Marine Educative Area

A Marine Educative Area (MEA) is “a small coastal maritime area which is managed in a participatory manner by the students of a primary school following principles defined by a charter.” The children of Vaitahu primary school, on the island of Tahuata, in the Marquesas Islands are at the origin of this new concept, developed in 2012, with the collaboration of the Cultural and Environmental Federation of the Marquesas Motuhaka and the former Marine Protected Areas agency.

Between 2012 and 2020, more than 150 MEAs were created in mainland France. In order to recognize and highlight the commitment of schools, the “Educative Marine Area” label is awarded each year to schools which engage in this process of participatory management of the marine environment.

Three axes structure this label which requires respecting a charter and specifications:
- Knowing the sea: acquisition of knowledge about the marine environment;
- Experiencing the sea: meeting sea professionals and allowing the transmission of knowledge between generations;
- Manage the sea: propose management measures and organize monitoring of the area.

It was in 2017, during the IMPAC 4 congress attended by the Director of the Monegasque Association for the Protection of Nature (AMPN), that the desire to create a Marine Educative Area in Monaco was born. The launch of the Monaco AME took place during the 2018-2019 school year with students from the 7th C (CM2) class of the École des Révoires. The AMPN, as leader of the AME project, ensures that it respects the model set up by French Polynesia in collaboration with the French Agency for Biodiversity.

The Monaco Marine Educative Area is located between the floating breakwater of Port Hercule and the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. Its perimeter covers approximately 680 m of coastal length and extends up to 200 to 250 m offshore. The richness of the site, both on land (coastal) and marine levels, is ideal for addressing the notions of habitat diversity, ecosystem and biological diversity.

Mapping of the Marine Educative Area (click to enlarge).

The territorial waters of the Principality of Monaco are located in the heart of the Pelagos Sanctuary. The Marine Educative Area is therefore entirely located inside the Sanctuary and dolphins have already been observed on the outskirts of the site.

As with Marine Protected Areas, the Marine Educational Area is strongly supported by His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, His Government and His Foundation.

You can also follow the actions of the MEA on instagram : ame_monaco

- Presentation movie about the Marine Educative Area -