From December 13th to 15th, the city of Lecce, Italy, hosted the first annual gathering of OCEAN CITIZEN, bringing together all project partners from across Europe. The event served as a pivotal moment for collective reflection on the progress and developments achieved thus far.
The Lecce gathering was a big step for OCEAN CITIZEN, setting the stage for more teamwork, growth, and positive changes in marine conservation. This three-day event has perfectly captured the value of these in-person encounters, which give the chance for many to meet face-to-face for the first time and are crucial for progress, recognising synergies, deepening understanding of processes and methodologies employed by different partners, and optimising the use of both human and financial resources.
During the gathering at the University of Salento, representatives from each Work Package shared insights into the project details, including logistics, deliverables, and milestones. Partners actively contributed to the overall understanding of the project’s progress, identifying and addressing urgent needs to meet project deadlines. The meeting also highlighted the necessity for standardised operational protocols, inventory management, and communication strategies to prevent data leaks.
This collaborative atmosphere provided a platform for partners to exchange ideas and experiences, showcasing the diverse expertise and perspectives that contribute to the success of OCEAN CITIZEN.
Project coordinator Sergio Rossi expressed his satisfaction, stating, “I am pleased to see how all the pieces are coming together to build this amazing OCEAN CITIZEN challenge. This project’s first year has been possible thanks to great collaboration, intense communication, network support, and innovation. We cannot deny that there are difficulties when dealing with complex issues, but that is the nature of science. Nothing is easy in this field, but we know that in the end, we will be able to start the foundations of something new regarding ocean restoration.”
Looking ahead, we are making significant progress in communication and storytelling efforts, particularly regarding ecological succession. We are developing innovative materials to convey the project’s narrative better, promising a unique and exciting story that we’ll share with you soon. Stay tuned for updates!