On Thursday 15 April 2021 was held the preparatory online meeting was for the creation of the first network of municipalities on the protection of the marine environment in Greece, on the initiative of the environmental organization Aegean Rebreath and of the island and coastal municipalities of the country.

In the meeting participated the Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy Mr. George Amyras, mayors, elected officials, and executives out of nine municipalities. In this meeting was confirmed the need for interconnection and coordination of the central government, the local government, and citizens for the protection of the marine environment.

The Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy welcomed the initiative and reaffirmed the commitment of the related ministry to support the network while the common conclusion of all attendees was the need and the desire of this network to offer substantial final results and not just wishes. The participants submitted proposals regarding the objectives, the operation of the network, and the next steps while they also highlighted various areas of interest.

This complex and ambitious project comes after the signing of the memorandum of cooperation between the Aegean Rebreath and the municipal authorities, the installation of Marine Waste Collection Stations in the islands and the coastal areas with which it cooperates, and the implementation of holistic-centered actions on each island.

The success of the operation of the network of Marine Waste Collection Stations, which has received the auspices of the Ministry of Environment and Energy and the kind donation by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation since October 2020, in combination with the initiatives of the municipalities themselves, highlights the intention of the specific municipal authorities to take active and important initiatives. In this context, the new network aims to highlight and exchange good practices, utilize experiences for the implementation of horizontal actions and provide consultation at a central level.

This meeting was the beginning of a collective effort to bring the marine environment to the center of municipal and national policies. An effort that, since its beginning, has united the local communities and in particular the municipal authorities, the fishing communities, and the citizens who have realized the importance of the protection of the marine resources for the sustainable development of the islands and the coastal areas.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Municipality of Central Corfu and the Diapontia Islands, the deputy mayor and project manager of ICC, Mrs. Panagiota Tzanne, and the scientific advisor and assistant project manager of ICC, Mr. Victor Dimoulis. In addition, were represented the municipalities of Leukas, Tinos, Syros, Santorini, Poros, Paros, Antiparos, and Anafi.