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C - Conservation Actions

Morphological and hydraulic interventions in the finishing straight

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The Life Lagoon Refresh project comes alive. Construction work has begun on Actions C1 “Hydraulic works” and C2 “Interventions for morphological reconstruction” (Conservation Actions C). The construction of the hydraulic system is being prepared with the definition of the site area and the preparation of the by-pass of bicycle line for the trucks passage. The freshwater intake from the Sile river to the Lagoon will be realized through the construction of an outlet channel on the right embankment of the Sile river, a crossing section with two parallel pipes, and a return channel in the lagoon.  For the morphological part in the lagoon, in the shallow bottom in front of the freshwater intake area, the phase of construction of the first extract has begun: it consists of the driving of lines of wooden poles inside which the bags in degradable coconut fibre are housed. These structures will limit the dispersion of the fresh water and will be used as a substrate for planting the reed.The term of these works is expected by the end of 2019. Both these Conservation Actions will lead to the achievement of one of the most important objectives of the project: the recreation of the typical ecotonal environment in the transitional zone between mainland and lagoon now lost in most of the Venice Lagoon.

Morphological and hydraulic interventions in the finishing straight

Despite the exceptional climatic events at the end of 2019, construction activities (Conservation Actions C) are ending.

In October, an update was published on the state of progress of the works, describing the construction works. For the morphological part in the Lagoon, the phase of construction of the first extract had in fact begun with the fixing of rows of wooden poles inside which the bags in degradable coconut fibre were housed. They will limit the dispersion of the fresh water and will be used as a substrate for planting reeds. On the other hand, the construction sites for the hydraulic system were being set up to define the site area and prepare the by-pass of the cycle path for the trucks passage for the construction of the fresh water inlet from the Sile River in the Lagoon.

To date, the interventions of morphological reconstruction of the first extract are almost completed: the biodegradable bags were placed in the Lagoon as designed and shortly the transplantation of reeds will begin.
The construction site for the hydraulic works is also on home stretch: the pipes were placed inside the building in the embankment between the Sile River and the Lagoon and the connection is about to be completed.
This phase is extremely crucial for the project as both concrete Actions will lead to the achievement of one of the most important goals of the project: the recreation of the typical transitional environment between lagoon and land now lost in most of the Venice Lagoon. This internal area of the lagoon, in fact, should be characterized by low salinity, while to date the environmental conditions are much more similar to those found at sea, with consequent loss of biodiversity that characterizes these environments.

The hydraulic and morphological works are finished: the fresh water is flowing into the Lagoon!

The Life Lagoon Refresh project has achieved an important goal: the connection between the Sile River and the Venice Lagoon has been completed and from May 20th, 2020 the fresh water is flowing from the Sile into the Lagoon.

After several unforeseen events, which slowed down the construction sites, such as the exceptional weather event of November 2019 and the health pandemic of 2020, both the hydraulic and morphological works were finally completed and the fresh water input from the Sile Rivers to the Lagoon is now active. Fresh water flows by gravity within the inlet work, as a function of the difference in water level between the river and the lagoon, with variations that depend on the tidal regime. The first regulation of the sluice gates allows an average flow rate of 300 l/s. To avoid the sudden dispersion of fresh water, modular biodegradables elements were installed in the lagoon in front of the hydraulic work. The fresh water and the altimetric variability produced by the morphological structures will make the lagoon environment suitable for reedbed growing.

The next steps involve the planting of reeds and aquatic phanerogams, thanks to the involvement of hunters and fishermen, assiduous frequenters of the area, previously trained during the course of July 12th, 2019 . The fresh water flow rate will be gradually increased up to a maximum average value of 1000 l/s and a second front of biodegradable structures, that limits the flow of fresh water, will be placed.  Monitoring activities will verify the efficiency of the works and the effects on the animal and plant communities on the project area. The conservation actions of the Life Lagoon Refresh aim to counteract the saline gradient loss, mainly due to the diversion of rivers, and to increase the biodiversity of fishes, birds, animals of mobile bottom and plants.

The official opening is postponed for now, waiting for fewer restrictions on the social distance of the period. In the meantime, we invite you to follow our updates on this website or visit the social media channels of the project.