Work in progress …

OnePercent_forTheMed_LOGO_horizontal_VAR

MedGardens

Rewilding the Mediterranean Sea

We face an urgent need to rewild coastal marine ecosystems to ensure environmental and social stability

SCROLL

MedGardens are small plots of shallow coastal seabed (ca. 25 sqm) where underwater forests are transplanted, reinforced and preserved.

These spaces become social and scientific labs where citizens and scientists concur. 

When underwater forests are restored & preserved, they create new habitats where other animals and plants can thrive, contributing to the increase of biodiversity and ecosystem resilience.

Purposes

OUR CONTRIBUTION

 

  • Bring people closer to the sea through marine citizen science and collaborative management and custody of small coastal shallow areas, aiming to contribute to sustainable development.
  • Improve marine environmental quality, essential for the development of the local blue economy.
  • Provision of sustainable and innovative managerial tools, generating knowledge that can be transferred to be adapted to other regions, habitats, species and cultures.
  • Generation and preservation of fish nurseries, complementing the effects of larger MPAs and contributing to replenish fish stocks
  • Blue carbon trade, contributing to the mitigation of climate change impacts. 

 

“Our actions over the next 10 years will determine the state of the ocean for the next 10,000.”
Sylvia Earle

Where?

COME AND VISIT

  • The selected locations must have potential for marine conservation and expect no further human pressures
  • MedGardens must be established where ecotourism activities can be undertaken, as users will become the basis of effective and continuous surveillance and restorative forces

 

How small?

SMALL ENOUGH

  • The unit size should be the minimum necessary for there to be consensus among users and administrations
  • Even plots of only a few square meters have proven to contribute to the recovery of marine ecosystems or favor certain species
  • Where resources are limited, restoration should focus on small-scale efforts that leverage large-scale outcomes. For example, macroalgal restoration efforts in Sydney performed at a scale of metres are resulting in outcomes at scales of hundreds of metres to kilometres (when done at multiple sites), with self-sustaining populations established by multiple, but very small-scale, interventions.

Actions

WHAT WE DO

CUSTODIANS

MedGardens is a collaborative initiative that invites stakeholders to become Custodians of a ‘micro garden’ in the Mediterranean Sea. Each garden is a fusion of science, citizen engagement, and public administration support in a joint effort to regenerate the sea and create awareness.

MARINE SCIENCE

Scientific research is the foundation of  MedGardens

All activities can be undertaken by MedGardens Scientific Team and anyone with the required training:

  • Location scouting & selection
  • Transplants & reinforcement of underwater forests
  • Continuous monitoring of MedGardens (biodiversity / abundance)
  • Collaborative experiments
  • Data analyses & writing

Scientific and community dissemination will ensure knowledge transferability.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Tourists and locals become “underwater gardeners” and are invited to participate in the scientific operations of MedGardens. This task will be undertaken in collaboration with the Sea Watchers platform: a Marine Citizen Science program with over 10 scientific projects that allows any citizen to participate in the scientific project.

This provides a great opportunity for diving and watersports companies to design a catalog of restorative & sustainable touristic experiences such as:

  • Seagrass and algae transplants and nurseries
  • Identification & monitoring of marine species
  • Detection of invasive species
  • Monitoring microplastics
  • Beach & underwater cleanups


MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS & EDUCATION

Creation of new spaces and tools to highlight the value of the marine heritage and resources:

  • Centers of interpretation
  • School programs
  • Public events
  • Beach walks & talks

 

“Why is it that scuba divers and surfers are some of the strongest advocates of ocean conservation? Because they’ve spent time in and around the ocean, and they’ve personally seen the beauty, the fragility, and even the degradation of our planet’s blue heart.”
Sylvia Earle 

Join us

BECOME A MEDGARDENER

Volunteers are welcome to join our daily tasks creating new MedGardens, and later monitoring and doing other scientific work.

This is a call to everyone, from marine passionates to scientists: If you are interested in becoming a hands-on MedGardener, shoot us an email to join@cleanwave.org.

You can get your MedGardener certificate at any Dive Center partner of the 1%ForTheMed - Sea Watchers Alliance. The course includes a try freediving, or a try scuba session followed by an introduction to marine citizen science. Then you will be ready to join our scientific team.

If you can't help us underwater, you will soon be able to Adopt a MedPlant to fuel the volunteers' work and ours. Stay tuned!

"No water, no life. No blue, no green.” 

Sylvia Earle.

 

You might also like these projects