Based on the rounds of training they received, Black Sea Young Ambassadors conducted bottom-up outreach activities in their local communities.
Romania: Selma Menabit of Geoecomar organized an campaign including two events; Black Sea Journey Event 1: “Youth Power – Towards a healthy Black Sea”, Event 2: “Discovering together the beauties of the Black Sea”. She organized a workshop at “Decebal” Theoretical High School Constanta, Romania targeting High school students. With the aim of raising awareness on Black Sea issues and help the young generation to understand the importance of protecting our seas and oceans she reached 50 students at this workshop. Main objectives of this event were to raise awareness regarding Black Sea unique features, biodiversity, cultural heritage and major environmental problems the region is facing with focus on marine litter; to help children understand why it is important to protect the Black Sea region, in order to ensure a sustainable future; to encourage young generation to adopt an environmentally responsible behaviour; to create a new generation that will help us promote and protect the Black Sea. As well as workshop, she conducted a beach activity at “Reyna” Beach Constanta, Romania with secondary school children. With the aim of improving student’s awareness regarding the native and invasive alien mollusc species populating the Black and their ecological role in the marine ecosystem; to encourage children to adopt an environmentally responsible behaviour; to actively involve children in the scientific process, she reached 30 students.
Georgia: Salome Kobaidze of TSU, also organized a series of activities underher awareness raising campaign called “Educated and sensitized Georgian youth for the sustainable development of the Black Sea”. In her first activity as a part of “Black Sea Blue Policy” held at Batumi Shota Rustaveli University in Batumi. At the “Black Sea Blue Policy” event that aims to raise public awareness, promoting scientific research and innovation and disseminating the relevant information on achievements to the general public, she reached different target groups as scientists, university students and K12 students. She conducted different activities under this event as presentations on Black Sea CONNECT and blue growth, scientific cognitive quiz and a contest of thematic paintings related to the Black Sea for the wide range of event attendees. As her second activity she conducted a physical workshop/meeting with “young rangers” on 9th of July in Georgian that was attended by 15 local public school students, teachers and the representatives of the Kolkheti National Park (the head of the administration and the rangers of the park). The workshop had an interactive character, featured with informative and experience sharing practices and competition-based tasks. The workshop has been completed by special event of cleaning the area near the Poti Black Sea coast and the nearby beach located in Maltakva. As her last activity; she conducted a meeting was with the students from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University in Kobuleti on 11th of July 2022. Meeting was in Georgian language, there was the general information about the blue economy in the Black Sea presented at the workshop and the discussion about current stressors existing in the Black Sea was prevalent as well. The students were presented by the research and its preliminary consequences done by me on the Blue Economy Development in Georgia.
Moldova: Elena Culighin conducted her campaign called “Love your rivers to protect Black Sea” including three field trips (Field trip on the Raut riverbank and Oxentea village, Dubasari district, Dniester river, and Slobozia and Văleni villages, Cahul district, Prutul de Jos (Lower Prut) Natural Reserve) on important rivers days as Dniester day and Danube Day, Moldova as well as social media campaign (https://www.facebook.com/CentrulNationaldeMediu). With these events, the campaign aims to bring the necessary information to the young people of Moldova regarding the intense pollution of the rivers. The Republic of Moldova does not have direct access to the sea, but through its two big rivers and several small rivers, it makes the connection to the water of the Black Sea. It is extremely important to understand that water pollution created here has an immense impact on the water ecosystem of the Black Sea. Activities implemented within the awareness campaign have contributed to a better understanding of what is the state of the environment close to the rivers, water quality, and quantity that influences biodiversity and human well-being. As a result of the information campaign, a logical chain of messages related to the Dniester and Danube rivers was produced.
Turkey: Gizem Akkus of METU IMS conducted an interview series with young professionals, scientists, and senior researchers working in different fields of the marine and maritime sectors such as fisheries, management, policy, ecosystem, and biodiversity. With this series of videos, Gizem aimed to reflect the knowledge about how marine scientists work and how they evaluate the main stressors of the Black Sea.
Black Sea basin wide activity: Additionally, one basin-wide photo contest is conducted by Oana Poana from Romania. The contest named ‘‘Visual Storytelling of The Black Sea: Different Shores, Different Reflections, and One Sea’’ received photographs from a great number of professional and non-professional photographers of all ages from all over the world, who aim to reflect the different perceptions of the coastal and marine environment of the Black Sea. The entries were evaluated under five categories including Black Sea Identity and Connection, Sustainable Blue Economy, Marine, and Maritime Professions, and Stressors on the Black Sea categories as well as social media. The winners are announced as of 24 October. http://connect2blacksea.org/photo-contest-visual-storytelling-of-the-black-sea-different-shores-different-reflections-and-one-sea-winners-announcement/