Cascais is sea-oriented

The involvement of local communities has been another tool of work in Cascais, due to the understanding that the community needs to adapt itself regarding environmental issues as a success key for the implementation of measures on the ground. Since 2008, more than 8 tons of sewage have been cleared from the seabed by about 1,400 volunteers through the Clean Up The Atlantic Initiative, which gathers sea and land volunteers in the coastal cleaning off the Cascais Bay. More recently, having decided to end the use of plastic in water consumption, Cascais expects to withdraw from circulation half a million plastic bottles a year which would be enough to fill up twice the Santa Marta Lighthouse, located in this village, with this material. This problem is undeniable. In terms of events, which are also an important component of the Cascais life, the municipality wants to challenge organizations to make their initiatives more sustainable. Events such as major international conferences, local community celebrations, business meetings, music festivals, exhibitions or sporting events have now a more conscientious footprint.

All these initiatives are important to the municipality. This year, upon receiving BIOMARINE – the largest platform of companies related to biotechnology of the sea – once again, Cascais imposes itself as the host and catalyst of meetings for the promotion of marine resources exploitation. This year, it aims at mirroring the potential of the various activities related to the sea as one of the most valuable for the growth of the Municipality. Cascais has an Atlantic dimension, where its territory is assumed in a more broadly way. Its maritime territory influences the terrestrial territory and its communities. Innovative projects have been started through the DNA Cascais and over the last 11 years, as a corporate nest, it has supported the creation of more than 320 enterprises. Some projects related to the sea are worth being highlighted: social projects such as Wave by wave which was started by two sea and surf lovers. A national surf champion and a psychologist have seen the transforming power of this sport, thus creating a therapeutic project that transformed surf into a tool of promotion of mental health and wellness and bringing surf to populations that are at risk of social exclusion. Even industries, such as Xhapeland, which is specialized in the production, through the use of advanced technology, of high-quality boards suitable for all surf levels and conditions. In the aeronautics sector, Optimal Structural Solutions is a national benchmark that uses space technology for more energy-efficient solutions through the production of lighter composite components.

For all these reasons we aim to be the place for the largest international network of partnerships in the sea field that includes not only industries but also research centres. As Cascais lives with and to the sea – in past, present and future – we wish for it to be the driving force of discussion regarding its environmental valuation, economic dynamism, innovation and competitiveness!

Sara Saraiava

Environment Account Manager, Brand & Communication Division, Cascais Municipality.

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