Dear Blog Readers,
I am taking a break from my usual Mamma-journalist tales to tell you about EcoOonda. (Onda means wave and Eco refers to ecological). There have been some posts where I have been pretty harsh on the poor old Italian Mammoni (Mama-Boys), so finally I am going to make it up to Italian men, telling you about some who are making a difference and making some waves.
My talented AP video-journalist colleague, Paolo Santalucia, has thrown himself passionately into a project called EcoOonda in an effort to save his beloved Amalfi Coast.
This summer—from July 10th to 15th— Paolo and his two friends Luca and Marco will be swimming 45 kilometers along the Amalfi Coast from Positano to Vico Equense. Their goal is to raise awareness about pollution ruining the coastline and prompt efforts to save the Mediterranean from environmental damage. You are invited to join them on their swim.
Here’s a little more information about the three swimmers:
Luca Castellano is 34-years-old and is an author. His first book: “La Fine Degli Affanni” (roughly translated “The End of the Anguish”) was published in 2010, a second book, coming out soon, is set in Vico Equense (a small town on the Amalfi coast and center of the EcoOonda project) and is inspired by the myth of the mermaids. Luca is training for the swim in Berlin where he lives.
Paolo Santalucia is 36-years-old and a video-journalist for The Associated Press based in Rome. When he is not on one of his globe-trotting assignments for AP Television, Paolo is busy coaching his water-polo team, Juventus Pallanuoto. Paolo grew up in Vico Equense. He remembers when his 80-year-old grandmother came to visit he would take her on the back of his Vespa and putt-putt down to the sea. She didn’t know how to swim and would ask her grandson to teach her. Paolo says in the end, she preferred to lie on the beach and sunbathe while he took off but then would get concerned when he disappeared for an hour swimming 2-3 kilometers.
Marco Cuomo (31) is a pharmacist in Vico Equense and father of Achille, age 4. He is a fan of apnea and all it takes is 4 minutes below water for him to get a couple of fish for the two women in his life, his wife and his mother. He is an ardent swimmer and swims to save the beaches of his beloved Amalfi coast where decades ago his grandfather wooed his grandmother.
Marco, Luca and Paolo are not the only ones involved, there will also be dozens of volunteers, elementary school students and friends joining the big swim for a few miles and pushing the three EcoOonda swimmers towards their final destination in Vico Equense.
WHY? Because the Gulf of Naples and the Amalfi coast are breathtaking marine areas, under massive risk of pollution.
The Amalfi Coast’s protected marine park with high biological diversity borders a 30 kilometer stretch of coast where swimming is forbidden due to pollution. If we don’t act now to protect the sea, to build new water purification plants and to create and reinforce marine parks our children either will not be able to see life in our seas anymore or our seas will be to dirty to swim.
- Create a Blue Mile in Vico Equense, a stretch of sea, 200 meters wide from the shore and 2 kilometers long, where motorboats are forbidden (only swimmers, snorkelers and kayakers will enjoy it)
- Establish an independent observatory on sea pollution in the Gulf of Naples
- Creation of an underwater museum for snorkelers and divers.
Create a bottom-up movement to put pressure on local and national politicians to build a purification plant.
What you can do:
Publicize the project on your blogs
Come Watch the EcoOonda Swimmers and swim with them on the Amalfi coast.
Volunteer to help with the project – so far they have involved doctors, entertainers/teachers for children who will be attending courses on the environment,
Spread the word and join the literary competition called “Grandpa, tell me about the Sea” – Short non-fiction essay in which someone under twenty should interview someone over fifty about the sea that he or she remembers before human environmental exploitation and damages. Send by June 20 to [email protected]
The submission must include an attachment of photos of the two individuals involved and a phone number.
Prizes include: First place: A sailing course; Second place: a diving or apnea course; Third place: a one-year swim class: Fourth place: a trip for two in a boat around the Punta Campanella Marina park; Firth place: a guided tour of the Naples Acquarium and the Marina Park of Punta Campanella.
And a final word from Paolo:
“We hope that all the many Mozzarella Eco-Mamme that read your blog will bring their kids whatever their ages and join us on our swim to save our coast.”
So, blog readers, plan a trip to the Amalfi Coast in July and join Paolo and the other swimmers in their eco-friendly wave, I promise you it will be worth it. Viva EcoOonda!
Check out their video below:
Post in: Italiano