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Transcript

Introductions

Language games

Properties of ocean water

Density, salinity and temperature

Artists exploring the ocean

Beach cleanup

Visit to Aquarium

World Aquatic Animal Day

Letters

Interviews

Video

INDEX

Index

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Title 1

Introduction

- ICS. E. Vittorini (Messina, Italy)
- ITCG-L.SC. Leonardo Da Vinci (Poggiomarino, Italy)
- IES Felipe II (Mazarrón, Spain)
- IES Antonio Menárguez Costa (Los Alcázares, Spain)

PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS

The topic of oceans was introduced by means of making students point out in a map a place in the world related to the sea in which they have been or they would love to visit.


Click in the map and find out about wonderful spots in the world!

Oceans cover 72% of the Earth, so they are the largest ecosystem on the planet. Without them, life wouldn’t exist. Home to a great diversity of marine life and an important source of food, they regulate the Earth’s temperature. But they are also a beautiful natural environment, providing well-being to humans. As marine biologist Wallace Nichols described, the sea is “a trigger telling your brain you’re in the right place”. But climate change, pollution, plastics and overfishing make it extremely vulnerable. We will reflect on its threats and talk to and learn from people who work to protect and conserve the oceans. We count on CORI (Cartagena Oceanographic Research Institute), a non- profit organisation which will help us actively in the development of the project. Our aim is to learn about the ocean condition and threats and contribute to raise awareness about Sustainable Development Goal 14 (Life below Water):“Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources"

Title 1

Introductions (schools and students)

IESFelipe II (Mazarrón)

ICS "E. Vittorini (Messina)

IES Antonio Menárguez Costa (Los Alcázares)

ITCG E LICEO SCIENTIFICO "Leonardo Da Vinci (Poggiomarino)

Language Games

The creation of Language Games was a good ice-breaker to introduce the students to collaborative activities. Six international groups have been created, each group had to deal with a different topic of our project:


  • Group 1. Biodiversity (animals)
  • Group 2. Biodiversity (flora)
  • Group 3.Geographical features
  • Group 4. Threats to the ocean
  • Group 5. Climate and oceans
  • Group 6. Currents and waves.
Each group has created two games using the app Wordwall. After watching videos and reading articles on the chosen topic, students thought about possible games to play. They exchanged ideas in a forum page before writing their proposals in a Google doc.

They generally created multiple-choice questions or open-ended questions and they enjoyed in checking their friends’ answers and comparing them to theirs. One student was responsible for writing after gathering information from the rest of the group.They were provided with the useful links to videos, pictures and articles in an introduction page, where all the due information was given before each activity. It was surprising to see our students involved in collaborative tasks together with school friends living far away, exchanging ideas and opinions with them and facing challenges in which they felt part of an international group.

Cartagena Oceanographic Research Institute (CORI) is an independent research institute focused on the development of new techonologies related to the ocean exploration and engaging people on ocean protection.

Properties of ocean water

In this activity we learnt about the world network of ARGO floats.. ARGO is an international project which collects information from the water of the ocean using a fleet of robots or floats. They provide data about salinity, temperature and currents.
For this activity we count on an expert from the Oceanographic Institute of the Canary Islands and on the president of CORI.

Alberto González is an experto working for the Oceanographic Institute of the Canary Islands in Spain, and he analyses the data provided by ARGO floats. He explained our students about the network and guided them on how to find out the information and write a brief anaysis.

Francisco López, founder of CORI, also gave a presentation about underwater robots, which are use by CORI and other institutions to provide data abut the ocean.

Six international groups of students chose 6 locations and studied one ARGO float each , finding information about salinity, temperature, currents and trajectory.

They shared information in shared documents and chose the relevant information, that they wrote in multimedia posters, as can be seen on the right.



They found out interesting information, such as the differences on salinity depending on the sea, and in temperature, also depending on the depth or the different currents.

Properties of ocean water

Density, salinity and temperature

In January 2022, Leonardo da Vinci students carried out scientific activities in the school laboratory. Here is a brief summary of the activities carried out with links to some videos made by the students to document the experiments carried out and give them a simple explanation. To better understand the characteristics of ocean waters, the natural science teacher presented a presentation with Genially. The students, navigating the presentation, interactively approached the understanding of the interconnected variables: temperature, salinity, density. A Simple experiment to discuss how salinity affects seawater density and deep ocean circulation (thermohaline circulation): Rainbow Water Stacking. The students of the two classes involved in the project, divided into groups, performed the experiments, using as a guide an IBSE sheet provided by the teacher. The students prepared 5 different solutions with different saline concentrations. The solutions were colored with different food dyes to be able to see the layering of colors and create the rainbow.

They proceeded to put the same amount of each solution in a test tube, proceeding a first time from the most saline solution to the least saline and then a second time in reverse.

Here to get an idea some links to videos developed by the students.


https://youtu.be/Z3FYftGxIvo

https://youtu.be/L42PAjMOt14
https://view.genial.ly/61e9896b523c980012812910/video-presentation-colors-video-presentation

https://view.genial.ly/61eaad23b9afcf001433885d/presentation-animated-chalkboard-presentation

If you want more details you can go to the eTwinning page of our website: https://isisleonardodavincipoggiomarino.it/index.php/l-istituto/progetti/progetti-etwinning/

The teacher then made an experiment with test tubes of putting unsalted water on top of salt water and then backwards. Implementing and following laboratory procedures allows students to better understand natural phenomena and in this case they were able to understand the mechanisms that regulate ocean circulation. They also understood why underwater life is possible.

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Artists exploring the ocean

Two great artists have shared their talent with us and have contributed to our project OCEANS with part of their artistic production. James Doughty, a professional photographer, has captured the beauty of the sea and of the underwater world with beautiful pictures that are real works of art. Goyo 203, a street artist, has shared with us pictures of his fantastic production related to the sea and sea life.

Goyo also came to the two Spanish schools, gave a small presentation and showed some of his works.

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The activity proposed was to give a name to each picture of both artists using all of one’s creativity. After a short discussion, using a padlet each class had to give two names to each picture, trying to be original, creative and collaborative. They also had to give a reason for their choice, commenting on the meaning of that picture and the name given. It was fantastic to read the strange names and compare each name with the others’ for the same picture. Reading about the reasons for their choice has been a way to explore the students’ inner beliefs and fears about the environment.

COMMON INFORMATION

Beach cleanup

This actiity focused on the problem of plastic, one of the biggest dangers for the ocean and its living beings. We organized beach cleanup activities with different organizations, that told us about residues and how they affect marine animals.


In Italy, the activity was done with Legambiente and Italia Nostra, and in Spain it was Pinatar Natura, an association which promotes activities to raise awareness for the environment.

