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Authors: Alvisi, Francesca* 
Baldrighi, Elisa* 
Merlino, Silvia* 
Locritani, Marina* 
Panfili, Monica* 
Colella, Sabrina* 
Bronco, Simona* 
Cicogna, Francesca* 
Coiai, Serena* 
King, Emily* 
Title: Walking on the Sea Traces: Developing a platform to bring Ocean Literacy and Citizen Science at Home
Journal: Mediterranean Marine Science 
Series/Report no.: 2/23 (2022)
Issue Date: 31-Mar-2022
DOI: 10.12681/mms.26931
Keywords: Ocean Literacy
Citizen science
human impact
marine litter
Abstract: The process of the development of a citizen science platform on Ocean Literacy designed and implemented during the lock-down period of 2020 is described. As restrictions due to the COVID-19 health emergency did not allow researchers to organise public events and field data collection activities related to Ocean Literacy, it was decided to take advantage of this situation by building an online platform to bring Ocean Literacy issues directly into citizens’ homes. The massive use of digital tools by all civ-ic communities during this time has enabled both the implementation of this idea and rendering it effective. The pandemic control measures then provided a unique opportunity to focus citizen attention on the collection of household data and information and to highlight the more or less direct connections between citizens’ lifestyles and the eco-marine system. Short questionnaires were used to ascertain and highlight citizens’ household behaviours and daily attitudes during the lockdown towards water use, seafood consumption and plastic material use and disposal. Data and information were also proposed, collected and analyzed in terms of: general environmental awareness of the respondents, perception regarding their purchasing choices during this particular period, as well as any changes in lifestyles and habits during the lockdown with respect to previous periods. The collected data enabled the improvement of our knowledge on some aspects of people’s domestic habits as well as their perception vs. real knowledge about the proposed environmental issues. We also realized that it is increasingly crucial for scientists to directly and extensively involve people and schools in educational and outreach activities and events as a good practice of science-society interaction. But to achieve good results there is a need to develop appropriate communication tools and effective involvement strategies to promote their widespread participation in citizen science projects.
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