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The natural capital of the Venetian Lagoon is a priceless resource, to be preserved for future generations.

VITAL's approach to the protection of the Venetian Lagoon is geared towards preserving the values of the communities that have inhabited it since its foundation. The city has a fundamental relationship with the natural landscapes surrounding it, and its history is characterised by constant human intervention to preserve the Lagoon environment. The creation of the Lagoon is mainly the result of a progressive accumulation of debris transported by the watercourses of the Veneto plain, the weight of which caused the soil behind the river deltas to sink below sea level. About 6000 years ago, brackish water from the sea began to rise up the course of the rivers and flooded a large area of the plain, thus giving rise to the Venetian Lagoon. The meeting of fresh and brackish waters created the conditions for a rich and diversified environment whose unique natural and climatic characteristics have given rise to an incredible variety of animal and plant species.

The survival of this environment has been ensured over the centuries by planned human interventions. Because the Lagoon is the result of the encounter between the salty waters of the Adriatic and the rivers of the Veneto plain, its balance is naturally precarious – threatened, on the one hand, by the possibility of completely silting up and, on the other, by the invasion of sea water2. VITAL's activities are part of a tradition of interventions aimed at restoring the optimal dynamic processes of the Lagoon ecosystem, and will be used as case studies to facilitate restoration and maintenance policies informed by the most advanced scientific knowledge.


2.  The scale of the works carried out for the benefit of the Lagoon is exemplified by the removal of entire watercourses, such as the Brenta and Sile, by the Republic of Venice. In contemporary times, the system of mobile dams known as MOSE represents the greatest engineering attempt to solve the problems of the Lagoon related to extreme weather events and the resulting flooding.

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