PLOCAN participates in the celebration of the start of Ocean Citizen project

The Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands participated in Tenerife in the Kick-off meeting of the European project Ocean Citizen, for the advanced restoration of the marine environment combining environmental perspective with social commitment and clear economic benefits for local communities, and which seeks to have continuity beyond the useful life of the project.

Twenty-two partners representing Israel, Italy, Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, France and the United Kingdom have attended the meeting which has shared the details of the planning of the next four years of activities.

Ocean Citizen’s proposal represents a novel approach that presents a set of generic tools for restoration, which will be tested in 3 marine ecosystems in different locations: subtropical, tropical, and cold temperate.

PLOCAN will collaborate in many tasks, including the monitoring of the restoration action in Tenerife by providing a system of sensors for the physical-chemical characteristics of the water column and biodiversity, including sound and image. In Tenerife, all of the tools proposed in the project will be implemented.

Ocean Citizen addresses the restoration of the most neglected marine biome, which encompasses the various types of Marine Forests (sea grasses, algae, sponges, corals, gorgonians, etc.). To do this, new aspects of ecoengineering are applied, including Integrated Multitrophic Aquaculture, floating reefs and Smart Enhanced Reefs (SER); The SERs act as substrates for the recruitment and massive transplantation of the organisms that make up the Marine Forests.

The activities will be carried out on land, and in real environments, shallow areas, mesophotic to continental platforms (up to 90-100 meters deep). It also seeks a novel approach to carbon sequestration and sink and the full involvement of citizens and local agents with a complete business plan. In addition, from this project a profession of “gardeners of the sea” is created and endorsed, with a detailed study plan.

Ocean Citizen seeks to provide a response to the non-achievement of the AICHI goals, which refer to the compliance with the Strategic Plan for Biological Diversity 2011-2022, and most of the Good Environmental Status objectives for 2020, since active restoration has emerged (also foreseen by the EU) as one of the preferred tools that can promote the consequences of marine protected areas and other conservation measures.

Restoration acts promote biodiversity, enhance carbon sequestration, and accelerate coastal recovery and offshore resilience. In view of the need for a program that combines conservation and restoration in a unified framework with the participation of local citizens, covering socioeconomic parameters in opportunities.

Project name: Marine forest coastal restoration: an underwater gardening socio-ecological plan

Project acronym: OCEAN CITIZEN

Project: 101093910 — OCEAN CITIZEN — HORIZON-MISS-2021-OCEAN-02

10.369.172.25 €

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