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IES A. Menárguez Costa

Los Alcázares

Introduction

Pinatar Natura, a local initive who carries out different environmental activities, took 23 students to La Concha beach, in Mar Menor Sea, in Los Alcázares.

Beach clean-up

Francisco Ramos, Pinatar Natura's founder, told us about the dangers and threats Mar Menor Sea is suffering from, like pollution, residues, animals eating or entangled in plastic, etc.
He told us about the marine animals we can find there and showed us some Mediterranean Sea species like: shark eggs, seashells, spounges, a type of algae called Posidonia, etc.

Also

Everything ends up in the sea. Our town has been flooded a few times and we know that. In this trip, we confirmed that the wind will blow even just a piece of plastic that you throw in the street and it will end up damaging marine animals, like turtles, who confuse plastic with jellyfish.

What we learnt

Facts

BEACH CLEAN-UP

Hygiene waste

Paper / Cardboard

Glass

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  • We use a lot of plastic in our daily lives.
  • Cigarrette butts are a very big problem!
  • People leave food wrappers anywhere.
  • You can even find dangerous things hidden on the sand, like glass.
  • The sea brings to the coast everything the ships throw like plastic/foam pieces and fishing gears.
  • You can find a lot of lids on the beach.

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If you have any question, don't hesitate to contact us.

Learn more...

What we found on the beach

Others

What surprised us the most was to find a syringe with a needle on the beach.

30.7%

6.1%

3.5%

2.2%

We picked up 30 kg of residues in one hour!

Plastic

52.4%

We collected 223 cigarettes butts!

  • Francisco's interview - link

IES Felipe II

Mazarrón

The hike

We started walking from the school, along the Rambla de las Moreras, and next to many vegetable fields, where they use plastic to grow them, so there were many plastic residues there.


We went through a desalination plant, which takes water from the sea for watering, and it is powered by solar energy.

What we learnt

BEACH CLEAN-UP

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  • Cigarette buts is the most common residue, and it has plastic in it.
  • Many people don't care about the environment and spoil these beautiful places. They throw many things.
  • Some of these things are dangerous for people (nails, glass, and of course for marine animals.
  • They clean the beach, but still there are many residues.
  • Some residues come from ships, they end on the beach.
  • Sometimes residues are thrown to the ramblas, and when it rains they end in the sea.
  • It is fun to pick residues, learn, and be an example for people who are at the berach.
  • Much of the plastic we use away from the sea ends in the sea.
  • We must use recyclable bags for lunch and water bottles in our everyday life

What we found on the beach

The beach was apparently clean, it was not an urbanized
place, but we picked 33kg of residues in less than 1 hour.

A brick, wood, ropes and an enormous nail were also found.


We arrived in Bolnuevo, there are not many houses near the sea, and apparently it wasn't very dirty. Fran, from Pinatar Natura, was waiting for us to guide the activity.

eLitter

Clean Swell

ICS E. Vittorini

Messina

Introduction

BEACH CLEAN-UP

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On March 13, the beach litter activity coordinated by the president of Legambiente Messina Cinzia Oliva and the marine biologist Carlo Trombetti took place at the marine village of Torre Faro.
The 16 students involved in the project participated in this intense experience. The aim was to map the presence of waste on the beaches.
First of all, the boys with the help of Cinzia Oliva, transected (as per protocol) 100 linear meters for a variable length "to the edge of the vegetation".
Later they received bags where they put the waste found classified by type
Later they received bags where they put the waste they found classified by type: cigarette butts, corks, plastic caps, plastic bags, etc ...

Click for statistics

Knowing the type of litter stranded is the first step in identifying the causes of marine litter. The data collected will be published online, together with those that are being collected in many other Mediterranean beaches.

Legambiente

Italia Nostra

Introduction

eThere were no significant diffeences between the two Spanish schools, despite the fact that one of them is in an urban area and the other isn't.
There were differences with the results in Italy, since plastic was the most common residue there, while it was cigarette butts in Spain.

Similarities and differences

Solutions

BEACH CLEAN-UP

Each of us can and must take simple actions to make our beaches and oceans safe and welcoming places for the survival of our wonderful biodiversity.
Here are the ones we suggest:
  • bring a bag with you whenever you walk your neighborhood, visit the beach, or hike in a park to pick up plastic waste that you find;
  • recycle what is possible and make sure the rest is properly disposed;
  • participate in or organize a beach cleaning as our partners did; this is one of the most direct and rewarding ways to combat plastic pollution in the oceans;
  • spread the word: tell your friends and family how they can be part of the solution and host an observation party or days focused on plastic pollution and marine biodiversity;
  • eat environmentally friendly foods;
  • report every time you observe illicit acts, do not be passive or turn your face and pretend that nothing happens, remember that the behaviors we have today will determine our future.
The beauty of the oceans cannot be destroyed by our non-choices.

COMMON INFORMATION

Firstly, cigarette butts are the most frequent in both Spanish beaches, and in Italy, different kinds of plastic, which is second in Spain (specially food wrappers).
Then we find metal in both countries, followed by personal hygiene products in Spain and cardboard in Italy.

Most common types of residues

Students from three secondary schools went to a nearby beach to do a clean-up activity. In Mazarrón and Messina it was a natural beach not so close to town whereas in Los Alcázares it was an urban beach.

The Italian school from Messina performed their activity with the support of Legambiente and the Spanish schools did it with Pinatar Natura.
We all picked up rubbish from the beach and classified it to analyse the types of residues, know their procedence, and therefore, find solutions to the problems we found.

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Visit to aquarium

On 8 April 2022 the students of Leonardo da Vinci took a guided tour of the Dohrn foundation and aquarium, founded by Anton Dohrn in Naples. We were lucky to have as a guide the president of the Dohrn Foundation Ferdinando Boero. Entering the structure, the students immersed themselves in the journey of marine biodiversity. In a sort of time travel they were able to retrace the evolutionary theories of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Georges Cuvier, Darwin. They were asked to reflect on how great discoveries are fortuitous. The visit to the zoological station of Naples ended with an excursus by some illustrious marine biologists, first of all Salvatore Lo Bianco and all the names of the new marine species discovered from 1872 to today. The Naples Aquarium was inaugurated in 1874, and had a triple function: direct observation of the sea; entertainment and dissemination; research funding. The Aquarium is connected to the sea with an underground channel and has rooms immersed in a semi-darkness given by the soft light that enters through the skylights and side windows. The Aquarium has always represented a strong attraction for researchers and scientists from all over the world who came to Naples to study and observe marine animal and plant species in their natural habitat.

https://youtu.be/1hAhz6loO-A

https://youtu.be/sHF9IQxefao

World Aquatic Animal Day

In line with the main topic of our project OCEANS, our students got involved in the celebration of the World Aquatic Animal Day, which is on 3rd April. During the week from 2nd to 9th April most teachers and students of our four schools carried out different activities to sensibilize and raise awareness about the urgent need to protect the environment. They used all their creativity to perform experiments, to create colourful posters and appealing videos related to marine animals and ecosystems.
The spirit of action to protect aquatic animals soon spread throughout the schools and involved other classes and teachers, all very sensitive to our issues.
Nice exhibitions of the products created by each class have then followed!

