OCEAN CITIZEN in a “clamshell”
The ocean is now seriously degraded, with changes and losses in the structure, function and benefits of marine systems. There is a lack of holistic approaches and protocols to ocean adaptation and restoration at large scale. To promote biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, and to enhance carbon sequestration, OCEAN CITIZEN will implement and scale up an advanced regeneration programme that joins ecological perspectives with societal commitment, providing clear economic benefits and improving resilience of the local communities.
In the end, cooperation between science and citizens will support the successful recovery, adaptation and conservation of coastal marine ecosystems.
OCEAN CITIZEN will develop a replicable marine restoration protocol that combine habitat, carbon immobilization and biodiversity regeneration with social engagement and economic benefits to all the local communities.
Define blueprints of replicable protocols for underwater coastal restoration
Understanding ecosystem services of Marine Forests (MF) and their responses to anthropogenic impacts.
Design and implement OCEAN CITIZEN’s technologies (SER®, FRs and IMTA).
Identify the different characteristics of 5 different coastal ecozones for the design of customised restoration plans.
Interact with other EU projects and consortia to expand the concepts and promote active restoration.
Consolidate and evaluate an ecosystem-based business model for marine preservation
Multi-stakeholder monitoring programme of the restoration and conservation plan.
Define standard factors to evaluate the impact of the design of the business model.
Identify and quantify the socio-economic impacts of ecosystem services - eMergy approach.
OCEAN CITIZEN is structured in different Work Packages which deal with the scientific, environmental, economic, and social components, achieving a holistic approach.
WP1 will include the revision, collation, and synthesis of the current knowledge on the ecosystem services and ecological health of Marine Forests (MFs), and the evaluation of the potential for restoration in the different pilot sites. A historical baseline assessment for the Tenerife pilot site will be undertaken. At the same time, partners will carry out a revision of the legal aspects connected to the implementation of restoration and related practices planned across the project.
WP2 will apply different protocols to evaluate the geological-physical-chemical-environmental characteristics and will combine them with the pattern of connectivity and the biodiversity and ecosystem functioning to find the best locations and techniques for the application of the planned restoration activities in the 5 ecozones.
WP3 will put in place the overall restoration roadmap for Marine Forests (MFs), based on the information and the results obtained from WP1 and WP2 activities. In the Tenerife pilot site, the best available solutions matching economic development and environmental protection will be implemented, and testing/replication of the activities will be simultaneously performed in the other sites (Spain, Israel, Norway), which are representatives of other MFs and socio-ecological contexts. All in all, this WP will implement and test interventions to potentially scale-up the process in other places.
WP5, connected with WP1-4, gathers and evaluates the relations between the improvement of the natural conditions of the restored habitats, the increase in their ability to provide ecosystem services, and the economic and social benefits that those services are able to generate. A comprehensive approach to the sustainability assessment of the restoration process is proposed with a multi-level approach, to cover all the main aspects of the ecosystem services cascade (natural capital – ecosystem functions – ecosystem services – benefits). WP5 is mainly centred in Tenerife, but some punctual approaches will be made in the other pilot sites.
WP6 will be a transversal WP of the project, focusing on communicating and disseminating the actions and results of the project, as well as on education, Ocean Literacy and citizen science. Under this WP, all the Project component will feed the business plan, partners will engage with citizens, as they play a central role by becoming ‘Ocean Citizens’, and will undertake public awareness and dissemination actions.
OCEAN CITIZEN will deliver environmental, societal and economic impacts beyond this partnership’s immediate scope and duration.
The Project expects to successfully restore degraded MFs and deliver nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation while adopting protocols to measure the coastal restoration and management impact. Furthermore, we will boost an ocean-literate society, promote blue growth opportunities and contribute to existing legislation on restoration and conservation practices in underwater coastal areas.