A Mission to restore our ocean and waters by 2030

One of the five EU Mission areas is Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030. This Mission aims to protect and restore the health of our ocean and waters through research and innovation, citizen engagement and blue investments. The Mission will address the water system as a whole, with measurable and quantifiable goals for restoring ecosystems and biodiversity, zero pollution, decarbonisation and emissions reductions. 

Following the interim report published in June 2020, the Mission was launched and the Implementation Plan was published alongside this factsheet in September 2021. The plan lays out that the Mission will have been accomplished when quantifiable and measurable goals of the EU Biodiversity Strategy, the EU Action Plan Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Soil and Water and the EU Climate Law have been reached.

Main elements of Starfish mission lighthouses



The Mission will strive to reach these goals by deploying innovative solutions at basin scale, with each basin focusing on a particular area in the developing and piloting phase (2021-2025). The Mission lighthouses are: 

  1. Danube river basin: protect and restore ecosystems and biodiversity (freshwater)
  2. Atlantic and Arctic coast: protect and restore ecosystems and biodiversity (marine)
  3. Mediterranean Sea: prevent and eliminate pollution 
  4. Baltic and North Sea basin: make the blue economy carbon-neutral.

Phase two (2026 - 2030) will focus on deployment and upscaling, with the replication of pilot activities. The scale-up actions would be carried out through annual calls for expressions of interest from 2025 onwards to macroregions, regions and communities looking to become Mission scale-up sites.

ERRIN input to Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030

The governance of our oceans and waters is a fragmented framework spread over all levels – from international to local. Regional and local authorities and stakeholders will be an important player in the development and steering to create more coherence and efficient cooperation both in terms of investments and research and innovation agendas.


In July 2020, the Blue Economy Working Group organised a webinar to discuss the development of the Mission with the European Commission and a member of the Mission Board.


Building on the webinar in 2020, ERRIN’s Blue Economy Working Group organised in June 2021 a dialogue together with the Mission Secretariat focusing on the area-based lighthouses proposed in the Mission. The event presented an opportunity for ERRIN members to come together with those working on the Mission and its Implementation Plan to discuss potential lighthouse activities, scale and governance. During the meeting, inspiring examples were presented from ERRIN members including WaterCampus Leeuwarden, North Norway, Mid-Norway, Turku Southwest Finland, Welsh Higher Education, Emilia Romagna and South Denmark. 

The report on the dialogue includes ERRIN's key messages on the scale, scope, governance and synergies of the area-based lighthouses within the Mission. 


ERRIN provided its input on the Mission Charter in February 2022, which was shared with the Mission Secretariat, and shared its messages for the Horizon Europe Missions Work Programme 2023-2024 in May 2022 where the members' concerns over the rigid and narrow thematic basins of the Mission were raised. 


ERRIN has through its Blue Economy Working Group continued the dialogue with the Mission Secretariat. The project tasked with developing the Mission Implementation Support Platform, in which ERRIN is a partner, kicked off in the beginning of 2023.

Latest Updates

  • By Heidi Johansson

Associated Regions in the Ocean and Waters Mission

Earlier this month, Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030 organised together with CINEA an online information session on the concept and opportunities of Associated Regions within the Mission. Find here more information on the concept as well as the slides and recording from the session.

  • By Heidi Johansson

ERRIN focus group meeting on the Ocean and Waters Mission Charter

In May, ERRIN organised a focus group meeting with regions to discuss the Charter of the EU Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2023 (Ocean and Waters Mission). The meeting was organised with the Mission Ocean Implementation Support Platform, in which ERRIN is a partner. Benefits and concerns around the Mission Charter, as well as how the support services proposed by the Charter can be improved to better support the needs of regions were discussed.  

  • By Heidi Johansson

Open calls for associated regions in Ocean and Waters Mission projects

Two Innovation Action projects under Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030 currently have open calls for associated regions. The CLIMAREST project's call focuses on the replication of technologies and tools for marine restoration, with a deadline for applications on 8 September 2023. The DANUBE4all project's call focuses on technical assistance for the preparation of roadmaps, plans, and projects to restore freshwater ecosystems in regions, with a deadline on 31 August 2023.

  • By Lucy Hammond

EU Missions: The European Commission publishes its first mid-term review

On 19 July, the European Commission (EC) published a Communication on the assessment of the EU Missions after two years of implementation. The EC details the Missions' successes but also recognises the need to address challenges related to governance, budget, citizens and private sector engagement. The EC also proposes to add a sixth Mission on the New European Bauhaus.

  • By Silvia Ghiretti

Call for Participation: European Citizens' Hackathon Championship

ERRIN is looking to support a project proposal for a tender on the European Citizens' Hackathon Championship, which aims to contribute to the objectives of the EU Missions, in particular the Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities Mission and the Adaptation to Climate Change Mission. 

  • By Silvia Ghiretti

EU Missions creating new markets: the crucial role of the triple helix collaboration

ERRIN is collaborating with the TRAMI project to organise a Mutual Learning Event on the Wednesday 17 May from 9:00-12:30, exploring the role of industry, academia and public authorities in achieving the objectives of the five EU Missions through triple helix collaboration.