Click here to see some pictures

IES Felipe Segundo

We celebrated World Aquatic Animal Day within what we called the Week of Sustainability and the Ocean.

Activities from almost all the didactic departments of the school, which filled the school with events related to the ocean and sustainable development.
Virtually all the students in the school participated and benefited from all these events, which included, talks, exhibitions, posters, animals with recycled materials, videos, wall decorations and our giang blue whale, in a prominent place, a collaborative project with over 200 students.

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ITCG LS "LEONARDO DA VINCI "
POGGIOMARINO

To celebrate the event, the students of our school have created posters and on April 7th we have opened the exhibition.

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IES Antonio Menárguez Costa

In our school, we celebrated World Aquatic Animal Day by means of creating our OCEANS WEEK. In this event, all the school community and teachers from different subjects joined our cause to raise awareness on the importance of protecting and taking care of our seas and oceans.

Learn more about our OCEANS WEEK by clicking in this video.

Click here to see some pictures

Our nearly 1,000 students participated in the activities organised and learnt about the Mar Menor Sea in our coast and the oceans.

From 22 March to 3 April our institute was involved in activities in view of the world aquatic animal day. the pupils of kindergarten and primary school were made aware by the teachers to reflect on this day. the pupils produced posters, padlets; on 23 March the secondary school hosted the marine biologist Prof. Carlo Trombetti; the biologist talked with the students illustrating the marine ecosystem, its inhabitants and the dangers it faces.

ICS E. Vittorini

Letters

The activity consisted of writing formal letters to newspapers, authorities and companies, to make them aware of the dangers of plastic to marine life and also to ourselves, and propose some solutions.




Every letter was written by students from 2 different countries, and they included an introduction, a list of problems related to plastic and possible measures to take by the recipients. The letters will be sent on 9th May, Europe's Day.

Title 1

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So here you can see the story of Lucy, the small turtle in a short film called "A Journey to the Ocean". Its premiere is scheduled for the 9th of May, Europe's Day.

Enjoy the film!

Video diary

The last activity consisted of making a video diary of a turtle.

Having acquired a lot of knowledge about the life and dangers to aquatic animals, students wrote a script in groups, and after choosing videos and pictures (either personal, non copyrighted or donated by collaborators), they recorded the script.

INTERVIEWS

1. Alberto González Santana

2. Francisco López Castejón
3. Ferdinando Boero
4. James Doughty
5. Goyo Doscientos Trees
6. Fernando and Alicia
7. Annalisa Rafa and Germana Giallombardo
8. Johanna Rodríguez
9. Cinzia Oliva
10. Pablo Rodríguez Ros
11. Sandra Fernández
12. Pinatar Natura

Alberto is a data processing technician at the Spanish Oceanographic Institute (IEO) and he is from Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in the Canary Islands (Spain)

He works at the ARGO project. This is a project which has a lot of buoys deployed in the ocean and they get information from the sea like: temperature at different depths, salinity, etc.

1. Alberto González Santana

We made a videocall with Alberto and he explained to us how the buoys work and all the important information they provide. The buoys move with the currents of the ocean so they allow us to study that too. He explained how they receive data from the buoys and presented us the different types of buoys or floats, their uses, and how they are spread all around the oceans.


Different countries like the USA, France and Spain have deployed buoys.

What is the best thing about working in ARGO?

The best thing about working in ARGO is the chance to meet really interesting people from all over the world and working to protect the ocean.

Why did you decide to undertake the study of marine sciences?
When I was a child I used to go to the beach with my parents, and that was when I began to be interested in the oceans. So in secondary school I decided to study something related to the oceans. It was the best decision of my life!

What is the thing that fascinates you the most in your studies?
It’s the fact that we can reach the deep deep ocean where no one can go.

What happens if you receive bad information of the buoys? Have you ever received any wrong information from the buoys?
We sometimes receive bad information from the buoys because they can be broken or they don’t work properly. So we usually perform quality controls.

Has it ever happened that the buoys got stuck at great depth and you have never been able to retrieve them?
This happens all the time because the float can work for 3 or 4 years and then the battery goes to zero and dies. Since they are really far away in the ocean we can’t recover them and sometimes they get stuck too.

How long does it take to create a float?
A couple of months, because the manufacturers usually have a prototype.

How long do the floats usually measure?
It’s just a metre tall and they are around 30 kg. And the biochemical ones are 2 metres so maybe around 60 kg.

What technology is used in the construction of the buoys?

These floats need to be strong to fight cold temperatures at the bottom of the ocean and high pressure, so we need very strong materials like steel or titanium.

What impact do variations in salinity have on marine flora and fauna?
This doesn’t usually happen but sometimes animals are used to a place where the concentration is very high and if this changes, they need to leave. There is a microalgae, which is used to salt and it can live where no other animal can.

Which is the highest ocean temperature recorded so far? And what temperatures can the ocean reach going down on the seabed?

It was 32 degrees in the Persian Gulf 2 years ago, this is a proof of the global warming. And in the deep ocean, special floats recorded 4 degrees.

Can buoys see the level of pollution in the ocean?

Not specially, but little by little I think these kind of sensors are going to be implemented in the floats to detect microplastics or pollution.

How can we save a good quality of ocean water in the future?
We can do that from small decisions or big decisions. Small decisions at home: recycling, keeping the sea water clean… And in the big scale, try to reduce the greenhouse gases.

What was the strangest thing found in the ocean?
A lot of animals were found around 1000 metres deep, at the bottom of a volcanic cone. They were taking energy from volcanic activity rather than the Sun, so even down there, there is life!

2. Francisco López Castejón

His name is Francisco Lopez Castejón and he´s an oceanographer. An oceanographer is the person who studies the ocean. And he has participated in different oceanographic campaigns. He is also a researcher of the Technical University of Cartagena. He is the founder of CORI (Cartagena Oceanographic Research Institute), which is collaborating actively in the implementation of our project.


How much did the biggest robot weigh?
“They can be very very heavy, the weight of the heaviest one can be more than 3000kg.”

How did you come up with the idea of making underwater robots?
“I don't make them because I'm a scientist and the people who make them are emgineers, but I really like to use them, I´m more a user than a maker.
When you use underwater robots, have you found some animal or plant we don´t know?
“Unfortunately, not. I would like it a lot, but unfortunately I haven't discovered anything new, perhaps I´ll do it in the future. Who knows?”

