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Oceanographic Structure Daphne

The Oceanographic Structure Daphne is the regional reference centre for the environmental control of the coastal marine ecosystem and for the monitoring and integrated management of coastal areas (ICZM) and represents a branch of ARPA ER.

It was established by the regional authorities of Emilia-Romagna in 1977 and subsequently transferred to the Regional Prevention and Environment Agency of Emilia-Romagna (ARPAER).

The various activities involving both monitoring and research carried out by Daphne, aim to identify the factors affecting the environment and provide proper technical support to the regional and local authorities in order to protect the sea and its resources. The overall provision of services is enriched by the cooperation of the other specialized network "nodes" of the agency.

To fulfil these needs, Daphne has developed several areas of activity:

  • coastal oceanography
  • monitoring and studying of eutrophication processes
  • monitoring of litter on the beaches and microlitter in the sea column water
  • analysis of accumulation of contaminants in marine sediment
  • control of radiopollution
  • analysis of bioaccumulation of micropollutants in marine organisms
  • study and distribution of mucilages aggregates
  • study and control of benthic communities
  • ecotoxicology
  • harbour dredging monitoring and characterization of discharge areas
  • specialised laboratory activity
  • particle size analysis in sediments

The Structure has use of the Oceanographic vessel "Daphne II" and of land laboratories, together with the laboratory network of ARPA local departments. It is located in the same structure as the Centre for marine research (CRM) of Cesenatico, which is the national reference laboratory for marine biotoxins. Marine activities involve a high density network of monitoring stations down the Emilia-Romagna coastline. Sampling and measuring stations distributed along the coastal zone from the Po Delta to Cattolica, up to a distance of 20 km offshore, are monitored weekly.

With the aim to provide a detailed description of the health of the marine-coastal ecosystem, great care is given to the development of:

  • methods and criteria for the classification of environmental quality
  • technology focused on system optimisation of control and study
  • research into anoxic conditions and their effects on benthic fauna
  • communication, raising of awareness






Regional Agency for Environmental Protection in the Emilia-Romagna region (ARPA-ER),
Daphne Oceanographic Structure.

Viale Amerigo Vespucci, 2
47042 Cesenatico FC, Italy


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  • National Institute of Chemistry
    Hajdrihova ulica 19,
    1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

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