“Re-planting of the Prairies of Posidonia Oceanica” is the theme of the Rolex Giraglia Nr.70 on matters of sustainability, as jointly promoted by Yacht Club Italiano, the European Commission and Confindustria Nautica. By promoting a tangible initiative on Environmental Sustainability issues, the 70th edition of the Rolex Giraglia shows its commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility policies.
This initiative implements local environmental policies for the protection of the maritime region covered by this race: originally promoted by the EU, these policies require a joint effort by local authorities and associations from several countries, here underpinned by the Rolex Giraglia.
The Project: human action has deeply affected biodiversity at an unprecedented pace, further aggravated by the effects of climate change. This is why restoration projects have been launched all over the world, along guidelines issued by the “Decade of Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030)” initiative, recently published by the United Nations, for the protection of marine ecosystems.
Amongst these projects, DiSTAV (the Department of Earthly Sciences, Environment and Life at University of Genoa) has launched a program for the re-planting of the Posidonia Oceanica, currently in degradation in the Ligurian Sea. This project, promoted by Yacht Club Italiano along with the European Commission, is based on the planting of the Posidonia over 24 months, initially off Pian di Poma (Sanremo), one of the more badly affected areas, unwinding in the following stages:
Identification of the area;
Monitoring (collecting data for analysis of 24-month evolution)
The Posidonia Oceanica is a Mediterranean marine plant with long roots, ribbon-like leaves, greenish flowers blooming in the Fall and fruits, called “sea olives” ripening between March and April. It is a marine species of high ecological value, exclusively found in the Mediterranean over ample prairies, estimated 20,000 square miles wide, regarded as one of the most important and biodiversity-rich ecosystems of our seas. Where exactly can it be found, and why is it so important? It may grow over wide areas of the sea bottom, 30-35 metres deep, occasionally over 50m in exceptionally clear waters. It tolerates substantial thermal variations (between 10 and 28 C degrees) but is very sensitive to changes in salinity. For all these reasons the Posidonia is regarded as one of the most reliable indicators of environmental changes.
The Posidonia produces oxygen: one square metre of prairie in good health generates 14-16 litres of oxygen per day, as a real “blue lung” in our home waters. More than that, the Posidonia prairies consolidate and protect the sea bottom from erosion and, especially in the Fall, its masses of leaves help countering the destructive effects of swell and wintertime sea storms.