A Helping Hand for the Tyrrhenian Sea

The sea’s health is our well being
By giving the Tyrrhenian Sea a hand, we help free it from the grasp of trash.

The results

  • Students and teachers involved
  • Classes involved
  • m2 of coasts cleaned
  • Kg of Marine litter collected
Liguria, Toscana, Lazio
Liguria, Toscana, Lazio

In collaboration with: CIRSPE (Centro Italiano Ricerche e Studi sulla Pesca)

THE CHALLENGE: pollution and plastic waste endanger the Mediterranean Sea

The litter problem constitutes a major threat to the health of the sea and its people.
The data emerging from the WWF report, “Stop the flood of plastic” published in 2019, shows that while the Mediterranean Sea holds only 1% of the world’s waters, it contains 7% of all marine microplastics, which is estimated to be about 247 billion particles.
The Mediterranean is an almost-entirely enclosed sea that, due to the currents, returns to its coastlines 80% of the 570,000 tons of plastic that every year end up in its waters.
And the problem is not just what washes up on the beaches. Litter made with non-biodegradable plastic breaks down into microplastics, which are then ingested by almost 700 species of fish through which they enter the food chain.
Not to mention the economic impact of marine pollution on the tourist industry, fisheries and the quality of life of the local inhabitants.
Considering most of this litter results from human activity on land and at sea, the challenge at hand is to effect behavioural changes on the part of individuals and communities, by inspiring a transition to increasingly sustainable alternatives.

THE GOAL: to raise awareness about protecting the sea and conservation

Costa Crociere Foundation created the project “A Helping Hand for the Tyrrhenian” in partnership with CIRSPE, the Italian Centre for Research and Studies on Fishing.
The aim is to raise the local communities’ awareness on issues of marine debris and to promote the conservation the Tyrrhenian Sea’s coastline with direct involvement in environmental outreach programmes, training activities in schools and actual coastal clean-up events.

OUR PROJECT: to involve schools and communities in environmental awareness programmes and beach clean-up events

At the heart of a project involving countless students and bringing together stakeholders from the social and economic milieus of the coastal regions, fisheries and local associations, was marine conservation in eight towns along the Italian coast of Liguria, Tuscany and Lazio.
The local campaign was put into action with the project’s partner CIRSPE and focussed on a series of training sessions targeted at students, families and fisheries, to implement concrete strategies to reduce the impacts of marine debris that also resulted in beach clean-up events.
Training activities and seminars addressed various issues relative to the effects of pollution in the marine environment and promoted innovative projects to remove plastics from the sea, monitoring and protecting biodiversity.
To inspire lasting change in the various stakeholders, a campaign about ethical practices developed on multiple fronts; reaching out to coastal companies and fisheries about waste management and adopting biodegradables and bioplastics, and getting local institutions on board about sustainable tourism. Through these goals, the campaign tied in with two other projects sponsored by the Foundation, The Sea in 3D and En Route to a Bluer Sea, both of which aim to inspire a culture of environmental awareness and to promote beach clean-ups and removing plastic waste.
Two years of outreach have reaped 45 educational events, over 200 hours of training, and the cleaning up of more than 36,000 square metres of coastline.
This tangible and inclusive campaign has translated into the collection of almost 3000 kilos of marine debris.
Because our increasingly fragile sea needs everyone’s helping hand.

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