The Commission launched the Mission ‘Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030’. This Mission, part of Horizon Europe, aims in the next decade to restore the health of one of our most precious common goods: our ocean and waters. It will deliver on the European Green Deal by restoring ecosystems and biodiversity, eliminating pollution, and making the blue economy carbon-neutral and circular.
Area-based lighthouses will be the main implementation vehicle of the Mission in its first phase. They will demonstrate in a large area that the specific objectives of the Mission are achievable. In the second phase (after 2025), the Mission will support scaling up of projects across the EU, mostly through private funding.
The lighthouses will be complemented by enabling actions, in particular a digital ocean and water knowledge system and public mobilisation, engagement and awareness.
Large area-based lighthouses to inspire future solutions
The Mission will launch two basin-scale restoration lighthouses: one in the Danube river basin and one on the Atlantic and Arctic coast.
The Mission will also launch an EU-wide “Blue Parks” platform to promote conservation, protection and active restoration of sea areas.
A further lighthouse will be set up in the Mediterranean Sea, aiming to significantly reduce pollution. The initial focus will be on plastic pollution, with agricultural pollution (nutrients), urban/industrial pollution (chemicals), as well other sources of pollution such as pharmaceuticals and noise to follow at a later stage.
To use marine and coastal resources efficiently to reduce net greenhouse gas and other emissions, the Mission will launch an emissions reduction lighthouse in the Baltic and North Sea to pave the way towards a productive yet sustainable use of the water space.
Enablers: a firm knowledge system and public ownership
The Mission will put in place a digital ocean and water knowledge system and environmental monitoring system to better monitor, forecast and value the health of the aquatic system as a whole.
In particular, the Mission will, building on existing structures and capacities, support the development of a fit-for-purpose observation, monitoring and forecasting system (including climate predictions) that will contribute to insights needed for implementation of the Green Deal.
In addition, the Mission will connect Europe’s citizens and local communities with the ocean, seas and waters, provide broad ownership and education and co-design the transitions in their communities that will allow the European Green Deal targets to be reached.
- Publication date
- 29 September 2021
- Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries