Accompanied by the notes of all the hits of "Be Yourself", Nick the Nightfly's new album, in the Piazza of Marciana Marina on Sunday the 30th of June the second edition of SEIF - Sea Essence International Festival 2019 came to its conclusion.

An important edition indeed, which this year saw the full and direct involvement of Legambiente (a national environmental association), the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, IULM University and the Brera Arts Academy in the role of organisers, as well as important support provided by the Toscana Region and the municipality of Marciana Marina. An edition which grew upon the success of last year, drawing great participation from the public thanks to its truly immersive experiences: among them, the beach cleaning initiative led by Vele Spiegate, the hikes along the trails of the island, discovering all of its scents and colours, the activities for kids organised by Legambiente Arcipelago, and the interactive artistic exhibitions organised by the Arts Academy of Brera. All of this, alongside high-level seminars and cultural evenings of the finest calibre.

Starting from its inaugural evening, held on the 28th of June, which was opened by an important video message from the European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella, reminding us all of how the sea represents the past and, especially, the future of humanity, inviting the youngest generations to take care of it, so that the sea itself may also take care of us.

An initial objective was then achieved already during the course of the first day of SEIF, when the two new mayors of Portoferraio and Marciana, Angelo Zini and Simone Barbi, signed the Pelagos Plastic Free Protocol, bringing Elba just one step away from becoming the largest island in the Mediterranean leading the war against plastic.

Another important result was the focus applied on protected marine conservation areas, which allowed the re-opening of a long-forgotten debate and, most importantly, led to an agreement for the realisation of a network of shared strategies between the Authorities, entities, institutions and associations of the island to safeguard increasingly extensive zones of the sea and the fragile, endangered ecosystems its supports.

From science to literature, two publications were also presented during the course of the second edition of SEIF: "Racconti di Mare" ("Sea Stories"), a collection of short novels about the sea realised in collaboration with the IULM university and the precious contributions of 13 different authors; as well as "Alfabeto del Mare" ("The Alphabet of the Sea") by Giada Tofanari, an educational illustrated booklet for kids, so that they may learn from a young age how to appreciate and respect the beauty of the sea.

Even more, from literature we ranged to arts and cinema, thanks to the collaboration with 2 prestigious universities: indeed, during the three days the festival took place, the characteristic streets of Marciana Marina turned into a huge open-air arts exhibition featuring the works and installations of the initiative "Sometimes Art Fails Everywhere", created and realised by the talented young artists of the Arts Academy of Brera, coordinated by their Vice-Director, Professor Maria Cristina Galli. "Ondetempo" was instead the title of the short film presented during the first evening of SEIF, which was realised by the students of IULM university, coordinated by their Professor Mauro Ferraresi and their Dean Gianni Canova. Both of these were moments achieving a high degree of success in terms of attendance from the public of Marciana Marina.

There is still more to tell: the second evening captured everybody's attention with the unseen videos and exciting discoveries narrated by Giovanni Chimienti, one of National Geographic's brilliant Explorers, whilst Nick the Nightfly ended the third evening with his great music, performing a truly entertaining concert alongside his quintet.

SEIF has only just concluded, but it is already time to think about ideas for the future. Indeed, the objective for the 2020 edition, which was already announced on stage during the final evening of the Festival by the President of Acqua dell'Elba, Fabio Murzi, is to donate the whole event to the territory as a gift, with the intention of involving a steadily increasing number of entities and institutions, turning it more and more into a public heritage for the whole community.

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