CATaMARà successfully completes tools and resources to disseminate the Natura 2000 Marine Network of Catalonia
Catalonia is home to a valuable network of protected marine areas that support unique marine life and play a crucial role in safeguarding our sea and shoreline. However, it is essential to increase awareness about the existence of these protected spaces and the surrounding sea life, particularly in the marine environment. As a society, our lack of education and understanding about the marine environment often leads to us being unaware of the countless benefits that marine ecosystems offer and their critical function in preserving the balance and safeguarding other vital habitats, as well as our general welfare.
The CATaMARà project, which is supported by the Generalitat de Catalunya, is committed to handling this challenge by producing resources and tools that showcase the Natura 2000 marine network in Catalonia in a captivating way. The project aims to create engaging tools and encourage active participation while fostering a deep connection to the area.
The available digital resources include a brief video explaining the Natura 2000 marine network, its ecosystem services, and the protected areas managed by the Generalitat de Catalunya. In addition, we have implemented a Google Maps layer to help locate these specific areas.
Furthermore, 360º immersive videos have been produced to enhance the user experience. This format lets people have a firsthand experience of exploring the protected areas of the Marine Natura 2000 Network of Catalonia. It is undoubtedly a creative and exciting way of discovering the hidden gems of these seabeds.
On the other hand, physical resources have been developed to assist people in identifying the protected species that are part of the Marine Natura 2000 Network. A compact guide for identifying species has been created to help recognize select protected organisms and habitats within this network. The guide was designed in collaboration with Toni Llobet and Marta Montenegro and can be collected from the SUBMON office by anyone curious. It will also be distributed to project participants.
In addition, the CATaMARà project has provided the opportunity to develop a citizen science activity in the marine protected area of l’Albera, in Llançà. We received support and collaboration from local organizations Sommar and EmpordaiNat to co-create a citizen science project in the area. Thanks to this collaboration, we came up with research questions and initiatives that will help increase awareness of the natural environment in this marine protected area. The citizen science project showcased the positive impact of community involvement in generating knowledge and preserving protected areas. We sincerely thank Sommar, EmpordaiNat, and all the participants for their dedication and enthusiasm towards this collaborative effort.
In conclusion, this first CATaMARà route has effectively raised awareness and understanding of our marine protected areas, which is an essential step first step in properly respecting and safeguarding them. We are confident that this project will continue to inspire individuals to explore the marine Natura 2000 Network in Catalonia, appreciate the importance of preserving it, and adopt sustainable habits that protect the diversity of our seas and shores, with active involvement and participation from citizens.