The health of Europe’s ocean and waters is vital to its economic, social and ecological well-being. The EU boasts 68 000 km of coastline – more than Russia and the United States combined – and the area of water under EU jurisdiction is greater than its land area. However, marine and freshwater ecosystems are rapidly degrading, and climate change will increase the frequency and severity of droughts, flooding and extreme weather, threatening the safety and livelihood of millions of Europeans.
This Synergy Info Pack showcases 34 research projects funded through the complementary programmes of Horizon 2020 (including SME Instrument), LIFE and EMFF. The groundbreaking work of these researchers is supporting the development of the technical, social, governance innovation and business models needed to secure the restoration of aquatic ecosystems and the development of a sustainable, resilient and climate-neutral blue economy. Among them are projects that foster a digital ocean and water knowledge system that builds on existing European infrastructures and services including Copernicus, EMODnet, Destination Earth, and European Research Infrastructure Consortia (ERICs). This will be enhanced by future research funded through the next Work Programmes to achieve the objectives of the Mission Ocean and Waters.