ABBaCo project

Dismissed industrial activities are responsible for persistent environmental degradation, mainly due to long-term accumulation of xenobitic contaminants in the environment. Such a chronic form of pollution represents a major threat for human health, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Necessary environmental remediation practices should however be coupled to restoration plans aiming at revert the degradation trend and give back healthy areas able to provide valuable ecosystem goods and services. Albeit fully integrated into the EU Restoration Agenda, marine environmental restoration is a new challenging issue in ecology, with Italy coordinating MERCES, the first European project in this field. The environmental restoration of Bagnoli-Coroglio Bay is a unique challenge at European level. ABBACO will develop new approaches for the removal and remediation of contaminated sediments and restoration of marine habitats. Actions include: i) identifying the environmental benchmark of the area; ii) assessing its present health status, iii) studying the effects of contaminated sediments on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (MSFD), iv) assessing the combined effects of multiple stress at a hierarchical level; (v) experimenting innovative methods of transplantation and restoration of key species and habitats, and new biotechnological instruments for the remediation of sediments (bioremediation, bioaugmentation) in degraded habitats. ABBACO will provide novel expertise and stimulate new initiatives within the Blue Economy Agenda. The project results will be achieved by the actions of 6 intermingled work packages (WPs): WP1 Historic overview of the environmental status; WP2 Assessment of contamination and multiple environmental impact; WP3 Effects on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning; WP4 Holistic approach to the study of multiple stress and risk reduction; WP5 Pilot studies of restoration and rehabilitation; WP6 Evaluating the effects of restoration and rehabilitation procedures; WP0 Project management