Since 2007 OLPA has developed in close collaboration with the Regional Authority the Anthropic Disorder monitoring the environmental impact of illegal trawling, the damage of the Posidonia meadows due to boats anchorages and the study of sea waste dumping in order to preserve coastal areas and seabeds.
For this purpose, in 2008 the so called “bio-balls” were tested (balls made of fully biodegradable material) and released in areas where often waste is discharged as river mouths. The balls where used to keep track of the waste dumped at sea. Moreover, from the experience gained in the project “PuliLiguria” (creation of a website where people would report the presence of litter along Ligurian streams) a second project took place: Life + Project SMILE (Strategies for MarIne Litter and Environmental prevention of sea pollution in coastal areas, life-smile.eu) with the Ligurian Regional Authority as leader.
Within this project OLPA has developed a mobile-App platform on marine litter for waste reporting along the basin of the Maremola stream (pilot location: Pietra Ligure). OLPA carried out:
I. the monitoring of marine litter on beaches and shallow following criteria and methodologies suggested by EC Marine Strategy Directive;
II. the conception and design of a “litter trap system” consisting of recycle discarded fishing nets to be placed at the end of Maremola river mouth to analyze the waste coming from land, through networks of streams and rivers.
Since 1998 OLPA promotes education and public awareness through the development of research projects related to Marine Pollution:
- “Mare Pulito” Project (Clean Sea Project) (1998-2002): in agreement with the Liguria Region a summer road show was set up to achieve environmental awareness on floating marine litter and Marine Debris Removal in tourists and yachters on Ligurian coasts.
- “Mare Pulito Integrato” Project ( Integrated Clean Sea) (2003-2011): Following the publication by OLPA of the “Guidelines on seabed garbage cleaning “ the project has been enriched with active involvement of Ligurian trawlers fishermen, small-scale fisheries and diving centers operating in shallow waters (less than 50 metres depth) and deep waters. In 2010-2011 this activity has also been annexed in the Interreg Project “Gionha” (gionha.eu).