This year, in addition to Barcelona, Buenos Aires and the Antioquia region have also joined the initiative, organizing a wide range of activities, exhibitions, workshops, screenings, roundtable discussions, and more.
Thousands of people participated in the second edition of Ocean Cities Month in October. This initiative, promoted by Barcelona since 2022, aims to strengthen the connection between citizens and the sea. This year's activities encompassed a wide range of options, including exhibitions, workshops, screenings, roundtable discussions, and even citizen science activities.
The events, promoted by Ocean Cities (OC-NET), a network comprising 26 organizations from around the world dedicated to strengthening the connection between coastal city residents and the sea, took place from October 1st to 30th. The organizing entities included the Centre de la Platja, the Salón Náutico, the Posidonia Green Festival, the University of Antioquia (Colombia), and the Centro de Investigaciones del Mar y la Atmósfera (Argentina).
This year's expansion of the initiative to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Antioquia, Colombia, demonstrates these cities' commitment to protecting the seas and oceans. Furthermore, it has enabled reaching a broader audience through various perspectives, all sharing a common goal: changing the way citizens relate to the ocean.
"A large part of the global population lives in coastal cities, which are the most exposed to the consequences of climate change. Rising sea levels, heat waves and prolonged droughts are some of the problems they face daily. In this scenario, the OC-NET network seeks to transform these coastal cities into communities that interact more fluidly and responsively with the ocean and the marine environment," says María Elena Carbajal, coordinator of the Ocean Cities Month in Barcelona.
Among all the activities held in Barcelona, the BioMARató stands out. Hundreds of volunteers participated, contributing over 15,000 observations to the citizen science platform MINKA. Other events included beach clean-ups for children, photo exhibitions, screenings of documentaries on the climate crisis, and roundtable discussions on the sustainability of fishing and the various passions that drive interest in the sea.
In Buenos Aires, a series of talks on oceanography and climate change were held for kayakers and students. Simultaneously, in the sub-region of Urabá, Antioquia, several field trips were organized on various beaches to raise public awareness about the importance of coastal protection.
Overall, the organizers describe this second edition of Ocean Cities Month as a "success," having effectively engaged with the three principal pillars of the network: health, culture, and social justice. According to Carbajal, these pillars are essential 'for a better understanding, connection, and governance of the ocean.'