New Wave Media

February 27, 2024

Fugro On Call for Italy’s Ecosystem Restoration Project

(Credit: Fugro)

(Credit: Fugro)

Fugro has been selected to map the coastal habitats of the entire Italian coast as part of the Italian government’s Marine Ecosystem Restoration (MER) Project, a groundbreaking initiative under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.

The Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA) has selected Fugro, in partnership with Compagnia Generale Ripreseaeree (CGR), to leverage their technology and experience in coastal resilience solutions to deliver the crucial mapping component of the MER Project.

The MER Project aims to restore the marine habitats, fortify the national system for observing marine and coastal ecosystems, and comprehensively map coastal and marine habitats across Italian waters (specifically Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa seagrass meadows).

Fugro and its partners will play a pivotal role in the success of the MER project executing the MER Project’s mapping phase via a mix of mapping methodologies.

The project, which is due to start in March 2024 and be completed by June 2026, includes acquisition of hydrographic data utilizing state-of-the-art sensors, including airborne lidar and imagery, airborne gravimetry and satellite sensors covering 10 200 km²; vessel-based multibeam technology spanning 4000 km2; and deployment of an autonomous underwater vehicle, one of Fugro’s state-of-the-art underwater drones, to cover 4000 km of coastline for direct observation and ground-truthing of other datasets.

The collected data will be managed through VirGeo, Fugro’s cloud-based Geo-data engagement platform, to provide seabed and habitat mapping insights, enhancing the local Government’s decision-making process for the protection of coastal marine habitats.

“The MER Project represents a milestone in marine ecosystem restoration. We’re delighted with this opportunity from ISPRA to demonstrate our commitment to environmental stewardship and climate resilience.

“Our Geo-data for this transformative project will support the conservation and restoration of Italy's coastal and marine ecosystems for generations to come spearheading the drive towards a sustainable future for Italy's marine heritage, for a safer and more liveable world,” said Mark Heine, Fugro’s CEO.

The February 2024 edition of Marine Technology Reporter is focused on Oceanographic topics and technologies.
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