The Goulandris Natural History Museum, dedicated to the study and protection of Greek Nature, is focusing on key issues concerning the human footprint on the Environment.
This year, the Museum is addressing an issue of worldwide concern, one the 21st century’s most urgent environmental problems: marine plastic pollution. Most plastics are extremely durable and very slow to degrade; some endure the marine environment for decades, hundreds or even thousands of years.
In 2014, a team of researchers suggested that the world’s oceans are laden with an estimated 5.25 trillion plastic fragments, weighing approximately 268 940 tons. The need to protect and preserve the marine environment has become evident and urgent, since its pollution has a direct impact on ecosystems, organisms and man himself, threatening his life and well-being.
The need to address the problem is immediate.
For this purpose, the Museum has created the program
“The Message of the Sea”
in cooperation with the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) and the PERSEUS (Policy-oriented marine Environmental Research for the Southern European Seas) Research Project (FP7), the University of Patras, the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-EC SDE), the global alliance Plastic Pollution Coalition, and the USA Drifters Project.
The program aims to raise student and public awareness, through education and the flow of information regarding this crucial issue.
Three quarters of our planet’s surface are covered with water. The world’s oceans comprise 97.3% of the Earth’s hydrosphere, while fresh water accounts for only 2.7% of the planet’s total water. The water bodies are connected and interdependent, not separated by barriers, whether on land or in the oceans.
A piece of plastic, thrown into a spring on the mountains, can find its way into a river and travel long distances downstream into the sea.
The solution is not to abolish plastic. In this era of new technologies and endless possibilities, plastic is becoming even more essential to modern civilization.
Our main objective should be:
No uncontrolled dumping of plastic waste.
Together, individuals, groups and states have to tackle the complex problem of marine plastic pollution.
“Join us in sending the message of the sea far and wide …
not a single piece of plastic in the water!
Protection against marine pollution is vital for Greece, a country with 17,000 kilometers of coastline, thousands of islands and great biological richness, home of rare flora and fauna species. Since antiquity, life in our country is intrinsically interwoven with the sea.
“The Greek seas are full of memories associated with the presence and activities of man for thousands of years. These activities were an expression of life and communication. The Greek sea, and especially the Aegean Sea, was the great artery: long coastlines, larger and smaller bays, peninsulas, deep penetrations and infinite islands, forming bridges and stations facilitating the motion of life. For thousands of years, people, animals, ships, ideas, arts have been transported throughout the Aegean.
Yet the sea has always had a life of its own. A rich biological world thriving on the surface, on the coasts, in the depths of the sea, on the islands and in the archipelago……
The Μuseum will contribute in stressing out our responsibility to preserve this unique biological treasure. ”
Angelos Goulandris, 1994
From the book of GNHM “Shells from the Greek Seas” of M. Delamotte, E. Vardala – Theodorou.
The program “The Message of the Sea” includes a series of events, scientific and educational / recreational activities on the premises and the garden of the museum.
• Saturday, May 9: opening of the Artistic and Scientific Exhibition
• Sunday, May 10: Educational / Entertainment Programs
• Sunday, May 17: International Museum Day. Free admission and various special educational / entertainment activities in celebration of this anniversary
• Sunday, May 24: Educational / Entertainment Programs
• Friday, June 5: World Environment Day, free admission
• Saturday, June 6: Workshop “Marine plastic pollution: Present and Future” Speeches held by world renowned Greek and foreign scientists:
o Dr. Francois Galgani, known French biological oceanographer biologist, an expert on marine pollution from microplastics (IFREMER – France)
o Dr. Evangelos Papathanassiou, Director of The Institute of Oceanography of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), Coordinator of the PERSEUS Research Project (FP7)
o Dr. Michael J. Scoullos, Professor of Environmental Chemistry at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
o Dr. George Papatheodorou, Professor of Environmental Oceanography, Department of Geology, University of Patras
o Dr. Hrissi Karapanagioti, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Patras
o Dr. Christina Zeri, Researcher, HCMR
• Sunday, June 7: Educational / Entertainment Programs
• Sunday, June 14: Educational / Entertainment Programs
• Summer event held in the Museum Garden. The event includes film projections, seated dinner, music and short presentations. (Date to be announced).
Photo: imagebase. net
– of the Scientific Exhibition
Evi Vardala – Theodorou
– of the Artistic Exhibition
The Artistic and Scientific Exhibition has been created in cooperation with:
– the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR)
– the PERSEUS (Policy-oriented marine Environmental Research for the Southern European Seas) Research Project (FP7)
– the University of Patras
– the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-EC SDE)
– the global alliance Plastic Pollution Coalition
– the USA Drifters Project.