Do you have a project in mind at the moment?
“ Yes, I have a lot of projects but one that I would like to be able to do is working with institutes working about certains areas’’

What did you discover with the hydrodynamic discovery of coastal lagoons?’
“You can find small currents and other phenomena that affect animals. That is complex to work because at the same time it is surprising’’

When you were a kid, did you want to dedicate yourself to this?
“No, when I was a kid I wanted to be farmer, after that I wanted to be an astronaut, then I wanted to be pilot and finally I wanted to study the oceans’’

What is the part you like most about your job?
“Probably, to be in contact with technology. It helps me a lot me to be in touch with a lot of technology, robots, computers,etc. And of course to explore the oceans.”

When can we explore the deepest part of the ocean?
“About 5-6 years ago, there were only 5 people who had arrived to the deepest part of the ocean, the Marianas trench. But nowadays, the technology has evolved and now it is easier to arrive there.”

Is it true that the gulf current is slowing down?
“It’s true that the gulf current is slowing down, and the scientifics that studied this, are trying to evaluate the consequences that they will have for us.”

Why does the "Thermohaline circulation" take place?
When ocean water in these areas gets very cold, sea ice forms, the water's density which is controlled by temperature and salinity and the ice chunks go in circulation



3. Ferdinando Boero

What are the causes and consequences of Ocean pollution?


It is humans who throw garbage into the ocean and those who are harmed are the animals in the water.

On February 15, 2022 we interviewed Ferdinando Boero, professor of zoology and president of the Dohrn foundation, who coordinated numerous national and international research projects, publishing hundreds of articles and books on marine biodiversity, on the functioning of ecosystems, on marine protected areas, on evolution and sustainability.

He also conceived the exhibition of the Darwin Dohrn Museum of the Anton Dohrn Zoological Station.

Why did you decide to work on something related to marine animals and did you dream of doing this job even as a child?
During my childhood, like many other children, I was very curious regarding nature and constantly wondered about its inner workings; I was one of the few who remained attracted to the study of nature during my adulthood, and pursued it as a career.

Has it taken you a long time to get to the position you are in now?
This type of career takes a long time because of the experiences and study paths that need to be done. It is possible with passion and hard work to reach one's goals just like me.

Here is a selection of the questions we asked with the relative answers from the professor:

You received the Golden Trident, what does the Golden Trident represent?
The Golden Trident is given to people who have contributed sufficiently to marine biology research, through scuba diving operations. In my case I received it due to my research about marine biodiversity.
Which is your favorite marine species?
Men have always had the task of giving a name to the animals that surround them. I was exploring marine biodiversity, and I had the opportunity to name some species of jellyfish. Among these, phialella zappai stands out in my heart, so called in honor of singer Frank Zappa

Among the marine creatures, what are the most threatened by ocean acidification?
The species most threatened by ocean acidification are those with a skeleton made up of calcium carbonate. One among them is the coral, which forms the coral reef.

What is the mission of the Dohrn Foundation? What are its ends?
Just like it its origins, the Dohrn foundation is in charge of continuing and financing the research of the zoology station, allowing the public to know what kind of research is being carried out. The proceeds from the tickets are used to maintain the aquarium and to continue the research.

What are the Foundation's future plans?
The plans for the future of the Foundation are clear to me at this point; I hope that it will attract as many people as possible to the subject and thus increase the Foundation’s importance and popularity.

What does the Darwin Dohrn Museum exhibit at Anton Dohrn Zoological Station consist of?
It is an exhibition on the diversity of life today and in the past due to evolution. Hence, it is a museum on the history of the origin of life to today in the ocean. The museum explains what life is like and how it works both on the earth's surface and in the ocean.

Of all the projects you have joined, which one has had the greatest impact on you?

The one I have recently coordinated. It was a project for the EU about the creation of networks of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. More than 300 scientists were involved based in 22 countries in 3 continents. Though living in different areas they faced the same problems related to nature and pollution.

How do you expect the sea to be in 50-60 years?

It depends on us. It is impossible to predict the future but we can identify trends and the main trend today is destroying nature. The past generation had a high standard of living and didn't care much about the environment . Your generation is paying the price for our wrong behaviour and you must fight for a better future. Ecological transition means that you have to fight to transit from a wrong vision of nature to a better vision of it, where ecology is a fundamental value.

4. James Doughty

James is a professional photographer and filmmaker from the Island of Bermuda. He is also an experienced yacht captain, PADI Dive Master and certified aerial drone pilot.

He offers a wide range of specialisations in media production. His work includes:

- Documentary Film Making
- Wildlife Photography & Video
- Underwater Photography & Video
- Landscape Photography
- Timelapse Photography
- Travel Photography & Video

He has recently returned from a trip to Africa in which he captured amazing pictures of wildlife. He has also won the Durban Undersea Club Shootout 2021 with his video about the Sardine Run in South Africa.

You can visit his official website here:

https://www.jamesdoughtyphotography.com/

How do you feel about having so much work publishing books and articles and having so much responsibility?

I don’t feel any responsibility as I like what I do and I have always done challenging activities. The secret in life is to do something enjoyable for you.

When did you publish your first book on marine biodiversity? And what was it about?
My first book was about jellyfish. I did not write a big book but a tiny and interesting book. I also wrote an article on fishing Ligurian tuna.

What did this choice of life represent for you?
I feel lucky I was given the opportunity of doing something I like. I wouldn't have done anything else even if I were rich. It was a nice experience and still is.

For the complete interview click on the YouTube preview below

What aspect do you like best to immortalize in nature?

I like capturing nature in its raw, unfiltered element. A lot of documentaries hide some behaviours like animals suffering, or killing, but that’s part of the reality of nature. Nature can be brutal. I don’t mind capturing these moments but even myself don’t put that out I just like capturing nature, both good and bad. I am now moving to the conservation side and show problems like ocean pollution and overfishing.

What is the most beautiful marine animal species, in your opinion?
Without a doubt, my favorite animal is the humpback whale. Being in the water with one which is enormous and you are so insignificant helps you put life in perspective.

What is your best experience in Africa?
My best experience in Africa was the sardine run. Every year millions of sardines travel on a migrational coast there and all these predators follow them. So you have seabirds, sharks, dolphins, seals, and so many creatures that take part, feeding together in this movable feast. It is one of the greatest wildlife spectacles you will ever see and if you are lucky you will have a whale come along and take the whole sardine shoal way out, which happened to me once.

Our students watched James awarded video about the Sardine Run in South Africa.

How was this passion for photography born and how has it changed over the years?

It started when I was a kid, I had a camera and I took a lot of photos when I was on vacation, of my friends etc. I started taking more photos of nature and so I became interested in that. I currently have a digital camera that takes very good photos with which I travel, do things, etc.

