Citizen Science initiative World Oceans Day

Citizen Science initiative World Oceans Day

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WALKING ON THE SEA TRACES is now an international initiative!

“Walking on the sea traces” is a new Citizen Science project, which was born from an idea of Francesca Alvisi and Silvia Merlino, research scientists at the Institute of Marine Sciences (CNR-ISMAR), in collaboration with other Italian National Research Council (CNR) institutes, such as CNR-IRBIM of Ancona, CNR-ICCOM unit of Pisa, CNR-IPCF unit of Pisa and the Communication and Public Relations Unit of Rome and Genoa, and with the National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology (INGV).

The aim is to promote a better knowledge of marine issues (Ocean Literacy) among citizens, teachers and students by offering “online” citizen science activities that people can do at home without going to the field “physically”. In recent months, restriction measures adopted to limit and contrast the spread of COVID-19 disease did not allow scientists to organize public events and outdoor activities on the occasion of World Oceans Day (WOD). Therefore, we have thought to exploit previous experiences and results of scientific dissemination projects, which have been established and consolidated during past or ongoing actions, and to enclose all these experiences in a single frame to promote their diffusion and participation. Among the ongoing projects there are:

– “Camminando sulle tracce del mare…..” (, that is a collaboration between CNR- ISMAR and Trekking Italia Association, which offers guided walking tours to discover the sea traces even where apparently they seem absent, illustration of the 7 fundamental principles of Ocean Literacy as well as of the marine thematic areas of ISMAR;

– “SeaCleaner” (, that is a collaboration between CNR-ISMAR, INGV, CNR-ICCOM, CNR-IPFC, which combines research, participatory science and education to raise awareness among citizens and students on the problem of increasing pollution from anthropogenic waste, in particular plastic waste, especially in the marine environment;

– “WaterWeWaste” (, that is a collaboration between CNR-ISMAR and a high school of Bologna, aimed at deepening the knowledge of young people on the water cycle, the importance of the use and consumption of water resources, their relationship with the anthropogenic impact and climate;

– “Tipicità in Blu Festival” (, that is a collaboration between CNR-IRBIM and the Municipality of Ancona, Chamber of Commerce, local administrations and fishermen’s associations of Ancona, where the issue of fish resources is investigated from different points of view.

After the first step addressed only to Italian citizens, the 8th of June (Word Ocean Day) this initiative has been launched abroad in Portugal, Spain and China. Other countries will join such as Greece, France, Australia, USA and Argentina. In fact, the surveys, translated at the moment in English, Portuguese and Spanish, and soon also in Chinese, Greek and French, are aimed to collect data on some aspects of the daily life during the lockdown period of citizens of countries different from Italy. The asked questions concern consumption of water and fresh seafood, and the use and disposal of plastic items. The aim is to collect data about the citizen environmental awareness, to know how and if this particular health emergency has changed their lifestyle and if it influenced their purchasing decisions and habits. All the data collected from different countries will be compared to the Italian answers to understand how this particular period has influenced the worldwide citizen life.

You can find “Walking on the sea traces” at the following link:


The Project has been realized thanks to:

Categories: Programs