Marine forests represent important ecosystem services, providing direct and indirect contributions to human wellbeing. Key benefits include regulation of water purification, carbon sequestration, protection against extreme events, provision of food resources as well as acting as cultural services. Despite such advantages, these ecosystems are depleting, and urgent action is needed.
BlueForests aims to foster blue growth by bringing together ecologic and economic dynamics to rebuild Portuguese marine forests and to value their ecosystem services. This will be achieved by (1) testing novel technologies to restore Portuguese marine forests in suitable regions where these have disappeared; (2) estimating the contribution of Portuguese marine forests for carbon sequestration; (3) quantifying the ecosystem services and natural capital provided by Portuguese marine forests; and (4) maximising the outreach of scientific achievements through the scientific community, policymakers, and the general public. The results will be an asset for development of the blue economy, climate change mitigation and add to the existing information regarding sustainable management of these ecosystem services.
WavEC’s expertise in environmental monitoring and monitoring of biofouling effects of ocean renewable energy will play a key role in leading the development of the environmental monitoring program and environmental impact assessments for this project. Furthermore, WavEC has been surveying and assessing the potential effects that marine fauna growth on marine renewable energy prototypes can have on the ecosystem balance in the surrounding area. Hence, WavEC will be responsible for creating new opportunities for sea ecosystems through seaforestation using artificial structures. Lastly, WavEC will draw on its experience in hydrodynamic numerical modelling and economy to be involved in estimating blue carbon sequestration and the economic value of the ecosystem services.
Funding: EEA Grants
Project Coordinator at WavEC: Inês Machado
Total Funding (Requested contribution): € 992,317.00
WavEC Funding: € 145,510.00
Duration: November 2021 – April 2024
Coordinator: CCMAR - Centro de Ciências do Mar do Algarve
Partners: MARE – IPL, Nova SBE, CoLab + ATLANTIC, SINTEF, Casulo, CIIMAR, WavEC Offshore Renewables.