The LIFE VIMINE project aimed to define and implement an integrated approach to the protection of salt marshes from erosion and a novel landscape management in the northern part of the Venice Lagoon through soil bio-engineering works. Keywords of the project were integration, participation, sustainability, low environmental impact protection works, spatially diffuse and continuous actions of conservation: but, what kind of actions were carried out to experiment, realize and possibly extend this innovative approach to other zones in the Venice lagoon? How was it possible to follow the progress of the project and understand the consequences of its approach on the lagoon landscape? During the project, in this section we explained, step by step, the activities that we were performing, their purpose, how they integrated with the other ongoing actions and how they all contributed to reach the key objectives of integration, sustainability and participation of the LIFE VIMINE project.
Monitoring of the positive effects of the project actions against erosion
A monitoring assessment of the status of salt marshes edges started during the first months of the project to identify the areas to be targeted by protection activities and maintenance actions, but also to record the ex ante salt marshes state in the project area.
Participatory activities represent a key methodology in LIFE VIMINE, because the involvement of people who live in the lagoon territory - and hence know it very well - is fundamental to carry out conservation actions in the best possible manner. Given the integrated approach proposed in LIFE VIMINE, local stakeholders are indeed people that can be successfully involved in the project activities, for example due to their social role within the community, to their working activity, to their passions and so on, so that the whole community can fully benefit from the project. Some preliminary participatory meetings have already taken place in Burano with the inhabitants of the Island. Activities of field inspection of salt marshes have been started by the project staff, involving fishermen and inhabitants of the project area, and participatory mapping activities focused on these peculiar lagoon habitats have also been carried out. During participatory mapping, local actors indicated on a map those places in the landscape that they feel are well conserved and those which appear degraded, from the environmental, landscape and societal points of view.