SUBMON takes part in OCEAN CITIZEN’s first annual meeting for marine regeneration
On December 13th, SUBMON’s team embarked on a journey to Lecce, Italy, to attend OCEAN CITIZEN‘s first annual management meeting. This three-day meeting served as the first face-to-face encounter with all project partners, allowing us to finally put faces to the names we’ve been working closely with throughout the year.
The event, hosted at the University of Salento, was a big step for OCEAN CITIZEN, setting the stage for more teamwork, growth, and positive changes in marine conservation. This first gathering has perfectly captured the value of these in-person encounters, which give the chance for many to meet face-to-face for the first time and are crucial for progress, recognising synergies, deepening understanding of processes and methodologies employed by different partners, and optimising the use of both human and financial resources.
During the gathering, representatives from each Work Package shared insights into the project details, including logistics, deliverables, and milestones. Partners actively contributed to the overall understanding of the project’s progress, identifying and addressing urgent needs to meet project deadlines.
SUBMON presented the work accomplished within Work Package 6, a role we proudly co-lead within this Horizon Europe project. Our primary responsibility within the project is to develop communication strategies and citizen engagement actions aimed at raising awareness, boosting community engagement, and increasing Ocean Literacy.
The collaborative atmosphere during the University of Salento meeting served as a dynamic platform for partners to exchange ideas and experiences and to reflect on the progress and developments achieved thus far. It helped us move closer to the project’s overarching goal: to develop a replicable marine restoration protocol that combines habitat, carbon immobilisation, and biodiversity regeneration with social engagement and economic benefits for local communities.
Project coordinator Sergio Rossi expressed his satisfaction, stating, “I am pleased to see how all the pieces are coming together to build this amazing OCEAN CITIZEN challenge. This project’s first year has been possible thanks to great collaboration, intense communication, network support, and innovation. We cannot deny that there are difficulties when dealing with complex issues, but that is the nature of science. Nothing is easy in this field, but we know that in the end, we will be able to start the foundations of something new regarding ocean restoration.”
Looking ahead, we are making significant progress in communication and storytelling efforts, particularly regarding ecological succession. We are developing innovative materials to convey the project’s narrative better, promising a unique and exciting story that we’ll share with you soon. We encourage you to stay tuned by visiting our website oceancitizen.eu, which serves as the central hub for all project-related information, updates, and resources.