The project “Biodiversity MARE Tricase” aims to research and promote coastal and marine biodiversity at the MARE Outpost (Avamposto MARE), a marine station established in Tricase (Lecce, Italy) in 2015. From March 2016 to September 2017, the first biodiversity inventory of the Tricase coastal area (Ionian Sea) was realized with the aid of citizen scientists (e.g. local fishermen, divers, bathers, and tourists). Preliminary results include 556 taxa, of which the 95% were identified at the species level. Despite the broad knowledge on Mediterranean coastal biodiversity, 71 species represented new records for the Ionian Sea. In parallel with the research activities, people’s awareness of the value of biodiversity was raised with scientific dissemination initiatives, involving about 1700 people. The “Biodiversity MARE Tricase” project realized a first small-scale species inventory contributing to the distributional, taxonomic, and ecological knowledge of the present Mediterranean biota. The coastal area of Tricase will be soon included in a new Marine Protected Area and this project represents a step forward for the sustainable development of the community of this coast.
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