What do you like most about this job?
Discovering new things, new behaviours, and how interesting it can be to be able to photograph them. It is both interesting and exciting.

Have you ever been at risk doing any photography?
There has only been one situation, I was about to be attacked by a school of sharks, roughly about 11, we quickly got out of the water and thanks to the specialists I had with me nothing happened. We decided to let the sharks calm down and went back swimming with them a little bit later.

What special equipment do you use to take photographs?
You need a very good camera that can withstand water and does not look bad under it but you don't need that to be able to do it. There are people who carry a gopro and do the same as me.

What is the difficulty of making pictures in the ocean?
It is very complicated. The first thing is the light because light underwater reflects differently than it does on land. Another thing is the weather, it can be wavy or rough, etc. It has to be sunny for the photographs to be seen well.

What is your secret for taking perfect photos?
It's time and location. It is not a secret, it's common sense. It's capturing the moment in perfect time and be ready for it. The night before I check my gear and the morning after I do it again.

Many of his recent works are related to its preservation and the problems this sea is facing now under the motto "SOS Mar Menor". https://goyo203.com/

5. Goyo Doscientos Trees

Is there a particular reason why you chose this artistic name?

The reason is simply a nickname that I had since I was a child and 19 years ago I added 203 which is the date my daughter was born, February 2nd, 2003 and it is like a signature. I come from the time when graffiti artists put a little bit of their seal of identity, the name of their street or a number.

Where does your passion for painting come from?
It comes from childhood, I was passionate about graffiti. I wasn't good at dancing or singing and graffiti was what I liked the most and what I could express myself with the most. And to this day I have turned it into my profession. .

Goyo203 is a urban artist who specialises in painting murals. His real name is José Luís Martínez Escudero. He started to paint when he was still a kid

His work cover a wide range of topics but one of his most recent ones is the protection of endangered animals and the sea. He was born in San Pedro del Pinatar, a coastal area in Murcia, and his work is influenced by the Mar Menor Sea, the place where he grew up.

What was the shot that most impressed you?

I think I have taken many photos but the best one is one of the humpback whales. It was a shot of 2 humpback whales found asleep. They would wake up, look at us and play with us; then, they would go back to sleep and so on. I took a picture of them both while one was going up and the other was going down.

Is there a wild animal that made you particularly afraid?
A lot of wild marine animals make me afraid but being uncomfortable is part of life and part of enjoying life is going outside your comfort zone. There are animals like lions or sharks, and there is uncertainty in their behaviour but that is part of the job and I like that bit of excitement. A big part of living is overcoming fear.

Are you happy doing this job?
Yes, I couldn’t see myself doing anything else at the moment. I don’t want to change it. If anything, I would move my career to the film-making part of it.

Did your family support your decision to become an urban artist?

Currently yes, but not at the beginning, because my family saw that it was not a serious job at that time, nor a job with which I could earn a living, but as time went by they saw that I put a lot of enthusiasm, dedication and that I took it seriously and with a lot of perseverance, and it was then that they realized that they had to support me.

What techniques do you use to create your designs?
My technique is mixed. I use a lot of spray and I also use a lot of acrylic. Outdoors I use a special acrylic called enamel that is used to make the paint last outdoors. It's basically water spray paint.

Which is the biggest mural you have done? What is it about?
My biggest mural is in Los Alcázares, it is the Totem, in which a lion, endangered animals and a whale are at the top. For me, it is the most important. However, I have other larger ones like the one in La Manga of 2300m² or the one in Abarán in a building of 7 floors, which are landscapes.

What is the painting that has the most important meaning for you?
I have a special mural that I am going to do in a school in El Mirador de San Javier, where my father was the headmaster. He was passionate about making kites, he said that every country has his own kite and he made them all. My father passed away a few years ago and I want to pay him a tribute that may start in 2 or 3 weeks.

How many murals have you done throughout your life?
I don't know how many murals I have done throughout my life, I have not stopped doing them, sometimes one mural per day or sometimes two months for each mural

Why do you mostly paint faces and eyes?

Because I ams very passionate about taking out the human gesture and representing it, above all with the look.

Why, according to you, perseverance is the key to painting?
It is very complicated to carry on, especially with the family because they would like me to work in a place where they give me money every month. But as I like what I'm doing. then they understood and they accepted it. And I think perseverance is very important.

When you started in this world of urban art, did you ever think that your works would become so well known?
No, I started for fun. I was a child, I wasn't involved in the world of graffiti, I only got together with my friends at weekends to have fun. As the years went by and you matured, you already had other interests, and other principles, but I thought why not be a graffiti artist since I was good at it and I liked it.

What interested you the most, to unite the painting with oceans?
´ ‘Well, apart from graffiti, I always carried the world of nature inside. The Mar Menor for me was a reference to fight to protect it in some way and that is why I dedicated myself to making pictures and paintings of the ocean and its animals.

How long does it take to make a mural?
Well, it depends, there are murals that have taken me 2 months and others that have taken me a day. Because there are tools, very feasible and resolute, like one with which you can throw paint with big compressors, which throws paint at a metre and a half. The sprays can throw a lot or a little paint and that gives me a lot of speed advantage.

6. Fernando and Alicia

Fernando Escribano and Alicia Gómez are veterinaries in El Valle Wildlife Recovery Centre in Murcia, Spain. The work of this centre is focused on the preservation and recovery of endangered wildlife animals.

Every year they attend more than 2,500 animals, mainly birds but also reptiles, mammals and amphibians. They also try to detect threats which affect the preservation of wildlife fauna. They both specialise in turtles and crustaceans.

Which animal needs more care in your opinion?

The turtles are probably the most badly affected by plastics, nets or hooks.

What was the hardest rescue you have ever made?
An alive sea turtle was found at the bottom of a cliff so the access to it was very difficult and I am scared of heights so they almost have to rescue me! And the most difficult one was a necropsy of a whale, it was 10 metres long, with a weight of 50 tons and we had to open it to see what had happened.

Do animals let themselves be saved? Has it ever happened that an animal attacked you while it was getting rescued?
Animals don't know that we are going to the save them, what they feel is that we are going to eat them, so the normal response is to attack or pretend they are dead. I have a lot of anecdotes about that, once I lost a nail because a bird bit me and my finger was infected, I thought I was going to lose my finger!

During your rescue, what was the most particular animal you rescued?
A sperm whale, it was huge and we had to do a necropsy.

Which animal do you rescue the most often?
If you are talking about sea animals, the loggerhead sea turtle and if you are talking about land animals maybe owls, falcons, etc.

What are the most relevant threats affecting wildlife conservation?
It depends if we are talking about the sea animals or land animals. In the sea, plastic, collision with boats, fishing hunts and hooks. And if we are talking about land, electrocutions, collisions with cars, shots and poison.

