Explaining EU Mission Ocean to young children: meet Martina Stella di Mare, a charming ocean literacy comic booklet launched in Italy

The Italian Marevivo Association has launched a very interesting initiative to raise awareness among children on important environmental issues and teach them about the sea’s biodiversity and the problems it faces, including plastic and pollution. In collaboration with the Italian artist and creator of comics for kids, Nicoletta Costa, they published and disseminated Martina Stella di Mare, an engaging booklet telling the story of a starfish that accompanies kids aged between 3 and 6 to discover the sea.

The character Starfish Martina represents the EU Mission Ocean (Starfish mission) and the five objectives linked to it. The booklet includes some games to help children understand the importance of preserving the sea, and many copies of the book have been distributed to schools and pediatric hospitals, thanks also to the generous contributions of Rotary clubs and other institutions.

The Marevivo Association also launched some initiatives to disseminate the comic book, such as a competition among kindergartens to raise awareness among new generations and encourage them to reduce the daily use of plastic and ensure its proper reuse and/or disposal to protect the seas and oceans. They planned the creation of a second volume dedicated to Martina which will have as main theme the acoustic pollution.

Marevivo has also proposed, thanks and according to the Rotary International support, to translate the volume of Martina Stella di Mare in some European languages and to export it in the EU area. Something to look forward to!

The partners who took an active part in this project are Nicoletta Costa, the Region Friuli Venezia Giulia, OGS – Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale, Marine Protected Area of Miramare, Rotary Club Trieste and Rotary Club Castellana (Venice), Immaginario Scientifico – regional scientific Museum, and University of Trieste.