Environment, launch of the “Sea Sentinels” project
Sea sentinels is the project stemmed from an agreement between University of Bologna and Confcommercio-Imprese per l’Italia and aims to monitor and preserve marine biodiversity by involving citizens in order to increase and spread awareness of environmental problems.
The project was developed at the Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences of the University of Bologna and involves associate tourism companies, citizens and tourists from across Italy who will work together with biologists of the University of Bologna as a team. The objective is the collection of useful data for research so as to ensure the sustainability of the project on a large spatial and temporal scale and increase environmental education and awareness among citizens.
The researchers will ask the population to spot marine species that are easy to recognize and complete the questionnaires that will then be processed at the Department.
Meetings, presentations and sea excursions will also be organized, which will become part of the entertainment programmes of hotels, campsites, marinas, beach resorts and restaurants, thus combining entertainment with scientific research.
“The Sea Sentinels project has great relevance for our University in terms of Citizen Science. This initiative is part of the University’s strategies for research and the third mission”, explained the Rector, Francesco Ubertini. “Through the collaboration of Confcommercio, our researchers will be able to get in touch with a vast network of professionals in the tourism sector and involve a large number of citizens, who will thus play the role of sentinels of the health of our seas”.