Presenting MERCES at the Earth Day - CoNISMa and ULR University of Salento (22 April 2017)

On the occasion of the Earth Day (April, 22), the CoNISMa - ULR University of Salento (Prof. Simona Fraschetti, Prof. Ferdinando Boero, PhD Serena Zampardi, PhD Laura Tamburello e and two post-graduated students Francesca Strano and Valerio Micaroni) and the Association Magna Grecia Mare, involved the students of the secondary schools of the Giovanni Pascoli Institute in Tricase (Lecce), on scientific dissemination and environmental education activities. The activities saw students as protagonists in an oral presentation on the description of marine and terrestrial ecosystems, highlighting the ecological role of both the ecosystems, and the consequences of the anthropic impacts on natural systems. 

Later, conversely, the CoNISMa - ULR University of Salento described the MERCES project, the importance and the goals, setting up two aquariums that clearly showed a non-disturbed and rich species ecosystem versus a degraded ecosystem characterized exclusively by sea urchin barren. Students have thus dealt with issues such as air, water and soil, ecosystems alteration, vulnerability of animals and plants/algae that disappear due to anthropic impacts, and the depletion of non-renewable resources (carbon, oil, natural gases). In addition, all the students together with professors and researchers, have evaluated all the possible solutions to reduce the negative impacts of human activities, such as recycling, conservation of natural resources such as oil and fossil gases, the prohibition of the damaging chemical products use, the forbiddance of the destruction of natural habitats and the protection and conservation of threatened species. Students have thus gained greater awareness of marine environment, biodiversity, conservation, habitat alteration and restoration of both marine and terrestrial ecosystems.