Venice Lagoon Plastic Free (VLPF) recently coordinated and hosted a two-day international workshop dedicated to organizing and managing beach litter monitoring missions and clean-up events as part of the Horizon Europe project REMEDIES, funded under the Restore our Ocean and Waters mission program. The event, held in cooperation with the Kemijski Inštitut – National Institute of Chemistry in Slovenia (leading the project), the University of Maribor and VITO was held on April 26th and 27th at the Hotel Saturnia&International, to present a shared methodology for monitoring and cleaning up beach litter on Mediterranean coasts with the direct participation of representatives of the project’s demonstration sites.
The REMEDIES project aims to monitor, reduce, clean up, and test a circular economy for marine litter valorization in the Mediterranean through the use of innovative technologies, citizen involvement, and public awareness.
During the workshop, the VLPF team and the managers of the demonstrative sites for the REMEDIES project’s monitoring and clean up activities, presented the geomorphological and environmental particularities of their coastal areas on which the planned activities will take place. Participatory discussions ensued with the sharing of methodological material necessary to standardize the procedures for Marine Litter monitoring and clean up for comparability of data and their official acquisition at the European level.
On the second day, the VLPF team led the participants in a monitoring and cleaning session on the beach of San Piero in Volta, Lido di Venezia. The team surveyed and removed every single waste within a 100-meter transect on the beachside, following the guidelines as standardized at the European level by EMODnet Chemistry technical working group on marine litter in accordance with the implementation of the European Union’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).
The workshop ended with a debriefing session at the Hotel Saturnia&International. The event successfully achieved each of its objectives and the VLPF team is very satisfied with the work done with its partners.
REMEDIES involves a consortium of partners from six Mediterranean countries: Italy, Slovenia, Albania, Greece, Morocco and France. In Italy, the demonstration sites are Venice (VLPF) and the Sinis Peninsula in Sardinia (CNR). The other partners are the University of Maribor, in charge of the demo site in Slovenia, MCG & NTUA, responsible for the Cyclades island in Greece, SMILO of Porquerolles in France, MOH of Saïdia in Morocco, and ETMI of Durrës in Albania.
Each partner is responsible for conducting demonstration tests of various solutions, including precisely accurate monitoring of their beaches and shorelines with the involvement of the citizenry. The World Heritage site of Venice and its Lagoon, thanks to the previous work of VLPF, serves as a “demonstration lighthouse” concerning beach litter monitoring actions.
REMEDIES represents, together with the SeaClear 2.0 project, an important contribution to the European Union’s ambitious mission “Restore our Ocean and Waters” that aims to protect and restore the health of our ocean and waters through research and innovation, citizen engagement and blue investments.
Finally, the results of monitoring activities conducted in Pellestrina were also shared. Unfortunately, the beach monitored and then cleaned up was found to be highly polluted, with an impressive historical ever recorded amount of 2,655 objects in a 100-meter transect! In terms of weight, the international team collected 27.41 kg of waste, of which 7.1 kg was processed wood and the rest plastic.