The SOPHIE Citizen Science Program will bring together people involved in the tourism industry to help create awareness of Oceans and Human Health issues.
The project will develop new materials to enhance both ocean literacy and citizen science approaches, with a focus on the relationships between seas, oceans, health and wellbeing.
Lead by Travelecoology and SUBMON, the Citizen Science Programme will encourage tourism operators and their clients to help build knowledge on Oceans and Human Health, while also enhancing visitor experiences.
Designed as a pilot, the project will identify the strengths, weaknesses, and factors critical for success when launching such a network across Europe.
It will also identify and draw attention to existing tourism resources that can contribute to oceans and human health awareness amongst tourists, visitors and local communities in European coastal destinations. These resources will be integrated into the WILDSEA Europe network.
A series of videos aiming to communicate ‘7 reasons why we should love the ocean’ has also been commissioned, you can view those here.
So far, two key citizen science projects have been identified:
- “Mapping Ostreopsis”, which explores how coastal tourism operators might provide early warning for issues such as harmful algal blooms; and
- “Blue Effect”, an initiative aiming to understand how marine ecotourism can impact the wellbeing of participants, and their attitude towards environmental challenges.
Nearly 100 marine tourism providers are currently taking part across Europe, with groups in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and the UK enrolling their customers and professional teams in these ongoing citizen science initiatives.
By analysing current marine, ecosystem and health management plans, this project will identify how different policies can be brought together.
This review examined marine and public health data portals for understanding interactions between the marine environment and human health.
This pan-European survey will improve our understanding of the European public’s beliefs about how marine issues affect human health and wellbeing.