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Co-funded by European Union Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection
MARINER 1st Quarterly Newsletter - July 2016
In February the project partners met in the headquarters of CETMAR in Vigo (Spain) for the kick off meeting of MARINER. During this 2-day event, the partnership reviewed the project working plan and agreed on the detailed programme for addressing the tasks scheduled for the coming months. The University of Vigo took the chance to record interviews with MARINER partners for the project promotional video.
Past activities
Kick off meeting
MARINER already has a meeting point for all those interested in learning more about this project. The project website has been operative since May and includes basic information about the project (background, objectives, tasks, partners, contact data and links to social media) as well as about events addressing maritime and marine related issues. The website will be constantly updated to include all the project results. A MARINER poster and leaflet also offer a quick project overview (both deliverables are available on the "Results" section on the website).
Launch of website
In the beginning of June our partner Action Modulers was at the Oceans Business Week in Lisbon. This event, which was promoted by the AIP Foundation and the Portuguese Ministry of the Sea, was a large business meeting of the Sea Economy. It was attended by academic institutions, start-ups and R & D projects who exhibited their products and solutions to favour business networking. Action Modulers had the opportunity of presenting MARINER project to the different attendees that visited their stand, among others to the Portuguese Minister of the Sea.
Oceans Business Week
On May 25th our partner University of Vigo participated in an exercise organized by EMSA and Xunta de Galicia aboard the ship Ría de Vigo (Spain) at which a new type of containment boom was tested (VIKOMA). The videos and photographs taken during the exercises will be used for educational and outreach videos to be produced in the frame of MARINER project. We thank EMSA and the Galician Coastguards for their invitation.
MARINER invited to an exercise with EMSA and Galician Coastguards
All MARINER tasks scheduled for this first year of the Project are underway. Among other activities, our partners have already delivered the methodology to identify and compile existing HNS preparedness and response knowledge generated by EU funded public research as well as by other existing resources. Eventually, all this information will be made available to end users through a user-friendly online tool. The gathering process will be on going until the end of this year. In parallel, our partners are also working on improving the available tools to model the drift, fate and environmental effects of HNS spills; designing a web-based database exercise tool that will help to reinforce the training and exercising of responders; and developing a training package on HNS spill management. In addition to that, MARINER is contacting experts from outside the maritime sector (e.g. from the chemical industry, civil protection, and fire crews working on-land, inland waters, etc.) so as to adapt their knowledge to the response-at-sea requirements and, eventually, improve the marine protocols. In Spain, INTECMAR have already contacted the General Directorate of Merchant Navy, Sasemar, and GIETMA, which is a military unit specialised in responding to technological and environmental emergencies.
Ongoing activities
MARINER tasks underway
As MARINER, MARPOCS (Multinational response and preparedness to oil and chemical spills) and HNS-MS (Improving Member States preparedness to face an HNS pollution of the Marine System) projects are working on improving European preparedness to efficiently cope with maritime pollution; and with the aim of promoting complementarity, improving efficiency, and exploiting synergies, the partners of these three projects agreed to draw a Cooperation Agreement which has just been signed in July. This document identifies the main fields for collaboration and will act as a framework for facilitating the cooperation among the project partners.  
Cooperation agreement between MARPOCS, MARINER, and HNS-MS projects
The MARINER promotional video will be a 10-minute video presenting the basics of the project: the contextualization, the objectives, the tasks, and the partners’ expectations about the project. The video will include interviews with the MARINER partners and will be available with subtitles in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
Coming soon
MARINER promotional video release
Our partner Public Health England will be hosting the 2nd coordination meeting of MARINER, which will be held in Cardiff, Wales, in October 19th. The partnership will have the opportunity to present the work done so far to the Advisory Board, which is comprised of national competent authorities for maritime safety in the UK, France, Spain and Portugal.
Next MARINER meeting in Cardiff
A closer look at MARINER Partners:
Public Health England
CRCE Wales is located in Cardiff, Wales and works collaboratively with partners in both England and Wales in emergency planning, preparedness and response. They provide advice and support to government, emergency services, local authorities and health professionals on the acute and chronic health effects of chemicals and environmental hazards.  CRCE Wales is also a designated WHO Collaborating Centre in the Public Health Management of Chemical Incidents and has played a proactive role in European public health research initiatives including in the field of maritime pollution and response.  
The core function of Public Health England is to protect and improve the nation's health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities. Within PHE, the Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards (CRCE) provides specialist advice, research and services to protect the public from hazards resulting from exposure to chemicals and radiation.
Professor David Russell, head of CRCE Wales: “There are increasing quantities and numbers of chemical substances transported by sea, many of which are potentially hazardous and in the event of accidents present major risks to the environment and people. MARINER aims to develop a range of pioneering tools and materials to support emergency planning and enhance preparedness for such events. Using our experience of past maritime work such as ARCOPOL, the bespoke exercise tools we are developing will support regional, national and cross border maritime preparedness training.  A number of customizable scenarios will examine the potential impact on the environment and public health under region specific conditions in order to test incident plans in a realistic fashion”
CRCE Wales will use this expertise to develop innovative training packages to improve shoreline maritime HNS incident preparedness and response especially in the area of public health protection.
CRCE Wales from left– Paul Callow, Paul Harold, David Russell, Andrew Kibble, Ed Huckle and Deborah Purnell
Disclaimer: This newsletter includes information about activities implemented with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of the European Union, and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.