“MARE NOSTRUM, THE GUARDIANS OF THE SEA” PROJECT #18
The Medtrix platform also supports awareness-raising initiatives, such as the Mare nostrum project!
What if the Mediterranean decided to transform four protected marine species into : Superheroes of the Sea, whose mission would be to alert humans to the threats facing marine biodiversity?
This was the idea of a teacher from Nice’s Collège Ségurane in 2022, who was selected to take part in the Monaco Oceanographic Museum’s “OcéanoPourTous” competition. 15 middle-school students volunteered to carry out this project and embarked on the adventure. With advice from their teachers and marine environment experts, the students studied Posidonia oceanica, Pinna nobilis, Epinephelus marginatus and Centrostephanus longispinus, and drew inspiration from them to imagine, draw and bring these heroes to life.
The result is an original illustrated short story entitled “Mare Nostrum, le réveil des gardiens”, in which the reader discovers the birth of these Guardians of the Sea: the smiling and friendly Posidonia, the proud and combative Grande Nacre, the curious and joking Big Grouper, and the withdrawn and protesting Diademed Sea Urchin.
The students also produced reports and video interviews on these species, and ran workshops on Mediterranean marine biodiversity for youngsters.
In 2023, this awareness-raising work was rewarded with the “Coup de cœur” prize from the Association des Amis du Musée Océanographique de Monaco, and the “Coup de cœur de l’engagement écolo” prize from the Médiatiks. competition.
To introduce the project to the general public, an Instagram account was set up, featuring various short videos, illustrations and images featuring these heroes and the group’s actions, and the first hundred or so hard copies of the “Mare Nostrum” book were printed for local distribution.
Various partnerships have been established to give visibility to this project, via the CDMM in Nice, as well as via the Medtrix platform. And in 2023-2024, the adventure continues: new students join the group and will continue writing “Mare Nostrum” alongside their teacher, with financial support from the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis via the “Antoine Risso, cap sur la transition écologique!” call for projects.
Our aim now is to make these heroes symbols of young people’s commitment to preserving marine biodiversity, and to inspire everyone, from the earliest age, to take an interest in these issues.
Ludovic Perrochia, enseignant de SVT au collège Catherine Ségurane, Nice