Results of a research project that began in 2014 with field measurements of the erosion caused by ship traffic in the Venice Lagoon was finally published in October 2017.
PlosONE is an open-access peer reviewed scientific journal. The team of nine scientists was led by CNR ISMAR and involved the Environmental Sciences department of Ca’Foscari University, James Cook University (Australia), Sacred Heart University (USA) and Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia).
The inferences of the research are central to our indignation at the recent governmental decision (Comitatone on 7 November 2017) to:
- allow an unlimited number of cruise ships below 55,000t to continue passing from the Lido inlet through Venice via the Bacino di San Marco;
- build infrastructure at Marghera and carry out further dredging in the lagoon to facilitate the larger cruise ships in Venice via Malamocco and the industrial shipping channel.
Instead, WahV expects the government to support strategies, actions and plans to protect the Lagoon and the cultural, economic and social integrity of Venice, as set out in the Special Laws for Venice.
We referenced this work in our letter to the Director General of UNESCO. The letter was also copied to Francesco Bandarin who is the Assistant Director General for Culture at Unesco and and was previously Director of the Unesco World Heritage Centre. He is also from Venice and familiar with lagoon issues.
Furthermore a new POSTER CAMPAIGN was launched on 15 November throughout Venice, crystallising a central concept that is fully endorsed by the PlosONE article:
THE SURVIVAL OF VENICE IS DEPENDENT ON ITS LAGOON SYSTEM BUT THIS IS BEING SERIOUSLY ERODED BY SHIP TRAFFIC.
The aim is to:
- help the public understand why the Marghera proposal does not represent a solution to the cruise ship problem;
- remind policy makers of this fixed point in the debate about how to solve the cruise ship problem without sacrificing Venice and the lagoon;
- underscore the importance of evidence-based decision making.
The posters have also been bounced off Facebook and Instagram, thereby reaching people beyond the tourists, commuters and residents who see them in the streets. The article has received thousands of “hits”, unprecedented for scientific articles of this nature.