A warm evening, with people who share the same passion for the sea, was organized by Thalassa Foundation, on Thursday, December 5th. The aim of the event, hosted at the stunning Bar restaurant Nest, at THE ALEX Hotel, was to demonstrate the Alonissos National Marine Park and the important work that Thalassa Foundation has accomplished there, with the constant support of Blue Planet shipping company. The event was attended by representatives of the maritime and business community, friends and supporters of the Thalassa Foundation, who enjoyed the spectacular view and shared interesting conversations, in a pleasant environment.
Alonissos National Marine Park is Greece's largest marine protected area and one of the largest ones in Europe, hence its adequate guarding requires coordinated policies, sustained effort and multifactorial assistance. As Thalassa Foundation's Vice President Ms. Vera Alexandropoulou mentioned in her speech, "Thalassa Foundation has made a significant contribution to enhancing the protection of the park by granting two speedboats, financing the purchase of state-of-the-art tools for remote surveillance of the protected area, while continuing to explore new methodologies, projects, programs and collaborations that will optimize the protection of the marine park. However, the efforts to guard the Park often seem Sisiphean: lately the staff of the Alonissos Port was reduced in an effort to tackle the enormous humanitarian problem of refugee flows, which led us to seek for assistance at the maritime community and the relevant ministries for further assistance".
In her speech, Ms. Alexandropoulou outlined the key actions of the Thalassa Foundation in Alonnisos, aiming to protect the marine ecosystem of the Park and create a replicable Roadmap for the effective management of other islands and marine protected areas in Greece and abroad. In particular, she referred to campaigns against plastic waste, to ecosystem studies on fish stocks, Posidonia and water quality in the Marine Park, as well as to intensive efforts to promote sustainable fishing in Alonissos, through the constant capacity building of the local fishers. Finally, she announced the organisation of a 4-day Eco Festival in Alonissos, June 5-8 2020, aiming at promoting the natural beauty and tradition of the island, as well as its potential for sustainable development through the perspectives of environmental education, ecotourism, circular economy, etc.
The Ministry of Environment & Energy was represented at the event by Mr. Charalambos Ververis, who praised, in his brief speech, the Thalassa Foundation's long-standing contribution to both the Managing Body and the National Marine Park of Alonissos N.Sporades. He also stressed out the importance of the private sector aid in the protection of the environment, which although is a top priority, state resources are not sufficient to meet its many and pressing needs.