What are the greatest dangers that turtles can suffer?
Injuries because they suffer a lot. Sometimes, they get caught in nets, they are taken to the surface very quickly and they can suffer a heart attack.


Fernando and Alicia visited the Spanish schools and made a presentation about the impact of plastic on marine animals. They showed us shocking images of animals harmed by plastic, either because they got entangled in it or because they ate them as it is easily confused with food, causing them to die. One example was a big whale found in the coast of Murcia who died because of 20 kg of plastic in its stomatch.


Moreover, they also explained to us other threats marine animals face such as all sorts of rubbish in the ocean and spills. Besides, they told us their first-hand experience working with turtles, taking care of them and releasing them back to the sea.

7. Annalisa Raffa and Germana Galliombarda

How many turtles did you release last year?
About 20 turtles, 16 from the 2 nests of turtles and 4 or 5 that we found.

Do you have current information about the turtles you rescued last year?
We mark every turtle we release, we put a microchip so if this animal comes to the coast and someone finds them, we will know. We also mark some with a GPS locator. In 2020, a turtle with a GPS was in Africa in only one hour! We have also seen that they go to the South of Italy and Turkey.

Do turtles that grow up in captivity survive after they are placed in their environment?
It depends, if they are babies, we keep them for a while because when they are so small they are very vulnerable. If they are bigger, they have more opportunities to survive in the sea. Only 1 out of 1000 survives.

What animal species do you think is most endangered in the region of Murcia?
If we are talking about sea animals, the sea turtles but also dolphins and whales. If we are talking about land animals the Bonelli's eagle.

Are there many turtles or crustaceans damaged by pollution on the shores of Murcia?
Yes, a lot of them. And there is an effect called “the iceberg tip” which means we only find the tip of the whole damaged the animal is suffering from.

Why did you choose this job?
We love animals and nature, it is a vocational job.

"I would like to conclude by inviting you to go back to nature. Go to the sea and the mountains and see animals, you will see how you start to feel better. We are also nature, we are so far from our true nature that we are living worse and worse. This is my recommendation, go back to nature". (Alicia)

7. Annalisa Raffa and Germana Galliombarda

Annalisa is the President of ITALIA NOSTRA section of Messina. She Graduated in Literature at the University of Messina. She held the position of professor of History of Art at the University of Messina and as an Expert on the subject at the University of Reggio. She collaborated in the museum teaching sector with the regional museum of Messina She edited educational publications in the field of cultural heritage and she published scientific content for exhibition catalogs and magazines in the historical sector.

Germana is the vice president and referent for education in the cultural heritage of Italia Nostra section of Messina She has a degree in literature at the University of Messina. She collaborated in the museum teaching sector with the Regional Museum of Messina She edited educational publications in the field of cultural heritage and published scientific content for exhibition catalogs and magazines in the historical sector. Annalisa and Germana have been carrying out training and education activities for Italia Nostra section Messina for 15 years, to cultural heritage, designing and curating, exhibitions,

SUMMARY OF THE INTERVIEW:

We have been elected president and vice-president of Italia Nostra section of Messina by the board of directors after 15 years of voluntary association activity. Thanks to our training and work experience in the sector we have been identified as the most suitable people to coordinate the activities of Italia Nostra in Messina.

The collaboration with the Regional Museum of Messina (MUME) was a highly educational experience and allowed us to experience what we learned about books. Among the workshops carried out with the students we remember the participation in the national competitions "IN search of my landscape" with the students of the Art School "A.M. Di Francia" of Messina, and "The Stones and the Citizens" with the students of the Technical Institute for Agriculture and the Environment "Borghese Faranda" in Patti (ME)

We are organizing a refresher course for teachers on the theme of the landscape. We have launched a "Messina to be saved" campaign aimed at restoring works in the Messina area in a serious state of decay On the occasion of the next Cultural Heritage Week, 30 April-8 May 2022, a national initiative, we will present the completed restoration of the painting of the Annunciation (early 17th century) of the church of Larderia Superiore (ME) and a video documenting the phases of restoration took place.

Each initiative implemented is an opportunity for personal knowledge and study but, even more interestingly, it is an opportunity to meet and exchange with other realities, citizens and beyond. Every time a project is undertaken, many difficulties are faced and a lot of commitment is put into play. In the end, however, when you take stock, the relationships that have been built remain and from which you can start again to develop future projects.

workshops for students, courses for teachers with particular attention to the theme of didactics of cultural heritage and landscape.in 2015 they curated a training courses for teachers, "the stones and the citizens."

If you keep a turtle in your home, surely that turtle won’t survive and it is more important to see a wild animal in nature than in your home.

How do you feel when you manage to save an animal?
I feel I can help nature a little.

Why did you volunteer at Green Cape and what did you like the most?
I was so lucky to live there, and the thing I liked the most was the way of living that people have.

How old was the oldest turtle you saw in Green Cape?
We saw a turtle with a very old chip and we thought It would be like 40-50 years old

Did you have this passion for animals as a child?
Yes, but with turtles I feel something special.
Are turtles really as slow as they say?
Yes, they are very slow and very silly.

Why do turtles lay eggs in the sand and not in the water?
Because the sand has a good temperature to get the turtles and this is impossible inside the water.

Is it true that turtles always lay their eggs on the same beach? Why?
More or less, turtles usually return close to the beach where they laid their eggs.

8. Johanna Rodríguez

What fascinates you about sea turtles?

There are people that come back to the beach to see the turtles born.

What did you feel when you found the turtle nest?
I think I feel a little scared when I find a nest of turtles. Why is it important to save turtles?

What is the damage we do to the turtles if we do not call 112 and we keep them?

Johanna Rodríguez is a veterinary.

In 2020 she was on the beach and found a tiny turtle walking towards the sea. She followed its tracks and found a nest of turtle eggs. She immediately called 112 and that nest and the eggs were protected.

Some years before, she had been a volunteer in Green Cape, a Portuguese island located in the west of Africa, in an area where they protect turtles. Her job included checking turtle tracks, taking care of turtles and its eggs. She is an expert on turtles now!

In her presentation, she will tell us about her experience both as a volunteer and as a normal person who one day found a nest of turtles.

9. Cinzia Oliva

Cinzia Oliva is an environmentalist and environmental educator. She has made her profession out of her love for nature and her civic commitment.From 2014 she became president of Legambiente Messina, a local club of the Legambiente Nazionale Aps association.
The aims of the Association are environmental protection and the promotion of sustainable development, through environmental education and scientific dissemination activities, as well as supervision for compliance with the laws and regulations for the protection of fauna, flora and the environment, within the framework of the regional, national and international laws in force. Le
In 2019, with two "data collection" interventions on waste stranded along the Messina coast, Legambiente Messina participated in the Beach Litter survey promoted nationally as part of a citizen science program. The beaches on which we usually find the greatest amount of waste or litter are those along the northern Ionian coast of the city, due to the high anthropization of the two coasts of the Strait and of the currents which favor beaching Men are part of nature, Cinzia, believes that loving her is an innate feeling for everyone even if we often don't know how to listen. In nature everything is connected, all living beings are among themselves and each living being is with the non-living world: it is important to understand that the survival of the human species depends on the integrity of this network and that the maintenance of its balance determines the harmony of our physical and social psychic daily life.

