European project


Targeting the reduction of plastic outflow in the North Sea.

Paysage de mer du nord

A large share of marine litter reaches the sea via inland waterways, posing a serious threat to the environment and human health.

Recognising the urgency of this challenge, the Marine Ressources Group of the North Sea Commission initiated this transnational project to reduce plastic in waterways.

The project

The innovation of the project lies in the integrated cross-sectoral approach, which is needed to successfully identify, prevent, and remove litter from inland waterways.

The core of the project consists of Living Labs at different river-sea interfaces: the Frisian Peninsula (Germany), Dutch Deltas (The Netherlands), Nieuwpoort Yser estuary (Belgium), French ports and harbours on the English Channel (France), and Westcoast watersheds (Denmark).

These 5 Living Labs – spaces for collaboration, exchange and cocreation, tackle plastic pollution through 4 interdependent pillars:

  • Governance & policy: Improvement of multi-level governance for effective cooperation by actors along water systems and improvement of policies at different levels for waste prevention.
  • Data collection & analysis: Use of surveying and observation methods, e.g. citizen science, drone technology, to expand knowledge about composition, distribution and sources of waste, and harmonise methods.
  • Prevention & behaviour change: Education and training of target groups in industry, government and the public on the need and opportunity to reduce plastic spillage and implementation of litter prevention activities.
  • Removal of plastic waste: Application of different techniques for the collection and removal of plastic debris from rivers and harbours and getting insight of their effectiveness.

The role of Nausicaá

Nausicaá will share its expertise in marine science communication, informal education, stakeholder engagement and co-design of technological tools and communication services with users.

The aim is to raise awareness of diverse stakeholders of the importance of managing plastic waste from source to sea efficiently, and to engage local communities in improving the quality of our waterways and preserving their biodiversity.

To this end, Nausicaá will coordinate a living lab assembling CEREMA, CEDRE, ULCO and partners in France and will coordinate the European partners around the thematic pillar «Prevention and behaviour change».

First actions taken

  • the submission of a challenge to be taken up by participants in the 8th Hackathon during the Festival Innovation Mer & Littoral from Friday 17 to Sunday 19 November 2023. The aim of the challenge: Imagine a collaborative and technological tool for managing, raising awareness of and recovering plastic waste on the Côte d'Opale.
  • free discovery for the public of the Communauté d'Agglomération du Boulonnais of the Family Workshops at the heart of the Blue Academy from 6 November to 22 December 2023. Accompanied by a scientific educator, participants in this new educational activity at La Fabrik discovered the impact of plastic pollution on the ocean and learned how to reduce their waste.


The project started in June 2023 and assembles 15 organisations that will work together for three years in 5 countries. They are regional authorities, water management bodies, research institutes, companies and NGOs:

  • University of Oldenburg and ARL WE (Regional development agency Weser Ems) - Germany
  • North Sea Foundation – the Netherlands
  • Hoogheemraadschap Hollands Noorderkwartier– the Netherlands
  • Noria Sustainable Innovators – the Netherlands
  • Institute for Nature Education– the Netherlands
  • Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)  - Belgium
  • International Marine and Dredging Consultants NV - Belgium
  • MULTI N.V - Belgium
  • Société d’exploitation du Centre National de la mer (Nausicaà)- France
  • Centre d’Etudes et d’expertise sur les Risques, l’Environnement, la Mobilité et l’Aménagement (CEREMA) - France
  • Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale (ULCO) - France
  • Centre de Documentation, de Recherche et d’Expérimentations sur les pollutions accidentelles des eaux (CEDRE) - France
  • Kommunenes Internationale Miljoorganisation - Denmark
  • Lemvig Vand A/S - Denmark


  • logo européen du projet Treasure
    Amphithéatre de la salle de la grande Baie


    The Interreg North Sea programme is supporting the project with 60% of the total budget. The total cost of the project is €5,784,707.