Save The Med make free educational resources available online for everyone during and beyond lockdown.
In the beginning of April, when we wrote Save The Med’s first Quarterly Newsletter of 2020, the world found itself in a unique situation of uncertainty and social distancing due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Yet at the same time, the solidarity, union and love shared in the most creative of ways has been connecting us all in unexpected ways, often more profoundly than we could have foreseen.
While all Save The Med’s field activities were cancelled due to State of Emergency, the team kept busy developing digital resources, live lessons and games inspired by the underwater world, to share with all who would like to learn more about our ocean and act for its protection during and beyond times of home confinement.
In this article we share some positive results from the first trimester of the year and invite you all to take part of the marine inspired educational resources that are now available online!
MARINE PROTECTED AREAS
Testing “Valentina” – a tool to help manage off shore MPAs
Over the last months, we have been conducting a pilot project to develop an electric monitoring tool that collects oceanographic data while assisting in the surveillance and management of offshore marine protected areas. We recently installed our OASIS II EMS buoy, or “Valentina” as we affectionately call her, in an underwater canyon near the Cabrera National Park. This experiment incorporates GPS, 2 SATLINK probes and 2 hydrophones to calibrate an innovative tool for monitoring the open sea ecosystem which can be useful for the management of large marine areas in which monitoring by boat constitutes a logistical and economic challenge. Stay tuned for updates!
The Toftevaag is ready for another year of expeditions! Our 2020 expedition plan was launched in January and can be found on our website for anyone who’s interested in joining us onboard!
Sa Dragonera Marine Reserve
Community is key to the protection of natural sites and the Natural Park of Sa Dragonera provides a clear example of this. Listen to the pioneers of the movement sharing their story in videos on our YouTube channel and get in touch with us to get involved in the local leadership project ‘Discover Your MPA Sa Dragonera’, which continues to engage community members from the municipality of Andratx and beyond in collaborative projects that highlight the value of the Park and marine reserve.
Maritime Terrestrial Natural Park of Es Trenc – Salobrar de Campos
Last year, Save The Med Foundation was selected by the Balearic Governments Conselleria de Medi Ambient i Territori as the entity responsible for the coordination of educational activities in the maritime-terrestrial Natural Park Es Trenc – Salobrar de Campos and has organised 7 activities to increase the general public’s awareness about protected natural areas, the ecosystems of the Natural Park and the importance of its conservation.
Coastal Awareness and Action Day!
In February we celebrated our first Coastal Awareness & Action event in Son Serra de Marina with over 80 participants who helped clean the beach, gathered citizen science data, signed up for campaigns and participated in educational workshops!
The Dos Manos Schools Programme available as a Digital Package!
While in confinement Save The Med’s education team developed a digital version of their popular Dos Manos Schools programme which is now made available to anyone who’d like to engage their students or children in the topic of plastic pollution during and after these times of home confinement, no matter where you are! The Dos Manos Digital Package is available free of charge on www.savethemed.org!
Save The Med Live Lessons with experts on YouTube
In March Save The Med launched their ‘Save The Med Live Lessons’ with a 30 minute session led by marine scientist and captain of the research vessel Toftevaag, Ricardo Sagarminaga, who told the viewers all about the turtles of the Mediterranean, why they are tagged with satellite tags during STM expeditions and how the scientists use the obtained data to better protect them and other marine species.
This was followed by a talk on microplastics by Jasmine Spavieri, coordinator of Save The Med expedition’s volunteer programme and a talk on sharks in the Med by marine scientist and member of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group Biel Morey. Other topics presented included Posidonia by marine biologist Sergio Ruiz Halpern, turtle rescue by guest presenter Debora Morrison from Palma Aquarium Rescue Center and more. You can find the talks on Save The Med Foundation’s YouTube channel!
Challenge swim to help save the Med!
Recently we published news about the swimmer and founder of Mallorca Open Swim, Boris Nowalski, who took on a challenge to help protect the Mediterranean Sea! He plans to swim across the 40km wide channel from Menorca to Mallorca and fundraise for Save The Med in order to help us continue our work! Given the challenging circumstances that we are all navigating through at this point in time, we all feel that postponing the project is the only right thing to do. A new date will be announced once the situation is more stable. In the meantime, we hope you are all well and that you use these moments to reconnect with what matters most in life.
“Let this be a time to reflect on how we humans interact with mother nature. Let this be a time of change and a movement forwards. Let this be a time to heal planet earth.” – Boris Nowalski
Save The Med Foundation
(Previously / Antes Asociación Ondine)