Marmara Sea Action Plan Announced

Marmara Sea Action Plan, prepared in partnership with Marmara Municipalities Union (MMU) and the Ministry of Environment, Urbanisation and Climate Change was publicly announced in Kocaeli on 6 June 2021 by the Minister of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Murat Kurum. You can find the action items below.

ACTION 1: In order to reduce pollution and monitor the Marmara Region, a Coordination Board will be established consisting of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, relevant institutions and organizations, universities, chambers of industry, and NGOs. A Scientific and Technical Council will be established under the Marmara Municipalities Union.

ACTION 2: The Sea of Marmara Integrated Strategic Plan will be prepared within three months as a framework for efforts to be conducted.

ACTION 3: Efforts to designate the entire Sea of Marmara as a protected area will be initiated and completed by the end of 2021.

ACTION 4: As part of the emergency response, efforts will be initiated to completely clean the mucilage in the Sea of Marmara with scientific-based methods on a 24/7 basis as of June 8th, 2021.

ACTION 5: All of the existing wastewater treatment plants in the region will be converted into advanced biological treatment plants. Efforts will be carried out in line with the objectives of preventing the discharge of wastewater into the Sea of Marmara without first undergoing advanced biological treatment.

ACTION 6: The discharge standards of wastewater treatment plants discharging into the Sea of Marmara will be updated and implemented within 3 months.

ACTION 7: The reuse of treated wastewater will be expanded and supported wherever possible. Clean production techniques will be applied.

ACTION 8: The transition into advanced treatment technologies will be accelerated by rehabilitation and improvement efforts of OIZs that do not operate their wastewater treatment plants properly.

ACTION 9: Public-private partnership models will be implemented to make the construction and operation of wastewater treatment plants much easier.

ACTION 10: Arrangements will be made within three months to prevent the discharge of wastewater from ships into the Sea of Marmara.

ACTION 11: Cleaner production techniques will be made more widespread in shipyards.

ACTION 12: All wastewater treatment plants that discharge into the receiving environment will be monitored online 24/7 within the framework of the efforts of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization. The current number of 91 monitoring points in the Sea of Marmara will be increased to 150. Supervision of all basins associated with the Sea of Marmara will be expanded using remote sensing, satellite and early warning systems, unmanned aerial vehicles and radar systems with the help of the Turkish Environment Agency.

ACTION 13: The Regional Waste Management Action Plan and Sea Waste Action Plan will be prepared and put into practice within three months by covering the coasts of the Sea of Marmara.

ACTION 14: Good agricultural and organic farming practices and pressured and drip irrigation systems will be expanded.

ACTION 15: Artificial wetlands and buffer zones will be created on the stream beds in the basins associated with the Sea of Marmara thereby preventing the pollution from reaching the sea.

ACTION 16: Technological transformations will be provided to reduce waste water in order to prevent pollution originating from olive blackwater and whey.

ACTION 17: The use of cleaning materials containing phosphorus and surfactants will be gradually reduced. Organic cleaning products will be encouraged.

ACTION 18: All ghost nets in the Sea of Marmara will be cleaned within a year.

ACTION 19: It will be ensured that fishing activities are conducted in an ecosystem-based fashion and protected areas are developed .

ACTION 20: Financial support will be provided to fishermen who are negatively impacted by mucilage.

ACTION 21: A platform will be created to inform the public to prevent marine pollution and raise awareness of our citizens.

ACTION 22: Measures will be taken to reduce the effects of hot water consisting of cooling waters and thermal facilities on the Sea of Marmara.

It was decided to implement the actions consisting of 22 items above within the framework of the Marmara Sea Action Plan.