Last week, students from High Schools of Pythagorio and Karlovasi, Samos, participated in the Applied Environmental Education sessions given by Archipelagos Institute for young people of the Aegean islands. At the moment, our environmental awareness activities are focused on Samos, not only because the Institute has its main research bases on the island, but also because Samos Island supports the most unique biodiversity of all Mediterranean islands.

Our goal is to educate young people on the high environmental importance of the Aliki Salt Marsh, located near the south east tip of the Island of Samos, and help them realize its importance using experiential methods.

After their visit to the Salt Marsh, the students visited Archipelagos’ research base near Pythagorio. The Institute’s researchers, who come from various countries around the world and currently live and work in Samos, presented to the students the research methods and equipment they use to record and study the biodiversity of the island. Lessons were also provided in the new lecture room in Maniakio building in Vathy Town which was recently created by Archipelagos in collaboration with the University of the Aegean.

During the last year, Archipelagos’ terrestrial research team has been monitoring the Aliki wetland with almost daily surveys, which often start at dawn. This research project aims to gather necessary scientific data of the rare and highly diverse flora and fauna of the wetland as well as its physicochemical characteristics (e.g. water level, salinity and temperature). At the same time, Archipelagos aims to record and limit anthropogenic impacts which are strongly degrading this rare wetland during recent years.

In this effort, we ask for young people of the island to be our allies. In the future, they will be called to manage not only the unique natural heritage of Samos, but also the damage that is being caused by the previous generations.