Boosting Blue Forests Education and Capacity Building | - CCMAR -

Boosting Blue Forests Education and Capacity Building

Short Title 
Blue Forests Education
EEA Grants - Programa Crescimento Azul
Ocean Alive
10/2021 to 05/2023


Main info



Coastal ecosystems formed by macroalgae, seagrasses and saltmarshes, also known as blue forests, are amongst the most valuable ecosystems on earth. They are powerhouses of benefits for human well-being through the provision of a variety of global and regional ecosystem services, including:

  • Climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration and accumulation in sediments
  • Supporting biodiversity, including nursery grounds for commercial species
  • Water purification
  • Coastline protection
  • Diseases control. 

In spite of their ecological, societal and economic importance, blue forests "lack charisma". Their benefits and values are poorly grasped by the general public, particularly by decision-makers and the media, and surprisingly even among professionals whose livelihood directly depends on these ecosystems (e.g. fishermen, maritime tourism activities). 

The Blue Forests project aims to address these issues by developing education and training activities and materials for an audience ranging from university students to elementary school teachers, decision-makers and environmental authorities, media and maritime tourism professionals. The project's team will work closely with these audiences in view of developing their skills and provide capacity-building on the topic of blue forests and the important ecosystem services they provide. In particular: 

  1. Teachers will be prepared to convey the importance of the ecosystem services perspective of blue forests to school students, supplementing the existing gap in the curricula. 
  2. Students, the scientists and environmental professionals of tomorrow, will be more qualified in the subject.  
  3. Decision-makers will have a more sound scientific background on which to make better judgements on management and conservation decisions. 
  4. Media professionals will be better equipped in terms of scientific capacity to disseminate news about the importance of coastal ecosystems, particularly blue forests, 
  5. Marine tourism professionals will be better equipped to walk, drive or sail coastal ecosystems with tourists, provide more informed service and reduce their environmental impacts.  


Funded by:


Programme Operator:





Project funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants. Through the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA), Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are partners in the internal market with the Member States of the European Union. As a way of promoting a continuous and balanced strengthening of economic and trade relations, the parties to the EEA Agreement established a multi-annual Financial Mechanism, known as EEA Grants. EEA Grants aim to reduce social and economic disparities in Europe and strengthen bilateral relations between these three countries and beneficiary countries. For the period 2014-2021, a total contribution of €2.8 billion has been agreed to 15 beneficiary countries. Portugal will benefit from an amount of 102.7 million euros. Learn more at



Name Position
Rui Santos Senior Researcher
Carmen B de los Santos Postdoc
Márcio Martins PhD Student
Bárbara Cadete Communication & Outreach
Rita Costa Abecasis Communication & Outreach
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Rui Santos's picture
Rui Santos
Senior Researcher
Carmen B de los Santos's picture
Carmen B de los Santos
Márcio Martins's picture
Márcio Martins
PhD Student
Bárbara Cadete's picture
Bárbara Cadete
Communication & Outreach
Rita Costa Abecasis's picture
Rita Costa Abecasis
Communication & Outreach
Type of Event 
Other Events
Objetivos: Auscultar e aproximar vários agentes ligados à Ria formosa (decisores e media). Avaliar a perceção dos decisores e media sobre os problemas mais importantes da Ria Formosa. Avaliar a...
July 18, 2022
Doca de Faro
Type of Event 
Other Events
A Ria Formosa está a sofrer distúrbios antropogénicos que levam ao declínio das pradarias de ervas marinhas e de alguns organismos associados a elas, como os cavalos-marinhos. Em 2001 a Ria Formosa...
June 3, 2022
Blue Forest Education, a new project of CCMAR, will educate and train different audiences on the importance of macroalgae, seagrass and saltmarshes.
The action included theoretical and practical sessions and a field trip to Ria Formosa, including a visit to the seahorse’s sanctuary and the Ramalhete Aquaculture Station.