CleanSea

FP7 CleanSea: Towards a Clean, Litter-Free European Marine Environment through Scientific Evidence, Innovative Tools and Good Governance; 2013-2016

Cleansea

Marine litter is widely recognized as a threat to Europe’s marine ecosystems. It is a major societal challenge because it impacts the vast natural marine capital that supports economies, societies and individual well being. Political and public awareness about marine litter has been increasing over the last few years. Marine litter is explicitly identified as a descriptor for determining Good Environmental Status (GES) under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). Europe aims to achieve GES by 2020 and CleanSea – the first ever framework program research project dedicated to the marine litter issue – will be providing key scientific knowledge and tools for marine litter action plans.

Environment and Health coordinates the interdisciplinary CleanSea Project in which natural and social science researchers collaborate with researchers from all major marine regions of Europe.

Main project objectives:

  • provide a comprehensive characterization and analysis of the marine litter problem (biological, chemical, social, economic, legislative and policy-oriented) in the EU’s four marine regions,
  • propose innovative monitoring tools and standard protocols to facilitate monitoring marine litter in a harmonized way, and
  • present management measures and policy options to meet MSFD and other international objectives regarding marine litter.

The CleanSea Stakeholder Platform and elements of the Dissemination and Media Plan, such as a documentary film production, are designed to maximize the project’s impact, transparency and relevance in addressing the marine litter issue. The unique combination of disciplines integrated within the project will be able to provide knowledgeable input into a European roadmap for marine litter reduction. Results will be made available to Member States in order to be applied in their MSFD implementation planning and goals.

Project outcomes will benefit the MSFD, but there are also important linkages with the Thematic Strategy on the Prevention and Recycling of Waste, the Waste Framework Directive, the Common Fisheries Policy, the Water Framework Directive and the EU-funded Horizon 2020 Capacity Building/Mediterranean Environment Programme. Management measures and strategies highlighted in CleanSea may also contribute to the Europe 2020 Strategy, and especially the "Resources Efficiency" Flagship initiative. Measures and policies that promote upstream sustainable production and use of plastics or recycling of waste that will be highlighted in the Road map can also contribute to the EU’s policies for a Resource Efficient Europe.

With a Consortium diverse in expertise and experience, CleanSea aims to break down interdisciplinary barriers by synthesizing data and knowledge generated across its 5 RTD work packages. Advanced techniques in the fields of (eco)toxicology, analytical chemistry, satellite imaging, oceanographic modeling and materials biodegradation testing will be used to assess the distribution, fate and impacts of marine litter. The participatory approach, policy analysis, ecosystem services mapping and economic policy instruments evaluation will be applied to identify financial, social and governance barriers to GES. The project examines and highlights best practices by both state and non-state actors and will recommend effective policy options and management measures for achieving clean seas.

Coordinator: Dr. Heather Leslie heather.leslie@vu.nl

Researchers directly involved in the CleanSea Project:

  • Dr. Heather Leslie (Environment and Health Dept)
  • Prof. Dr. Jacob de Boer (Environment and Health Dept)
  • Dr. Nicolien van der Grijp (Environmental Policy Analysis Dept at IVM)
  • Prof. Dr. Roy Brouwer (Environmental Economics Dept at IVM)
  • Dr. Agni Kalfagianni (Environmental Policy Analysis Dept at IVM)
  • Frans Oosterhuis (Environmental Economics Dept at IVM)
  • Jana Weiss (Environment and Health Dept)

Start date: 1 January 2013

Project duration: 36 months

More information: www.cleansea-project.eu

Watch the CleanSea documentary here (20 min): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ju1dvP4kcgw or trailer (2 min): https://vimeo.com/144372368

The CleanSea Project has been highlighted on the Horizon 2020 website: http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/news/cleaning-marine-litter-pollutes-our-oceans