Two days of mobilization in defense of the lagoon of Venice

Saturday 29 Sept. at the Magazzini del Sale in Dorsoduro, the national meeting “Against major infrastructure at Venice” and Sunday 30 Sept. the “No Grandi Navi” demonstration in the Canale della Giudecca, with the support of dozens and dozens of committees, associations and foundations from across Italy.

By Gianni Favarato

VENEZIA. “There will be two days of education about defending the lagoon of Venice and its fragile balances from the assault of the cruise ship lobby, which is taking advantage of its ownership of the port of Venice by inventing the existence of thousands of cruise ship industry jobs which, in reality are much fewer, almost all seasonal and temporary”. The image of the bacino di San Marco with gigantic cruise ships that sail only a few dozen meters from piazza San Marco has now become the symbol of movements in every corner of Italy that fight against “projects and business that put the environment and public health at risk”. A concrete example, according to the Associazione Ambiente Venezia is “the suggested route for cruise ships from the mouth of Malamocco to enter the Canale dei Petroli and then the Vittorio Emanuele in order to reach the Marittima station at S. Marta, or the suggested route on the north canal of Porto Marghera or to the ferry terminal at Fusina”.

“Widening the Canale dei Petroli and excavating old canals, such as the Vittorio Emanuele” explains the spokesman for Ambiente Venezia, Luciano Mazzolin “to allow cruise ships to pass through not only involves the excavation of millions of tons of more or less contaminated sludge, which will need to be sent to some appropriate place, but will also over the years bring the total destruction of what is left of the central Lagoon, causing it to become a branch of the sea, with varying depths”. To support these assertions, Ambiente Venezia offers videos, photos and studies regarding the displacement “of immense volumes of water (almost 100,000 cubic meters) and on the destructive hydrodynamic effect on the banks of the Canale dei Petroli which has already been caused by both cruise ships and commercial ships”.

The protest is also aimed at the president of the Port Authority, Musolino, who “has already begun a series of inquiries to evaluate the level of toxicity of the sludge on the bed of the Vittorio Emmanuele, which would have to be excavated while still not knowing where to safely put it, and to which would be added an even greater quantity from the excavation to widen the Canale dei Petroli. Ambiente Venezia refers to the studies of architect Gianni Fabbri, according to which, if they were to proceed with the excavation of 10 km of the Canale dei Petroli, which has a bed that is of insufficient depth for cruise ships, and of the Vittorio Emanuele which has been buried for years, there will be 6 or 7 million cubic meters of sludge to remove and place somewhere, and the processes of erosion in the central lagoon will augment catastrophically”.

Source: La Nuova Venezia 28 September 2018

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