‘IMPACT’ and ‘SICOMAR plus’ will realize the most important HF radar coverage of a European marine area

The Mediterranean Sea is a treasure trove of biodiversity, threatened by pollutants and accidents. IMPACT project and SICOMAR plus – both part of the Interreg Program Italia-Francia Marittimo 2014-2020 – aim to find common solutions for the protection of the marine environment, by monitoring and predicting risks arising from maritime activities.

SICOMAR plus has an agreement with 16 partners, led by Regione Toscana. The purpose is to improve safety of navigation in the transboundary marine area, which is threatened by the increase of cargo traffic and passengers crossing Tyrrhenian Sea and Ligurian Sea, with a particular attention to Santuario Pelagos (Specially Protected Area of Mediterranean Importance).

HF radar is a remote sensing tool that continuously measures surface marine currents, tens of km far from the coast, with resolutions of the order of kilometre. Thanks to the development of the HF radar network (along the coast from Leghorn to Toulon, even with a space discontinuity), IMPACT and SICOMAR plus will contribute to the building of an integrated system of high technology network for the marine monitoring, for the safety and environmental protection. In particular, the collaboration between partners (CNR ISMAR, Consorzio LaMMA, Université de Toulon and Arpa Sardegna) will make it possible to realize the most important HF radar coverage of a European marine area.

SICOMAR plus will contribute not only to the development of technologies and surveillance networks, but also to the improvement of safety and supervision of the marine environment. It will be possible to implement systems for reducing uncertainty in the weather forecast and in the marine circulation. Supporting models to emergency and to risk management will be created, together with security services and environmental protection.