The Scoping Action European Marinas Network looks into establishing a pilot programme of harmonised and community-rich marine environmental data stations in selected marinas of the participating countries and their immediate sea area.
Within the European context, the approximately 10,000 inland and coastal marinas transcend their utilitarian role as mere embarkation points, assuming the status of vibrant socio-economic nodes. Functioning as focal points for boating enthusiasts, water sports aficionados, visitors, thriving marine enterprises, and, on occasion, local fishing fleets, marinas emerge as dynamic hubs with multi-faceted implications.
The JPI Oceans Scoping Action European Marinas Network aims to explore different avenues to capitalize on the value and potential of marinas as infrastructures for ocean observation, ocean research and citizen science. Firstly, the Scoping Action can add to the body of ocean science and policy-making data via an integrated European network of marina-based data hubs. This will empower marinas, boaters, and visitors to assume more collaborative and proactive. Secondly, it can provide ocean stewardship roles, and thirdly, it can advance the digitisation transition by contributing to the generation of a digital twin of the boating sector within a larger digital twin of the ocean.
With water-based facilities and structures such as floating pontoons that can support sensors, and often managing a strong multi-channel communication platform, marinas offer a perfect set of conditions for generating and transmitting environmental data. Given the much smaller nature of marinas compared to commercial ports and being widespread across Europe, they provide plenty of potential locations for data gathering. Marinas could therefore be used to improve observation data quality, coherency and coverage.