A marine restoration project starts in Madeira: MARE participates in an 8 million euro project

A new European project will start next week in Madeira. The project aims to study, test, and optimize methods and tools for restoration of marine habitats.


MARE-Madeira will host the kickoff meeting of the project - “CLIMAREST: Coastal Climate Resilience and Marine Restoration Tools for the Arctic Atlantic Basin”. The first meeting will take place on the 10th and 11th of january, at the Hotel Meliá Madeira Mare, and President of the Regional Government of Madeira, Dr. Miguel Albuquerque, will be present. 


This project, financed under the HORIZON-EUROPE program, started officially on December 2022, and has more than 8 million euros planned to present sufficiently flexible solutions for various endangered habitats: from fjords threatened by climate change in the Arctic to rocky bottoms with algae in the Madeira archipelago, for three years.


Composed of 16 partners from Portugal, Italy, Spain, Iceland, France, Norway, and Denmark, the consortium has experts from diverse areas, from marine ecology to the blue economy, to develop a comprehensive toolkit to define and implement the practice of restoration, and rehabilitation suitable for different marine habitats.


One of the challenges of the project CLIMAREST will be the integration of scientific information and data on the ecology of different habitats, as well as data on multiple anthropogenic and natural pressures. “I believe that the added value is the interdisciplinarity of the project with a series of groups from different countries working in different habitats. The other one is the existence of "demonstration sites" and "replication sites". In the case of Madeira, we will be a demonstration site in the habitat of rocky reefs. Our results will then be applied and replicated in Cyprus, that will be our "replication site", explains the researcher.


In total, the project will be: in the Arctic fjords in Norway, oyster reefs in France, marine grasslands in Ireland, sandy bottoms affected by aquaculture in Spain, and rocky substrates with loss of algae in Madeira. After developing a set of assessment tools that allow solutions to be presented for all selected habitats, the restoration of the different selected habitats and the mitigation of the impacts of human activities and climate change will come. Solutions that will be replicated later in other geographic locations with similar habitats.


The researcher concludes that “MARE-Madeira has made a great effort in recent years to obtain European funding, mainly by playing in applications for the Horizon Europe program. In 2022 alone, MARE-Madeira integrated five Horizon Europe applications, two of which were approved, one of them being this CLIMAREST project! In all honesty, this application had a special flavor because we wrote it during the pandemic. I remember doing a lot of Zoom meetings with the coordinator, who was at home with Covid and with two very young children!"