Costa Cruises supports Italy's largest coastal project

Nov 02, 2018

With over 50 thousand useful reports gathered along the Italian coastline and the involvement of over 600 teachers and 5,700 students of 156 Secondary schools, Costa Crociere Foundation is supporting one of the largest citizen science project. The initiative promoted by the Costa Crociere Foundation brings the awareness to the young people to the beauty and fragility of our coasts threatened by pollution, especially plastic waste, which accounts for about 68% of beach waste registered by the "guardians".

Each school has "adopted" a stretch of the Italian coast, for a total of 2,610 km, equal to one-third of the extension of the natural coasts of the peninsula. The main indicator among the reports collected by the "guardians" along the coasts was that of marine pollution. In particular, a critical figure emerged on plastic waste, which makes up 68.1% of all beached waste detected, followed by paper (15.1%), fishing equipment (6.5%), glass and ceramics ( 6.2%), metal and aluminum (4.1%). The most reported objects are made of plastic material (bottles and containers of liquids, bags, plastic or polystyrene boxes, food containers), as well as cigarette butts and filters.

The schools that took part in the initiative, on a voluntary basis and totally free of charge, had access to a dedicated online platform, in which educational content and detailed information are collected. Three main areas of teaching units: Mediterranean marine environment and biodiversity; climate change and alien species; environmental pollution and marine litter. For the students, the participation in Guardiani Della Costa could be a project of alternating school-work and 108 schools have signed the appropriate convention. In fact, at the online training course and in the classroom, field activities were alternated between January and May 2018.

“I believe that the Guardiani Della Costa project will make an important contribution to monitoring the health of our coasts over time, because it can count on a very large and widespread network of observers throughout the country” said Davide Triacca, Costa's general secretary Cruises Foundation - Besides the scientific value, the other great objective is to raise awareness among students and citizens about the fragile beauty of the naturalistic heritage of the Italian coasts and to create awareness of the consequences deriving from the increase of waste. For this reason, the second edition of the Guardians of the Coast will focus in particular on pollution caused by plastic materials. It would be nice to be able to put the initiatives on this theme promoted by the main Italian organizations to the system ".

The reports show the impact and engagement of humans in the oceans in many ways:

  • - pollution of various kinds, 
  • - development of coasts, 
  • - deterioration of the seabed and beaches, 
  • - depletion of fish stocks. 

One of the most important and obvious forms of pollution is waste.

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