Maritime Forum

Maritime Forum Themes


Project: Study the Marine Litter dispersion: Citizen Science Application case (ML-CSA)

School information

School name
School year:
City & Country
:  LA SPEZIA, Italy
Sea basin:
  • Mediterranean Sea
  • Coastal: <20 km from the sea

Project information

Project name in native language
Studio della dispersione del Marine Litter attraverso la citizens science
Duration of the project
January, 2022 - June, 2023
Level of education:
  • Secondary school
Project description:
The Ocean’s role, considered as the engine of all life on this planet, is threatened by marine pollution. Pollution is dumped, pumped, spilled, leaked into the ocean and even washed out with our laundry. Healthy Oceanic ecosystems are those exhibiting normal forms and functions, Clean Oceans are oceans free from any types of pollution. The aim of the project is to contribute to the Marine Strategy Framework Directive’s (2008/56/EC, Galgani et al.,2010, 2013, 2014) request to increase monitoring studies and people's awareness about the Marine Litter (ML) problem. In detail, the purpose is to investigate the effects of marine currents, winds and river discharge on ML dispersion in the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Sea. This objective will be pursued directly involving students in the Ocean Literacy activity, by using citizen science, as means to grow and spread knowledge and awareness. Marine Scientists from the national research marine institutes, with offices in the local territory, will help the students achieve comprehension on the hazards of plastic pollution on the marine ecosystem, involving them in the construction of a drifter made up of a selected marine litter and equipped with low cost electronic devices. In addition they will follow it by tracking its journey on the sea, after its launching and eventually catching it up in case of stranding. This catching activity may involve the whole Mediterranean citizens. This hands-on activity will challenge the students as a part of a big research project, by sharing and developing different skills, such as teamwork attitudes The output involves many subjects such as: Chemistry, Computer Technology, Electronics, Physics, Maths, English, Biology, History, fitting perfectly as a STEM approach project. The results of the projects and the data collected will be presented in a public event, along with their publication on the school website.
Project contact:
  • Healthy Ocean

Project updates

The project has been started since the beginning of February. Two lessons have been shared by the marine Scientists involved from the Marine Research Institutes, INGV and CNR-Ismar, Prof. M. Paterni, S. Merlino, M. Locritani.  After that, students have been split into two groups, managing two different topics: setting the electronic data device (information technology students)on one side and assemble the two propotipes, the bottle and the tablet, on the other side (chemistry students). Chemistry students have been studying the best solution, concerning materials, resins, catalist, polimers to be used to improve the bottle-prototipe. Information tech-students have been programming the electronic cards that will be put inside the bottle, responsible of the launching signals of the drifters. In less than a month the drifters should be ready. We are planning to assemble 4 bottles and 6 tablets to launch. The 11th of April students will be involved in the FESTA DEL MARE during which they will be presenting in public the project to the citizens. 

The launch is planned for May 17th at Parco San Rossore, during which pupils will let their creations floating on the sea and start following them on internet, day by day, getting ready to catch them in case of stranding. Stay tuned!!! 

The launch on May 17th wasn't very successfull, since the most of the drifters beached; so, according to the weather predictions of the colleagues of INGV Bologna, we decided to launch again on September 2022, at the end of the summer, hoping for better conditions. In the mean time a team composed of two teachers and three students attended meeting of the ERASMUS + Blues_Med Project in Crete on May 5-9 and the EMD in Ravenna.