What are the goals of the environmental association?
The objectives of Legambiente are the protection of marine and terrestrial ecosystems and the preservation of planetary resources, according to the principle of "thinking globally and acting locally".

Hello, was there any particular episode in your life that prompted you to take the path in favor of environmental protection?

Which is the beach in which you have found the most garbage?

The beaches on which we usually find the greatest amount of waste or litter are those along the northern Ionian coast of the city, due to the high anthropization of the two coasts of the Strait and of the currents which favor beaching

About twenty years ago, in the Syracuse area, I attended by visitor to a day to promote sustainable lifestyles, I thought it would be important to create such a beautiful square in Messina, too: After a few years our city had its first stable market for organic products and Legambiente had permanently become part of my life.

I suppose you have several projects for the futuro. Which one would be the most interesting?

In which way was your love for nature born?

Men are part of nature, I believe that loving her is an innate feeling for everyone even if we often don't know how to listen. To understand what we feel (the nature that speaks to us inside) you have to experience it (for me the scouting path was important) but also to be able to understand the scientific significance of the phenomena (not for nothing I am a naturalist!)

He has worked in the US, Switzerland, Canada and the UK. Currently, he is a member of the coordina-ting team of the Citizen Climate Assembly of the Balearic Islands. He is the author of Argonauta, where he reflects on his journey as a researcher on oceanography and climate change in different parts of the planet.

10. Pablo Rodríguez Ros

What is an oceanographic ship and what is its function?

An oceanographic cruise is a special type of vessel designed to perform science in the oceans. That means that there are many different types of research cruises. Therefore, for example, the Research Vessel "Hespérides" is specialized in polar and open ocean waters, while others are specialized in coastal areas (Research Vessel "García del Cid").
Why did you decide to go to Antarctica?
To go to Antarctica was my dream when I was a child. I did not know that I must become a scientist to achieve it, and in the beginning, I wanted to go as a nurse or a medical doctor. During my PhD, I went to Antarctica because it is one of the most pristine environments on Earth.
What were the beautiful moments and the critical ones in your journey?
The most difficult parts of the journey are the ones related to missing your relatives. So, I spent a total of 3 Christmas periods onboard scientific cruises.

Pablo Rodríguez Ros was born in Cartagena (1990). Environmentalist and PhD in Marine Sciences, he is Vice President of the Cartagena Oceanographic Research Institute.

Does your work affect your lifestyle?

Yes, work affects my lifestyle at least how much my lifestyle affects work, but there is no solution of continuity between one and the other dimension

We are planning a “ business incubator “ for a startup centered on the community circular economy

Is it important for you to teach young people to respect the environment?

Yes, it is very important to observe, to know, to love

What were the results of the "Beach Litter" survey?

The results of the 2022 monitoring of the Beach Litter, on the Capo Peloro beach, they showed a clear prevalence of plastic waste ("artificial polymers"), in particular fragments of various origins, polystyrene and foam plastic, mostly always small to medium sized fragments (less than 50cm).

Has covid-19 had any impact on your activities?

Due to Covid-19 we had to stop the initiatives with schools and, in general, with the public in attendance but we have maintained the training initiatives ; thanks to the new remote communication technologies, they have even been enhanced: we were able to participate in meetings throughout Italy and organized conferences with speakers of the highest level and of national importance.

What led you to be interested in issues concerning waste reduction, renewable sources and alternative energies, public water and critical consumption?

In nature everything is connected, all living beings are among themselves and each living being is with the nonliving world: it is important to understand that the survival of the human species depends on the integrity of this network and that the maintenance of its balance determines the harmony of our physical and social psychic daily life, too.

Which part of the world is most affected by climate change?
The two poles, both the Arctic and the Antarctic, are the most affected by climate change. But they are not the only ones because for example the Mediterranean Sea has many problems such as drought. But all parts of the world are affected by climate change.

Why did you decide to work in climate change?
Because, when I was your age, I was staying at the third of fourth course at the secondary education, I started to learn about the connections between the atmosphere, the climate and all of that and I found that very interesting, and climate change wasn’t as popular as today, I knew it and many people didn’t know about climate change, I thought at that moment this was going to be the biggest problem during my life because there are pandemics, wars, but climate change is always a problem so that the reason I decided to work at climate change, I think that climate change is one of the most important challenge for my generation and for yours.

Where does your motivation come from?
I love nature very much, I spend a large part of my life in summer in the Mar Menor. My life has always been related to the Mar Menor and the oceans and I believe that this is my motivation.

How do you feel about doing this job?
I think I am very fortunate to work with the oceans. For example, when I was in the Antarctic working in the oceans, it was one of the best moments of my professional life. You can go to places that very few people will be able to go, you can see things that very few people or even almost nobody will see and that's pretty cool . You can see a place and say: “Oh I'm the first person to be here, I'm lucky."

Is there a way to stop climate change?

There is a way but we can’t now because we need a lot of time and collaborate with many centers to be able to investigate and study well. Right now climate change is very bad, however,in the future we'll get it.

This is the hardest part together with the climatological conditions of every oceanic region, which can be really hard.

What is the greatest danger to the ocean?
The greatest danger to the ocean is to keep increasing the global temperature as a consequence of CO2 emissions. Thus, climate change will become a total challenge for the oceans during the present century, although the oceans have the ability to help us fighting it.

What is the most beautiful nation or country in which to work as a marine researcher?
I have worked in many countries: Switzerland, United Kingdom, Canada and The United States of America. Among them, I would say that Canada was the best one. I spent on winter (2016) working at Laval University (Quebec) which was the beginning of my PhD and, therefore, of an amazing scientific journey.

How are plastic islands formed?
Actually, plastic "islands" do not exist. Scientifically, they are called "garbage patches". As you may know, there is a huge difference in calling something "island" or "patch". The real science of this issue tells us that in some parts of the oceans plastics, and other stuff, are accumulated due to marine currents. The consequence is that the concentration of this plastic is higher than in other parts of the ocean. However, as said, the do not form islands which you could climb, but patches (manchas, parches, etc) which sometimes are not even possible to be seen naked eye.

What led you to do things with the plastic you collected from the beaches?
Rubén and I, one day, were talking about the problem of plastic waste as it had invaded the beaches and rivers.... We agreed on two things: the waste of resources and that it was a shame because of the damage it causes to wildlife and animals.

