European Blue Parks – Protection and restoration  of marine habitats

Deadline: 20 September 2023

Expected Outcomes:

To support the implementation of the European Green Deal, the Biodiversity Strategy and the Nature Restoration Law, project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Effectively managed marine protected areas with clear science-based conservation measures that contribute to the restoration and protection of marine ecosystems and support a shift towards strictly protected areas ;
  • Protection and restoration of marine habitats and species through strictly protected areas, in particular of seabed habitats, including to preserve their carbon sequestration capacity, ensure spill-over of fish, provide ecosystem functionality and maintain connectivity;
  • Enhanced resilience and adaptation potential of coastal and marine ecosystems and improved provision of their ecosystem services, in particular in relation to climate change mitigation/adaptation and to fisheries;
  • Active support to the Mission’s Digital Ocean and Water Knowledge system through advances in biological, ecosystem and socio-economic knowledge applied to restoration;
  • Reinforces EU leadership in international efforts to stop and reverse biodiversity loss, in line with the EU key priorities and international commitments;
  • A blueprint for the designation and management of marine protected areas.


Proposals are expected to show how their activities and results will achieve the Mission objective 1 –

  • Protect and restore marine and freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity.
  • Proposals will develop and demonstrate protection and restoration solutions to address the degradation of coastal and marine ecosystems.
  • Proposals should significantly improve the management of marine protected area in particular through definition of clear science-based conservation objectives and implementation of the necessary conservation measures to achieve those objectives.

Nevertheless, in well justified cases, proposals may address either specific vulnerable species or habitats that are under strong pressures or that have the most potential to capture and store carbon. Proposals could consider and assess pros and cons of some active restoration activities whereby native habitats building species would be reintroduced in degraded marine and coastal habitats to facilitate the natural recovery.