© Mario Fletzer
The expected outcomes of the project LIFE VIMINE are summarised below.
Protection of salt marshes from erosion is accomplished through diffuse micro soil bioengineering works. The salt marshes targeted by the project are the most inner and confined salt marshes of the northern Lagoon of Venice, habitats of great ecological and societal value. The soil bio engineering works used in LIFE VIMINE are constructed using biodegradable materials, for example fascines made of branches, and are thus respectful of the intrinsic features of the salt marsh system habitats, being flexible, reversible and modifiable.
The human presence within the territory guaranteed by the routine, temporally-continuous, and spatially-diffuse maintenance works of LIFE VIMINE supports the continuity to salt marsh protection over time.
The project demonstrates the importance and effectiveness of an integrated and economically sustainable approach to landscape management. The example of LIFE VIMINE is replicable in other parts of the lagoon and, through proper adjustments, in other geographic and environmental contexts.
A short supply chain to produce wooden material will be created by planting trees in some suitable sites of the lagoon, in order to ensure the local availability of wood needed for the works of salt marsh protection and also to improve the ecological status of the project area by recreating valuable habitats. This short supply chain is also sustained by an integrated management of the system composed by the lagoon and its drainage basin, since part of the required wood amount is obtained from the mainland of Venice, for instance by the pruning activities that the Consorzio di Bonifica Acque Risorgive carries out along the waterways and channels of the Mestre area under its jurisdiction.
In LIFE VIMINE, soil bioengineering works will be developed and optimised in all the stages of their implementation, such as planning, design, construction, installation, monitoring, and maintenance, to increase their durability and efficacy, based on a rigorous scientific approach. Research is based on field and laboratory tests, hydrodynamic and erosion modelling, and collection of knowledge from traditional techniques.
Guidelines will be created to summarize the contribution of LIFE VIMINE to the progress of the state of the art in integrated and sustainable landscape management based on soil bioengineering techniques with low environmental impact. These guidelines will allow the dissemination of the project approach, its methods and techniques, in Italian and European environmental contexts characterized by similar pressures and environmental issues.
LIFE VIMINE will protect a site included in the Natura 2000 network, of great importance for the conservation of species and habitats at the regional, national and European level, under the Birds and Habitats Directives (Upper Lagoon of Venice, SCI code IT3250031; Lagoon of Venice, SPA code IT3250046).
LIFE VIMINE will spread information and raise awareness regarding the issue of erosion in the lagoon, and will strengthen the sense of responsibility of local communities for the environment and the landscape that surround them.
LIFE VIMINE contributes to local sustainable socio-economic development, through: direct involvement of local workers in the conservation efforts of the project, with the creation of sustainable jobs within the project area; enhancement of fishing activities, through the works carried out in the salt marsh system, which create slight bathymetric variations fostering the development of ecological niches and consequently increasing the abundance of valuable fish species; support to the creation of new small businesses or youth local cooperatives related to the project needs, such as activities linked to wood production and to all stages of the soil bioengineering work implementation; support to the development of sustainable economic activities in the project area (e.g. sustainable tourism, through the activation of the process leading to the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism).
Removal of accumulated and abandoned wastes from salt marshes and from the project area.
Creation of a multidisciplinary, GIS archive of environmental and socio-ecological data and information, based on the Time Bank project activity, photographic surveys, ortho-photographic surveys, specific surveys of sedimentation rates, benthic communities and vegetation, maps of priority sites for fishermen, maps of the social perception of the landscape, etc.
Quantification of the economic value of the ecosystem services provided by salt marshes, and assessment of the overall socio-economic sustainability over the long term of the proposed integrated approach to salt marsh conservation and landscape management.