How do you transform the plastic waste into new products?
The first thing we have to do is to get plastic waste, we collect all kinds of waste and other times then to make it more enjoyable and also to raise awareness and reach more people we organize

11. Sandra Fernández

beach cleanups in which anyone can come and we are very grateful. We have our workshop and we wash them because many times they are dirty.

What was the first object created?
The first product we made was very special because it was a keychain in the shape of a little seahorse. We donated a percentage of what we obtained from the sale of the profits to an association for the protection of the Mar Menor, that is, it gives solidarity keyrings so that they do not know that this Mar Menor is a unique ecosystem in Europe because it is a salty lagoon despite having the name of minor sea.

What was the most difficult object to create with plastic?
Many products are difficult to make, it's true, for example, bowls are quite complicated because the way they are made is that melted plastic comes out and we are molding it, we have to do many turns to get to make a bowl

How much plastic have you collected in the last 5 years?
So far we have collected more than 10 tons, but we don't really keep an exhaustive count.

What's the largest or weirdest object that you found on a beach?
The heaviest and longest product we have encountered is buoys from huge ships that we have had to leave in the ocean..

Where do you sell these little things you create?
Of the little things we have is an online store, plus you can see in social networks the products advertised. We have almost all the social networks that exist, Twitter, Facebook.... And sometimes we set up

Menor Plastic is a company founded in 2019 by Sandra Fernández and Rubén García, two young people whose main aim is to help our planet. Their main activity is to collect plastic waste from the sea and beaches and transform it into new products: earrings, combs, bowls, soapdishes, keyrings, coasters, etc. They also organise campaigns to collect plastic from the beaches and raise awareness about the importance of reducing the use of plastic. In December 2020, the company won the 1st prize of Excellence in Enterpreneurship in the Region of Murcia, Spain. - In September 2021, Sandra won the Youth National Award in the category of environment in Spain. https://menorplastic.com/

craft markets because we really like going out with our teammates and being able to communicate with people who come to see the craft market or to buy in it.

What is a "sustainable circular economy"?
It is a new economic and consumer system where what you want is to go from the product you have bought, take it to recycle and thus it will be a new product, with this system there is no waste.

What are the objectives you hope to achieve with this initiative?
The main objective of Minor Plastic has been to raise awareness that plastic waste does not exist if it is well managed, that is, plastic waste cannot have a single life and we are using a material that can last up to 500 years in products that are used for 5 minutes.

How much did COVID affect the project?
The main problem we encountered with the pandemic was that we could not organize the beach cleanups, we also had a lot of activities scheduled with schools and all that was canceled, but it was also a boost because we had to take the leap in social networks in a more intensive way, we developed the website of online store to be better known and to make the work we do more visible.

What was the result that surprised you the most and that you had not expected ?
Without a doubt, all the support that we are receiving from the people, more and more people are joining our cause. how far this will go and now people know us for this. When we started we did not imagine how far we could go. It is difficult to make people aware.

12. Pinatar Natura

Among the activities, we can find:

- Cleaning up beaches and seas
- Patrolling beaches looking for turtle tracks to find their nests and protect them
- Helping seabirds in danger
- Removing invasive plants
- Controlling the speed of vehicles in protected natural areas
- Study the population of chameleons

Pinatar Natura is a local initiative founded by Francisco Ramos whose main aim is to help the preservation of the environment. He organises different volunteering activities to make people aware of the importance of preserving nature and avoid major problems.

Francisco made us a presentation about some of the threats the sea is facing at the moment, specially Mar Menor Sea (in Spain) such as: pollution, floods, residues from agriculture, etc. He showed us its original sand full of pieces of seashells which is is now being replaced by sand from the mountains. He also showed us some samples of marine animals like shells, spounges, shark and manta ray eggs, etc.


We learnt that every year 8 million tons of plastic end up into the sea and lots of marine animals die every year because of plastic. Most of the garbage that pollutes the sea comes from cities and according to some statistics, 1 in 6 fish contain plastic in their stomach. A recent study also found that microplastics have been found in our bodies.

At what age did you realize how important it was to take care of the environment?

If I have to be honest, it was not until I started to study biology when I realized the importance of trying to help nature.

How did you come up with the idea of this project?
I love birds and flamingos and I live in a place surrounded by nature. So as a citizen, I think we have the responsibility to take care of the environment. If we help it, nature can give us things we need to survive.

What environmental activities have you done to preserve nature?
Things like cleaning the beach, but not only that. It’s important to study the things we find, if we know them, we can then change and make our environment better.

What kind of plant is the cat's claw? What are its effects?

It is an invasive plant that lives in South Africa and it is expanding very easily because it grows very fast. The effecs are that when you see cat's claw you cannot see any other because it avoids the growth of other plants.

Have you eliminated any invasive plants other than cat's claw?
Yes, we have eliminated species such as cactus from South America and from Mexico called “ágave americana”. We are very happy because after one year of its elimination, we have seen other natural plants are growing in that place.

What is the strangest animal that you have found on the beach?
A grey seal, we found it a month ago and it is a specie from the Atlantic sea not from the Mediterranean, so it was a big surprise. And the strangest thing I have found on the beach is a sunflower-seed bag with the expiring date of 1986.

Would it be possible to extend your initiative to levels greater than the local one?

Yes, it is very easy. Today we are in Mazarrón and I am from San Pedro del Pinatar. I try to work local because this is very important. If every person in different places can act locally, then we can change the whole world.

Is it difficult for you to find volunteers for the environment? No, it is very easy because when we organize some activities, we publish it in social media and quickly, a group of 20 - 30 people come to the activity.

Do you think people are involved enough in beach clean-up? I think so and I think that we are more involved than 20 years

ago. But maybe today we have a bigger problem because we are producing more plastic. So today there are more people cleaning the beach but also more plastic to clean.

What do you know so far about the chameleon population?

In San Pedro del Pinatar there are a lot of chameleons in the dunes. Sometimes, we do research at night and we tell people that it is very important to leave chameleons in nature and not take them home because they will probably die.

From what you've seen, which animal is the most affected by environmental pollution?
I think we are because we are animals too. We are living in cities and they are the most polluted places in the world. I think the most endangered animal because of pollution is the human being.

What will be your next volunteering activity?

We are going to clean cigarette buts in the seashore of San Pedro del Pinatar. This is very important because one cigarette butt can pollute 10.000 litres of water.

Title 1

The teachers of eTwinning project Oceans want to thank our students for their amazing work and implication. We hope and think that they have learnt about the ocean and its threats, and they are now more active in the environmental defence of the oceans.

Also special thanks to CORI for helping us implement the project and to the dozens of collaborators from different areas, which have enriched the project.

Thank you!

#eTwOceans