OP Science Projects is the red thread that gathers all our initiatives, partnerships, projects and consultancies related to marine conservation, research and outreach. We want to put our outdoor community and expertise at the service of the sea, collaborating with like-minded realities united by the common goal of protecting the marine environment.
Through our projects, we would like to put our nautical bases, water sport community and outdoor skills to use and service to marine conservation initiatives.
Consider our bases an open-air laboratory for research and outreach activities, and our outdoor community as an army of highly skilled people for the conservation of our marine environment.
We strongly believe that outreach, education and community involvement are key aspects of conserving our marine environment. This is why we are developing projects and partnerships dedicated to awareness raising activities among outdoor enthusiasts and more.
CRABS Cleanup Research and Action for Biodiversity and Safekeeping
The CRABS project is a marine litter, environmental outreach and citizen science initiative aiming to gather and train a community of marine outdoor enthusiasts in marine conservation actions around Portofino Marine Protected Area. The project is funded by The North Face for 2020-2021.
University Practical Course
Outdoor Portofino has been the location for many Biological Visual Census Practical courses carried out by University of Genoa. Niasca Bay provided a perfect open-sky classroom to learn about marine ecological monitoring techniques and carry our surveys via snorkeling and kayaks.
Through the citizen science projects we are involved in, we aim to involve marine outdoor enthusiast in monitoring, cleaning and restoring the marine environment.
MICRO PLASTIC HUNTERS PROJECT
In collaboration with CNR IAS we are developing and testing a protocol for sampling micro-plastic via kayaks, in order to monitor pollution in coastal areas, often overlooked by oceanographic surveys. We recently tested for the first time the mini-mantas in field as part of our ongoing CRABS project.
An ongoing pilot project in which, partnering with OENgineering and ETT Genoa, we are co-designing and testing an oceanographical data monitoring sensor that can be carried on water-sports devices.
As part of the RELIFE (LIFE15 NAT/IT/000771) project to reintroduce the endangered Patella ferruginea limpet in MPAs from Liguria, we have assisted in transplanting and monitoring the implanted specimens, and in conducting kayak and coasteering surveys to map the resident population of limpets in the area. Additionally, we carried out public engagement activities bringing tourists on guided kayak tours to visit the limpet populations and learn about their ecological importance.
We provided logistical support from our nautical base in Monterosso to the ROC POP Life (N° LIFE16 NAT/IT/000816) project, working to Promote biodiversity enhancement by Restoring Cystoseira POPulations.
We are partnering with Sea Sentinels, a project which aims to involve kayakers in assisting Coast Guards in monitoring the Italian coastline.
City Nature Challenge
In 2021, the international bioblitz City Nature Challenge will arrive in Italy also in a new marine life format, inviting cities to compete for the highest number of citizen science observations of the natural world. We will be participating in the challenge as a local node of Santa Margherita Ligure, inviting local and tourists to upload biological observations above and below the sea, on our own iNaturalist project
Thanks to our strategic marine locations, outdoor skills, local and marine ecological knowledge, we have been acting as consultants for a series of local and national entities, to monitor the coastline or lend our expertise.
Partnering with CIMA Research Foundation, we realised a series of infographics for tourists to illustrate marine itineraries, best practices and information on local marine endemic species to be found around Portofino MPA.
We have been acting as contractors for Portofino MPA to run a series of nautical surveys in the area and provide GPS points for mooring, buoys and marine works.
Reading marine forecast is essential to watersports, and our geographical position is strategical for oceanographic monitoring. This is why we are partnering with platforms like EMODnet and Sinbad Liguria to run the Portofino MEDA buoy and oceanographic data available for outdoor activity planning.