meloria marine area. The activities also include laboratory analyses of the collected waste, in order to implement the available scientific data and enable potential solutions to be developed over time.
The Park Authority supports the operations and provides volunteers with the necessary tools for the sampling, collection and analysis of the plastics free of charge, ranging from professional nets and sieves, to water conductivity and salinity meters, and specialised equipment and substances for laboratory testing.
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN TAKING PART?
GET IN TOUCH WITH THE PARK AUTHORITY, which manages the marine protected area, OR THE ORGANISATIONS LISTED ABOVE THROUGH THEIR WEBSITES!