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Quality of the natural environment, environmental education

1990
GREENHOUSE EFFECT

In partnership with Elf Aquitaine, the Ricard Oceanography Foundation designed an experimental setup for the purpose of analysing :
-  the effects of the doubling of the partial pressure of atmospheric carbon dioxide on microbial communities in seawater,
-  their role in the biological pumping of this gas.
This pioneering project (1990-1995) led to the development of the Programme DOREMI (INSU, CNRS, Elf Aquitaine), bringing together twenty or so research scientists for month-long experiments at Les Embiez in 2000 and 2001.

1991
INFORMATION AND OUTREACH

The Paul Ricard Oceanography Institute launched its own series of lectures :
-  The Wednesday lectures, Mercredis de la Mer, at Les Embiez (1990),
-  The Tuesday lectures, Mardis de l’Environnement, in Paris (1991),
-  Marines at Toulon (1994).
A new Editorial Committee for the scientific journal Marine Life was formed (1991). It was chaired by Professor Lucien Laubier, of the French Academy of Sciences. The current Chair is Prof. Nardo Vicente.

1992
FOR STUDENTS

The bursary Help the Water, Help Life (Aidons l’Eau, Aidons la Vie) aroused considerable interest among students at French universities and graduate schools of science and engineering (Grandes Ecoles). A board of specialists awarded the bursary for innovative projects related to pollution and the management of water, sub-sea research, and similar work.
The first project to receive the award was that of Yannick Goaziou, of the University of Nantes. It dealt with the optimisation of manipulations during practical work in chemistry, resulting in a reduction of costs and of pollutant waste.
In 1994, the bursary was awarded the patronage of the ministry of the environment.

1995
AWARDS

The Paul Ricard Oceanography Institute received the Grand Prix of the French Academy of Sciences, awarded beneath the ‘Coupole’ (dome of the Academy building in Paris) to Dr. Yvan Martin, Director of Research.

MÉMOIRE D’UN MOUSQUEMER (‘MEMOIRS OF A MARITIME MUSKETEER’)
The film Philippe Tailliez, Mémoire d’un Mousquemer (‘Memoirs of a Maritime Musketeer’), on the history of modern diving, directed by Christian Frasson-Botton and Philippe Cupillard, won a special award (Prix Spécial du Jury) at the World Underwater Images Festival (1995).
Part of the film was shot at the island of Les Embiez (near Toulon), with the participation of Commandant Jacques Yves Cousteau, one of the famous Mousquemers.

MULTIMEDIA
In 1996, the Institute was responsible for writing and editing the book Fragile Méditerranée (Edisud) (Fragile Mediterranean). It produced the educational CD-Rom Kampi - Aventures en Méditerranée (adventures in the Mediterranean) (Golden Palm prize at the World Underwater Images Festival).

2002
QUALITY OF THE WATER AND IMPACT OF HUMAN ACTIVITY

Up until 2005, the Paul Ricard Oceanography Institute participated in the European project I-Marq with ten laboratories in various countries : Britain, Germany, Italy, etc. The aim was to make available to the general public, in real time, a system of geographical information on the quality of coastal waters.

SCIENTIFIC CONSULTANCY
The Centre’s scientists were given the responsibility for measuring the impact of human activity and new technologies on the marine environment. They have provided this service for several companies and institutions :
-  2002-2004 : the construction company Grand Travaux de Marseille : development of a man-made substrate, the ‘Green Dyke’ ( digue verte) (European Grand Prix for Innovation 2003),
-  2003-2004 : Nymphea Water : study of the captation of freshwater from the La Mortola spring, near Menton (Nice, S.E. France),
-  2007 : Tunisian Agency for the Protection of the Environment, Korbous : impact of the wreck of a cargo ship on the littoral ecosystem.

NATURA 2000
In 2004, Prof. Vicente, Scientific Counsellor of the Paul Ricard Oceanography Institute, was entrusted with the study to integrate the lagoon of Le Brusc and the shallows of the Les Embiez archipelago into the European network Natura 2000, under the auspices of the French Maritime Authority and the local Agriculture Authority.