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Third Surf Festival in Capo Mannu: sport, tourism and nature in a sustainable vision of the future

The wind pushes away the last fringe of gray clouds on the Mandriola seafront to make room for the wide October light. It is the mistral, tutelary numen of the III Surfing Festival in S. Vero Milis. The carbonari communication of surfers, usually conveyed by mobile phones, takes place between one meeting and another thanks to the convergence guaranteed by the feast. The surface could soar in wave in the evening at Sa Mesa Longa. Tomorrow then, and certainly Monday. With 30 knots, Capo will rais first, then Godzilla, Mini Capo, Punta and Scivolo, the whole sequence of "spots" that in a few hundred meters make this corner of the Gulf of Oristano the Mediterranean temple of surfing.

The festival, stretched out in the thin strip of land running between the sea and the pond of Sa Salina Manna, puts few steps away from each other the shapers’ stands and Gianni Marongiu, representative of the ancient art of weaving reed. And then SUP, skimboard, kiteboard, skateboard exhibited and tested, on the wooden ramps in the asphalt or in the rippling water facing the beach. And then tools and courses for Nordic walking and calisthenics, gazebos for sportswear, local food and wine products, kites to represent the wind with color, a very long shiny metal trailer that hosts live music. It’ s the celebration of fitness and tourism in a small and very successful California laboratory.

“The third edition confirms once again the growing passion for surfing lifestyle. It's only Saturday morning and the attendance is already very encouraging. Not only sport, the festival committee wanted music, books and the environment", explains Daniela Zaru, councilor for productive activities, tourism and sport of the municipality of S. Vero, while she visits the stand of “Ocean hemp ", the project that won the bluehackaton organized by MEDSEA within the Coast Day 2019. Hemp fibers to replace fishing nets and nautical materials that pollute the sea and coasts.

The first appointment with the environment was a clean up organized by MEDSEA (with the support of Parley for the Oceans) together with CEAS Aristanis, Spazio Giovani, the Marine Protected Area of Sinis and Mal di Ventre Island, IMC and the Municipality of Oristano. Volunteers of all ages and over one hundred children from middle and high schools have collected in the Sa Mesa Longa 36 kilos of waste, then offered at the sight of passers-by in large white sacks placed on the asphalt. In the early afternoon, the talk on environmental issues became protagonist. Rosita Folli of CEAS (Center for environmental education and sustainability) Oristano illustrated the impact that food waste has on the lives of people and the environment, and the project that will soon involve 400 students and 40 teachers in a major awareness-raising campaign in the province, where the annual amount of waste has reached the value of 8 million euros. The concept of "excess" has also been touched by Massimo Marras, director of the Marine Protected Area. Replacing the plastic is not enough, a change is necessary in the way we perceive and manage our needs. Even offshore, in the tools used for analysis, the quantity of micro and nano plastics is often identical to that of microorganisms.

Alessandro Conforti, researcher of the CNR of Oristano, told the listeners the fascinating story of the underwater Sinis volcanoes, and re-launched the campaign against the removal of sand explaining the great value of fossil sands, derived from rocks that no longer exist and therefore irreplaceable. Simone Farina of the IMC (International Marine Center) in Torregrande spoke about the citizen science project related to pinna nobilis, a data collection system open to any snorkeler and capable of creating a cartography of the “nacchera”, now almost extinct in the Mediterranean basin. Luciana Andria explained instead the Legacoop project for the positioning of sound dissuaders that will prevent turtles and dolphins from getting caught in nets, and the agreement signed with the municipalities of Cabras, S. Vero Milis and Bosa, which arranged collection points for the disposal of waste found by fishermen at sea. Piera Pala, MEDSEA environmental lawyer, explained the principles and actions of the Maristanis project, the integrated management of wetlands carried out by the foundation together with the municipalities and the population of eleven municipalities embracing the gulf. "It was the occasion, fortunately no longer so rare, in which the themes of environmental and in particular sea protection have avoided indifference and have been made accessible to an audience of non-experts", commented Pala, adding: "There is a sense of generational responsibility that is emerging more insistently, which does not wait for laws coming from above but is on the contrary open to information and change".

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