The Italian leg of the SailGP 'flying' catamaran regattas took place over the weekend of 22 - 24 September in Taranto, a city that is heading towards a Blue Economy for its future. During the SailGP week, there were many activities in which One Ocean Foundation was involved together with its partner ROCKWOOL, to spread awareness on sustainability and protection of the sea.
Starting from September 19th, the Foundation activated a series of daily workshops at the Molo San Cataldo, in line with the educational program called SailGP Inspire: two of our biologists introduced over 400 children between the ages of 9 and 15 to topics related to ocean sustainability and marine biology. After an introductory lesson on the importance of the ocean with a focus on the biodiversity that characterizes the Mar Piccolo and Mar Grande areas of Taranto, the students had the opportunity to observe plankton under the microscope and crystals of sand and microplastics under the stereoscope.
In collaboration with SailGP Inspire and the Taranto Air Force, One Ocean Foundation led a beach cleaning activity to raise awareness among young local kids to have a concrete impact on the environment.About one hundred people took part in the beach clean up including several SailGP athletes and Roberto D'Amico, professional surfer and one of the Foundation's ambassadors always at the forefront of protecting the sea and coasts.
During the week of the event one of the main waterfront streets of Taranto was embellished with the Marine Animal Forest photographic exhibition displaying underwater pictures taken by Emilio Mancuso, Massimo Bicciato and Pietro Formis in different areas around the world.
To leave a concrete contribution to the city One Ocean Foundation, in collaboration with ROCKWOOL, SailGP and the Municipality of Taranto, created a mural to celebrate the natural heritage and marine biodiversity that characterize the Mar Piccolo and the Mar Grande of Taranto. The artwork was made by Stefania Marchetto.
The most important event, the Impact Summit, took place on Friday 22 September at the City Hall in the presence of the mayor of Taranto, Rinaldo Melucci, the president of One Ocean Foundation, Riccardo Bonadeo and the CEO of ROCKWOOL Italia , Federico Castelli.
The event continued with a round table on "How climate change affects coastal cities" moderated by Maristella Massari, journalist of La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno.
The main speakers of the event were Mirella Vitale, Senior Vice President - ROCKWOOL, Jan Pachner, General Secretary - One Ocean Foundation and Francesca Viggiano, Councilor with responsibility for Environment, Quality of Life and Legal Affairs - Municipality of Taranto.
Marco Dadamo, biologist and director of the “Palude La Vela” Reserve, illustrated the project for the protection of seahorses, strongly supported by ROCKWOOL and One Ocean Foundation, where a ROCKWOOL module developed by the University of Bari, in order to offer a protective habitat and encourage the repopulation of the endemic seahorse species present in the Taranto sea. The project envisages that monitoring and subsequent scientific publications will be carried out over time.
As a conclusion of the Impact Summit, Councilor Francesca Viggiano signed the Charta Smeralda, the ethical code of the One Ocean Foundation, in name of the city of Taranto as a declaration of commitment to protect its sea and coastal area.