New Cruise Ship Routes in Venice Could Damage Environment

On August 8, the Italian government’s inter-ministerial committee, responsible for major issues concerning the city of Venice, announced that it intends to change the routes for cruise ships entering the port, the Art Newspaper has reported.

The proposal has serious environmental implications as the rebuilding required to accommodate the larger ships would accelerate the rate of sediment flow and may increase flooding. This has been demonstrated by scientific studies investigating a similar expansion project in the 1960s. Scientists also warn that contaminated sediments from the dredging process may harm water quality.

What’s more, questions have been raised about the reliability of the research presented by the Port of Venice to the committee. Critics argue that the presented reports were outdated and unreliable as they were funded by the Port, without independent review.

A petition to prime minister Matteo Renzi has been started to reverse the decision, although the proposal is still subject to the official environmental assessment due to take place before November 6.

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