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  • Writer's pictureLeonardo Merçon

Invited to get a firsthand look at the new aquaviarium in Vitória

I boarded the new aqua transportation system of Greater Vitória, the result of the latest initiative of the state government of Espírito Santo to address the ongoing debates over water-based public transportation.

We, the Últimos Refúgios Institute, represented by myself (Leonardo Merçon) and our director Raphael Gaspar, were invited by Governor Renato Casagrande and Secretary of Culture Fabricio Noronha to take part in a test trip on the morning of March 15th, aboard one of the vessels of this new system, which initially aims to transport passengers across Vitória, Vila Velha and Cariacica.

With eleven years of activity in the state of Espírito Santo, particularly in Greater Vitória, the Institute was chosen to witness this historic milestone. The vessel departed from the Port Authority, navigating through Vitória Bay until it arrived at the Porto de Santana station in Cariacica, providing a spectacular and privileged view of the region's natural beauty.

For years, I have been dedicated to capturing the biodiversity of Espírito Santo, particularly in Vitória, and I was struck by the remarkable view that the itinerary provided. The return of the aqua transportation system is a great gift to our city.

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Leonardo Merçon has been a nature photographer/documentarist for almost 20 years, focused on nature protection. He studied graphic design at the Federal University of Espírito Santo and photography for publications at the Academy of Media and Arts in Germany, with a full scholarship from DAAD, and currently pursuing a professional master's degree in Biodiversity Conservation at IPÊ/ESCAS. He is the founder/volunteer director of Instituto Últimos Refúgios (a nonprofit environmental organization). He has dozens of printed books and video documentaries published. He works to help tell stories through images in national and international media, such as BBC London and National Geographic Brazil, among others. In 2015, he gave a TEDx Talk in Vitória-ES. He believes in and works on environmental awareness activities (especially with children) and promotes nature-related tourism as a way to inspire people and promote change.

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