LIFE Project Cover Photo

Urgent conservation actions of *Posidonia beds of Northern Latium

Reference: LIFE09 NAT/IT/000176 | Acronym: POSEIDONE



Neptune Grass, or Mediterranean tapeweed (Posidonia oceanica) is endemic to the Mediterranean Sea. The priority seagrass species forms large underwater meadows that are an important part of the marine ecosystem. However, there have been declines in its population, especially in the western Mediterranean, due to mechanical damage from trawling and boats, coastal development and eutrophication.


The main project objective was to safeguard and to restore two Natura 2000 network sites of particular importance to the conservation of P. oceanica habitat in the Lazio region, "Sand banks between Chiarone and Fiora rivers” (1 761.9 ha) and "Sand banks of Punta Murelle" (1 111.99 ha).


The project aimed to restore P. oceanica meadows habitat damaged by illegal trawling fishing and to increase the awareness of the importance of this marine habitat type, a priority for conservation according to the EU Habitats Directive.

The project successfully carried out the main concrete conservation action i.e. placing 550 anti-trawling ‘tetrapods’ in the sea at strategic points in order to protect the P. oceanica meadows. An important part of this was the gaining of support/ consensus for protection from local stakeholders. A main lesson learnt was that a pilot study was needed before deciding exactly where to place tetrapods, so that the selected points could then be included in any agreement with stakeholders.

As well as the beneficiary and partners, the project involved the port authority and local fishing cooperatives. All parties were crucial in the gaining of the project’s key deliverable, the approval of management plans for the two SCIs, and the consequent protection of an area of 2 874 ha of P. oceanica.

There were also a number of successful dissemination/ networking results. These included:

  • Participation in some 20 dissemination events including workshops, conferences and fairs;
  • Production and distribution of dissemination material (project video: 1 000 copies; project leaflet: 12 000 copies);
  • Involvement of more than 1 500 students in project activities of environmental education; and
  • Inclusion of project topics into regional and inter-regional policies, thanks to the networking activated with at least 10 LIFE and other project groups.
  • The Lazio region coordinating beneficiary presented the LIFE project at technical meetings on coastal preservation with other municipalities along Lazio's coast (including Fiumicino, Ostia, Terracina and Minturno). The LIFE team also contributed to the drawing up of guidelines for evaluation of implications related to coast defence, as part of another LIFE project, COASTANCE. These guidelines were approved in 2013 by the Lazio region (DD n. A01160).

    Concerning dissemination at a national level, project actions also addressed the programme of inter-regional cooperation for the adoption of policies in response to erosion and other climate change effects along the coast (POR 2007-2013 - Pillar II). Finally, at an international level, the project’s actions (i.e. in placing the anti-trawling tetrapods in strategic sites to protect the P. oceanica meadows) are in line with EU fisheries’ policy, in particular the ‘zero tolerance’ campaign towards illegal fishing, launched in 2010, to prevent overfishing and to help to make EU fisheries truly sustainable.

    Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Conservation Plan (see "Read more" section).


    Reference: LIFE09 NAT/IT/000176
    Acronym: POSEIDONE
    Start Date: 01/12/2010
    End Date: 30/09/2014
    Total Budget: 1,339,500 €
    EU Contribution: 542,787 €
    Project Location: LAZIO


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Regione Lazio – Direzione Ambiente e Cooperazione tra I Popoli
    Legal Status: PUBLIC
    Address: Viale del Tintoretto, 432-, 00142, Roma, Italia
    Contact Person: Fulvio CERFOLLI
    Tel: +39 065 1689055

    LIFE Project Map



    • Marine
    • Plants


    • marine ecosystem
    • protected area
    • coastal area
    • restoration measure


    • Recommendation 2002/413 EC - "Implementation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Europe" (30.05.02)
    • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directive (21.05.1992)


    • 1120 - Posidonia beds (Posidonion oceanicae)


    • None or non applicable


    Type Code Name
    SCI IT6000001 Fondali tra le foci del Fiume Chiarone e Fiume Fiora (DEPRECATED)
    SCI IT6000002 Fondali antistanti Punta Morelle (DEPRECATED)


    Name Type
    Regione Lazio – Direzione Ambiente e Cooperazione tra I Popoli Coordinator
    Comune di Montalto di Castro (Viterbo), Italy Participant
    Università degli Studi della Tuscia–DECOS, Italy Participant