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The Project involves the restoration, in the northern Venice Lagoon, SCI IT3250031, of the ecotonal environment, typical of microtidal lagoons. This environment is characterized by a marked salt gradient and large intertidal areas vegetated by reedbeds (mainly Phragmites australis), whose presence has been greatly reduced by historic human intervention.

The project aims to exploit the ecosystem services provided by this environment to achieve the following objectives:

1) to improve the Degree of Conservation of habitat 1150* - Coastal lagoons:

a) recreating the typical estuarine oligo-mesohaline environments, in order to counteract the depletion of macrobenthic and fish communities in the Lagoon. Indeed, during last years, the brackish species have been replaced by those from the sea;

b) reducing the degree of eutrophication, thanks to reedbed phytoremediation function, favoring the presence of sensitive species and aquatic plants of high ecological value. These characteristics are typical features of habitat 1150* in good/high level of preservation;

2) to improve, within the Venice Lagoon  - SPA IT3250046, the status of bird species included in annex I of the Birds Directive (Dir. 2009/147/EC)  and using the reedbed environment during the winter period and/or for breeding, foraging or nesting: Phalocrocorax pygmeus*, Botaurus stellaris*, Ardea purpurea, Ixobrychus minutus, Circus aeruginosus, C. cyaneus, Alcedo atthis.

3) to increase the presence of the fish species Pomatoschistus canestrinii, included in the annex II of the Habitats Directive (Dir. 92/43/EEC), attracted by low-salinity environments.

The improvement of the habitat 1150* trophic state will contribute to the achievement of the Good Ecological Status  according to the Water Framework Directive  (Dir. 2000/60/EC) for the area. The restoration of salt gradient and reedbed surfaces will contribute to increase biodiversity in the SCI, according to the 2020 Biodiversity Strategy. Moreover, the increasing of other bird species of special conservation interest (such as  Locustella luscionioides, Acrocephalus arundinaceus, Panurus biarmicus, Emberiza schoeniclus) and fishes, such as seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax), eel (Anguilla anguilla), grey mullet (gen. Mugil, Liza, Chelon), smelt (Atherina boyeri), flounder (Platichthys flesus), juveniles of several species and Decapoda (Palaemon spp. and Palemonetes sp.) also of commercial interest, are expected.