MOSE Project
Overview
 
The MOSE Project is a project intended to protect the city of Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 from floods. The project is an integrated defence system consisting of rows of mobile gates able to isolate the Venetian Lagoon
Venetian Lagoon
The Venetian Lagoon is the enclosed bay of the Adriatic Sea in which the city of Venice is situated. Its name in the Venetian language, Laguna Veneta— cognate of Latin lacus, "lake"— has provided the international name for an enclosed, shallow embayment of saltwater, a lagoon.The Venetian Lagoon...

 from the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula, and the system of the Apennine Mountains from that of the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges...

 when the tide reaches above an established level (110 cm) and up to a maximum of 3 m. Together with other complementary measures such as coastal reinforcement, the raising of quaysides and paving and improvement of the lagoon environment, these barriers will protect the city of Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 from extreme events such as the floods and from morphological degradation.
Encyclopedia
The MOSE Project is a project intended to protect the city of Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 from floods. The project is an integrated defence system consisting of rows of mobile gates able to isolate the Venetian Lagoon
Venetian Lagoon
The Venetian Lagoon is the enclosed bay of the Adriatic Sea in which the city of Venice is situated. Its name in the Venetian language, Laguna Veneta— cognate of Latin lacus, "lake"— has provided the international name for an enclosed, shallow embayment of saltwater, a lagoon.The Venetian Lagoon...

 from the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula, and the system of the Apennine Mountains from that of the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges...

 when the tide reaches above an established level (110 cm) and up to a maximum of 3 m. Together with other complementary measures such as coastal reinforcement, the raising of quaysides and paving and improvement of the lagoon environment, these barriers will protect the city of Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 from extreme events such as the floods and from morphological degradation. Work on the project has been under way since 2003 at the three lagoon inlets of Lido, Malamocco
Malamocco
Malamocco is one of the three narrow inlets in the enclosing coastal dune bar that connect the Venetian Lagoon with the Adriatic Sea, together with the Lido and Chioggia inlets...

 and Chioggia
Chioggia
Chioggia is a coastal town and comune of the province of Venice in the Veneto region of northern Italy.-Geography:...

, the gaps connecting the lagoon with the sea and through which the tide ebbs and flows. The project is being executed by engineers at FIAT
Fiat
FIAT, an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino , is an Italian automobile manufacturer, engine manufacturer, financial, and industrial group based in Turin in the Italian region of Piedmont. Fiat was founded in 1899 by a group of investors including Giovanni Agnelli...

.

In 2006, the incoming government of Romano Prodi
Romano Prodi
Romano Prodi is an Italian politician and statesman. He served as the Prime Minister of Italy, from 17 May 1996 to 21 October 1998 and from 17 May 2006 to 8 May 2008...

 announced that the project was "under review" for budgetary reasons. However, the project was reinstated the following year.

Origin of the name

Before the acronym was used to describe the entire flood protection system, it indicated the 1:1 scale prototype of a gate tested between 1988 and 1992 at the Lido di Venezia inlet. The name MOSE is also a play on the Italian name for Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

, Mosè (who divided the waters of the Red Sea).

Context

MOSE is part of a General Plan of Interventions to safeguard Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 and the lagoon commenced in 1987 by the Ministry of Infrastructure
Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (Italy)
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport is the government ministry for transport in the Republic of Italy. It is responsible for all transport infrastructure as well as general transport planning and logistics, especially for urban transport schemes...

 through the Venice Water Authority (the Ministry's operational arm in the lagoon) and the concessionary, the Consorzio Venezia Nuova. The measures already completed or underway along the coastline and in the lagoon are the most important environmental defense, restoration and improvement programme ever implemented by the Italian State.

In parallel with work to construct MOSE, the Venice Water Authority and the Venice Local Authority are raising quayside
Quayside
The Quayside is an area along the banks of the River Tyne in Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead in the North East of England, United Kingdom....

s and paving in the city to protect built-up areas in the lagoon from medium high tides below 110 cm, the height at which the mobile barriers will come into operation. These measures are extremely complex, particularly in urban contexts such as Venice and Chioggia where the raising must take account of the delicate architectural and monumental context.

The measures to improve shallow the lagoon environment are aimed at slowing down degradation of the morphological structures caused by subsidence, eustatism and erosion
Erosion
Erosion is when materials are removed from the surface and changed into something else. It only works by hydraulic actions and transport of solids in the natural environment, and leads to the deposition of these materials elsewhere...

 resulting from wave motion and wash. Work is being carried out throughout the lagoon basin to protect, reconstruct and renaturalise salt marshes, mudflats and shallows, restore the environment of the smaller islands and dredge lagoon canals and channels.

