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Save The Med is a Balearic based grassroots organisation that works for Mediterranean marine regeneration. Together with a passionate team of professional volunteers the Save The Med team seeks to promote the environmental and financial benefits that healthy marine eco-systems provide for local communities. With a firm belief that the only way to approach the root cause of any human created problem and reach lasting results, is to involve those same humans into the solution of it, Save The Med brings together science, community and marine regeneration by collaborating with individuals, schools, businesses, NGOs and governmental institutions to develop and implement science-based marine conservation, community initiatives and education programmes.


Who is Mari Gutic?

I’m a global citizen with a strong connection to nature and an innate addiction to the ocean. I took my first breath underwater when scuba diving in Croatia in 2008 & fell head over heels in love with the magic of the blue. I combined my university studies in Sweden and Netherlands with a Divemaster job in Croatia and with involvement in various social projects around the world.

I hold a Master’s in Clinical Psychology and had specialised in working with children and youth. After sailing my way to Mallorca and volunteering with the NGO I eventually moved to the island in 2017 to work part time for the organisation, helping out with all aspects of the running of the NGO, with my main focus being office management and coordination of the Dos Manos Schools Programme and its’ Add ons such as the Changemakers At Sea Competition and more.

What is the Dos Manos programme about?

Our Schools Programme is a free-of-charge three-day programme which explores marine science, the impact of plastic pollution, the connectivity between human behaviour and the marine environment and our responsibility for it. It is a hands on programme which includes a local excursion to conduct a beach clean-up and scientific survey, analysis of results and discussion of possible solutions to local problems. To date, over 4300 students from over 60 schools have participated in this highly popular programme and we need to reach many more. The programme raises awareness and promotes reflection on how we can reduce our single use plastic consumption and re-use plastic to limit its demand in our everyday life, as well as how we can prevent plastics from ending up in the natural environment. It empowers students to develop innovative solutions to plastic pollution problems.

By connecting students that present feasible ideas on solutions to plastic pollution with key agents such as universities, companies and sponsors, we aim to help them to develop their ideas into reality.

School kids on the Toftevaag on the occcasion of the Ocean Day in Portals Vells, 08 June 2018, during the 2018 expedition in the Balearics.

Broadly speaking, what other projects do you have ongoing?

Right now we have three focus areas:

1.Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Working with government and stakeholders to create a science-based Network of Marine Protected Areas and optimise surveillance methods to ensure efficient management of existing MPA’s.  MPA projects include: Science-based network of Marine Protected Areas – Level: governmental bodies and policy makers. Marine research project Med Top –  Includes tagging of ‘Animal Oceanographers’ for data collection and development of surveillance and management tools for off shore MPA’s. – Level: governmental bodies and policy makers. Discovery Your MPA – Level: involving local communities in the protection of their MPA

2.Prevention and reduction of Plastic Pollution. Creating a community-driven movement for positive change to significantly reduce locally produced plastic pollution at its source by developing and implementing preventive projects together with local communities; individuals, households, schools, companies and policy makers. Plastic Reduction projects include: Citizen Science Beach Clean-ups – Level: individual, households, Dos Manos Schools Programme – Level: students and the school community, Plastic Free Balearics – Level: small, medium and large companies and policy makers from all sectors, Awareness events and campaigns – Level: All of the above.

3.Multimedia and Outreach: Combining cutting edge marine science with high tech multimedia tools to develop educational resources and open  source materials that help bridge the gap between science and community and empower the general public to become active change makers for the regeneration of the Mediterranean Sea.

QUICK TEST:

Something to read: Whale Song.

A marine species: The orca.

A reference organisation or person: My mum

A beach: I would rather go diving under the water than lie on the beach.

A phrase that defines you: A sentence that had come to guide me in life is the quote from Albert Camus: “Live life to the point of tears.”

Optimistic, realistic or pessimistic? It’s all relative!

www.savethemed.org

 


We talked to Mari Gutic, education ans outreach of Save The Med