Perspectives on the marine environment and biodiversity in recreational ports: the marina of Gijon as a case study.
Recreational ports are known to be sources of pollution to the coastal marine environment due to the pouring of pollutants or the transfer of invasive species to neighboring areas. Nonetheless, the responsibility of protecting the marine environment does not lie solely on the users of the ports, but also affects the rest of citizens. Thus, an effective communication is necessary between scientists and citizens to avoid the lack of knowledge and boost cooperation against these environmental problems. In this study, (focused on the marina of Gijon, Northwestern Spain) citizens set education and social media as the main sources of information, rarely considering science outreach. Also, their environmental knowledge showed to be based on a visual perception, rather than on a cognitive one, as marine litter was considered a great environmental problem, while invasive species and biofouling went unnoticed, remarking the lack of an effective communication from scientific sources.