Since its foundation in 2012, Asociación Ondine has grown steadily but in the last few years the pace of expansion has ramped up, reflecting a pressing global need to urgently and actively protect, restore and regenerate nature and wildlife.
To respond to this increased demand and to the organisation's growth, the NGO has announced a change in status and name. As of today, it is the Save The Med Foundation! This new name reflects the foundation's evolution thus far and the scope of its scientific work, outreach programmes, and future aspirations.
Working for Marine Regeneration
In a time where the world is facing some of the biggest challenges known to humankind, Save the Med Foundation believes that dreaming big and aiming high is key to be able to overcome them. It is no longer enough to speak about marine conservation and work to preserve decayed marine ecosystems in their current state. It's essential to do everything in our power to restore and regenerate these ecosystems and allow them to thrive as they once used to.
"The Sea has an amazing ability to recover if we give it the chance" - Brad Robertson, co-founder.
With a big name come big responsibilities
Needless to say, the new name, Save The Med, sets the bar high and will motivate the team to work even harder, to achieve even more by expanding the local work in the Balearics and beyond, through collaborations with grassroots organisations in other areas around the Mediterranean.
Save the Med Foundation says that "While the Ondine spirit and the beloved Ondine Shark will remain in our hearts, it's with excitement that we take on the challenges that lie ahead of us. We welcome you all to join us on the next part of our journey and the rising of the Save The Med Generation; a generation made up of individuals, organisations, students, teachers, families, company owners, employees, creators, influencers, scientists, volunteers, ocean lovers... defined not by their birth year, but by their passion for the Mediterranean Sea and their willingness to change their lifestyles to help regenerate it."
Get stuck in
Join Save The Med for their first Beach Clean to celebrate Earth Day this Monday 22nd of April at Es Trenc! Meet 11:00 at the beach bar Esperanza, Ses Covetes. Bring reusable gloves and bags.
Other volunteering opportunities with Save the Med and ideas for taking action can be found here.
So far this year...
Baleares Sense Plàstic
Together with 45 participating companies from different sectors, Save the Med's Baleares Sense Plàstic coordinators Tupa and Leti have successfully finalised the phase of the BSP pilot programme, which helps companies and other organisations to reduce their single-use plastic consumption without compromising the quality of their services. This programme echoes the global Clear Ocean Pact campaign which is targeting plastic consumption on superyachts. Although concerned with the Balearics, the results of the BSP programme will provide lessons and inspiration for us all.
A still from the Formentor expedition video - see below
Since February, the team has been collaborating with Inedit Innova, Barcelona based experts in environmental consulting, to develop an “environmental impact indicator”. This will allow for objective comparison between different products such as commonly used plastic products and alternatives with the aim of facilitating choices with the least environmental impact.
Parallel to this, the team is also developing tailor-made action plans for each participating Partner, that will guide their journey towards the reduction and/or elimination of single-use plastics in their facilities.
Dos Manos beach cleans
During the first three beach cleans of the year, conducted on Son Serra de Marina, El Peñon and Ciutat Jardi, Save the Med Foundation, together with over 325 volunteers, removed over 14,800 objects from the 50 m study zones and an estimated three times as much rubbish from remaining parts of each beach.
Dos Manos beach clean Image: Save the Med Foundation
Dos Manos Schools Programme
Between January to March, almost 1,300 students from 19 different schools from all parts of the island have participated in the schools' programme, learning about plastic pollution, contributing to citizen science and developing ideas and projects to help reduce their single-use plastic consumption.
In addition to employing a new team member, biologist and educator Sergio Ruiz Halpern, and working at full capacity to respond to demands from schools, the organisation has also experienced an increased international interest in its educational initiatives from exchange students visiting Mallorca. Change can't be achieved without knowledge sharing and global action - a tenet currently being embodied by the Extinction Rebellion protests and Youth Strikes for the Climate.
Potential MPA in Formentor
Save the Med Foundation's biologist Miguel Pozo is in the process of analysing and integrating all the research data from their Formentor Expedition into a detailed proposal for the creation and management of a new MPA (Marine Protected Area). The analysis includes an inventory of the existing flora and fauna, descriptions of benthic (sea bed) communities, a photographic database, map development and much more. The integrated data will provide a scientific document to be presented to the authorities before year end.
A video from the Formentor expedition, with an example towards the end of what this area could look like if it receives sufficient protection.