FAQs

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions.

Get in touch if you you want to know more.

MedGardens’ main goal is to regenerate Mediterranean wild underwater meadows and forests.

Key macrophyte species that act as ecosystem engineers are restored, including a selection of threatened species of seagrass and seaweed.

They offer shelter and food to others, thus enhancing ecosystem biodiversity and biomass. Seagrass also bring essential benefits to society such as preventing coastal erosion and acting as blue carbon sinks. 

We prevent further biodiversity loss using a mix of validated and experimental techniques to restore key species, mitigating local human impacts that caused habitat degradation and generating innovative and effective, open-source restoration tools to be applied in any Mediterranean region.

MedGardens throughout the restoration of degraded coastal ecosystems, enabling the sequestration of carbon, reduces further greenhouse gas emissions (by increasing biodiversity and biomass of primary producers) and avoid future carbon loss by engaging citizens through marine capacity-building activities.

MedGardens builds for, and together with the communities by researching and developing diverse scientific and societal strategies that have the potential to favour coastal regenerative processes overtime. 

Effects & impacts can be continuously monitored using specific indicators and verified by assigned responsible persons or entities.

If we want to avoid social and environmental collapse, all endeavours must be directed to mitigate biodiversity loss and climate change impacts.

We need to break down barriers to foster collaboration and provide freedom for innovation, making regeneration possible. This is a great opportunity for practitioners, regulators and funders to get together and bring life back to the sea. The ocean needs to be thriving at its full power if we are going to revert planetary disaster.

We believe that this can only be achieved through multi-disciplinary, collective management of the natural resources.

Cleanwave Foundation is an initiator of community led projects, such as MedGardens, that provide conservation, protection and regeneration of land and sea in the Mediterranean. With a purpose of re-connecting people and nature, the Cleanwave Foundation strives to be a positive wave of action and hope, with the promise to work empathetically and creatively with diverse communities to deliver tangible results.

Our team is based on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, in the Balearics.

The MedGardens project was designed by José Escaño in June 2020, supported by Fiona Tomas and Tatí Benjumea who joined as the core scientific team in September 2020.

MedGardens' purpose is the regeneration of Mediterranean shallow underwater forests with a vision to reestablish the marine coastal habitats by 2030 for biodiversity to thrive, contributing to the mitigation of climate change impacts, and a determined mission for community-driven marine restoration.

Together with the founding team of Cleanwave Foundation a first round of 40k€ were raised as seed-funding in November 2020, today we keep raising funds from different public and private sources.

From October 2020 until end of 2021, four pilot MedGardens (nodes of marine restoration) are being deployed around the coast of Mallorca.

  • The unit size should be the minimum necessary for there to be consensus among users and administrations.
  • Even plots of only a few square meters have proven to contribute to the recovery of marine ecosystems or favor certain species
  • Where resources are limited, restoration should focus on small-scale efforts that leverage large-scale outcomes. For example, macroalgal restoration efforts in Sydney performed at a scale of metres are resulting in outcomes at scales of hundreds of metres to kilometres (when done at multiple sites), with self-sustaining populations established by multiple, but very small-scale, interventions

Even though scale is relatively small, the idea is to generate open-source knowledge and tools to be shared so that community-driven marine restoration becomes a standard throughout the Mediterranean.

  • The selected locations must have potential for marine conservation. The location should be shielded from human pressures or ensure that these pressures are mitigated sufficiently.
  • MedGardens must be established where ecotourism activities can be undertaken, as users will become the basis of effective and continuous surveillance and restorative efforts.

Firstly, our scientific team does in-depth research in existing literature and cartography of the area. They then carry out interviews with the local community to learn valuable information about the region, so as to narrow down the locations with higher potential for marine restoration.

Where marine vegetation has been severely degraded, we make sure to find out the main causes of the degradation (anchoring, pollution, sedimentation, etc.) and ensure that these activities have ceased or that we are able to mitigate them.

MedGardens’ criteria for location selection consists of a detailed and comprehensive list of items including societal, biotic and abiotic factors.

Firstly, our scientist team does a deep research in literature and cartography, then interviews the locals’ to learn valuable information to funnel down the locations with higher potential for marine restoration.

Where marine vegetated communities have been degraded, we made sure to know that the main causes of the degradation (anchoring, pollution, sedimentation, etc.) have ceased or we are able to mitigate it. 

MedGardens’ criteria for location selection consists of quite a long list of items including societal, biotic and abiotic factors.

Marine Protected Areas (MPA) are essential to marine conservation and regeneration. Unfortunately, more than half of the 5k+ MPAs existing world-wide are poorly managed or threatened by the economical crisis.

MedGardens proposes a socially-affordable solution to complement the larger scale Marine Protected Areas.

Local communities are an under-utilised asset in environmental protection. We believe that the most cost-efficient model of sustainable protection is citizen stewardship, namely marine custody. It consists of a multi-disciplinary group of individuals and entities taking ownership and actively participating in the surveillance, restoring and monitoring of a particular piece of land or sea.

Because we work on a small scale, we are able to secure spots with no fishing nor anchoring, without infringing on fishing and boating activities in the area, leaving plenty of space for those activities to take place.

What we are sure of, is that each MedGarden provides marine restoration and preservation to an area that otherwise would have had no protection whatsoever, allowing nature the space to do what she does best: Regenerate.

Ultimately, we rebuild irreplaceable habitats that otherwise would have lower or no level of protection at all.

Implementation of one MedGarden has an estimated cost of 15k€, while yearly maintenance costs are expected to come up to 10k€ per year.

The aforementioned amounts are subject to variations depending on the specific proposal for each MedGarden, which will differ depending on habitat and community particularities, and the success of undertaken actions.

Funding

Adapted to your own financial status and capabilities, you can provide a spontaneous once-off donation, or offer monthly contributions. Every euro counts, and our team will make sure it is well spent and you will be able to track our livestream up-to-date finances very soon.

Volunteering & internships

We need a lot of hands and fins at work and we count on everyone to become the drive of a growing load of scientific and community works.

To help our scientific team during field work campaigns, we require that volunteers have completed the MedGardens’ eco-volunteering program. It consists of a 2-day intensive workshop including freediving and marine citizen science theory & drills. This course has been co-designed with Tramuntana Diving & Sea Watchers.net aiming to prepare any person, no matter their former marine capabilities, to help our scientific team in field work.

However, for those less keen to get wet there is a lot to do at the beach such as clean-ups and Microplastic Watch, and we appreciate any other valuable volunteer profiles that are willing to help in other aspects such as communication, volunteer management, etc.

Interns are welcome to send their motivation letter and own proposal for a stay.

Of course, MedGardens is all of us.

We build for the communities and all our financials will be live streamed in our financial section very soon.

We still have some system integrations to do to be fully transparent, and we hope to continue improving in this area.