Important activities are also underway in the industrial area of Porto Marghera
Marghera
Marghera is a frazione of the comune of Venice, Italy. It includes the industrial area known as Porto Marghera or Venezia Porto Marghera....

 at the edge of the central lagoon to oppose pollution by securing islands formerly used as dumps, consolidating and sealing the industrial canals and removing polluted sediments.

Aim

The aim of the MOSE project is to solve the problem of high waters which has afflicted Venice and other towns and villages in the lagoon since ancient times in autumn, winter and spring. Although the tide in the lagoon basin is lower than in other areas of the world where it may reach as high as 20 m, the phenomenon may become significant if associated with atmospheric and meteorological factors such as pressure and the action of the bora
Bora
-Performers:* Bora, a Korean pop artist in the group Sistar* Bora Yoon, experimental sound artist and composer / performer based in NYC-Geography:...

 (a north-easterly wind coming from Trieste
Trieste
Trieste is a city and seaport in northeastern Italy. It is situated towards the end of a narrow strip of land lying between the Adriatic Sea and Italy's border with Slovenia, which lies almost immediately south and east of the city...

) or Sirocco
Sirocco
Sirocco, scirocco, , jugo or, rarely, siroc is a Mediterranean wind that comes from the Sahara and reaches hurricane speeds in North Africa and Southern Europe. It is known in North Africa by the Arabic word qibli or ghibli Sirocco, scirocco, , jugo or, rarely, siroc is a Mediterranean wind...

 (a hot south-easterly wind) which push the waves into the gulf of Venice. The phenomenon is also worsened by rain and freshwater flowing into the lagoon from the drainage basin at 36 inflow points represented by small rivers and canals.

The increase in the frequency and intensity of high waters is also associated with other natural and artificial causes which have altered the hydraulic and morphological structure of the lagoon, such as subsidence
Subsidence
Subsidence is the motion of a surface as it shifts downward relative to a datum such as sea-level. The opposite of subsidence is uplift, which results in an increase in elevation...

 and eustatism (during the 20th century land in the lagoon dropped by 23 cm with respect to mean sea level[2]); the greater erosive action of the sea as a result of some of the measures taken by man to facilitate port activities (jetties
Jetty
A jetty is any of a variety of structures used in river, dock, and maritime works that are generally carried out in pairs from river banks, or in continuation of river channels at their outlets into deep water; or out into docks, and outside their entrances; or for forming basins along the...

, artificial canals) and establishment of the industrial area of Porto Marghera and the increase in wash caused by motor vessels which helps erode morphological structures and the foundations of quaysides and buildings.

As well as tackling these contingent problems, the MOSE Project (and the other defence measures) has also been designed to take into account the expected rise in sea level as a result of global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

. The mobile barriers can protect the lagoon effectively for sea level rise up to 60 cm.[1]

Exceptional high waters have struck the city during the 20th century: the flood of November 1966 (194 cm), 1979 (166 cm), 1986 (158 cm), 1951 (151 cm), 1936 and 2002 (147 cm), 1960 (145 cm), 1968 and 2000 (144 cm), 1992 (142 cm), 1979 (140 cm). All values were recorded at the Punta della Salute (Venice) station and refer to the 1897 tidal datum point.[2]

Chronology

The need to provide Venice and other built-up areas in the shallow lagoon with an effective sea defence system follows the devastating flood of 4 November 1966. That day, driven by a strong sirocco wind, the tide
Tide
Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the moon and the sun and the rotation of the Earth....

 reached a height of 194 cm above the tidal datum, the highest ever recorded in the history of Venice. The tidal event began on the night of 3 November. That morning, instead of withdrawing as it should have done under normal tidal ebb and flow conditions, the water continued to rise throughout the day of 4 November until it flooded the whole city. That evening the wind dropped and the water started to flow away. At the same time, a violent sea storm
Storm
A storm is any disturbed state of an astronomical body's atmosphere, especially affecting its surface, and strongly implying severe weather...

 devastated the beaches and broke through the seawall protecting the coast in a number of points, obliging Pellestrina
Pellestrina
Pellestrina is an island in northern Italy, forming a barrier between the southern Venetian Lagoon and the Adriatic Sea, lying south west of the Lido....

 to be evacuated. After this, with the Special Law of 1973, the Italian State declared the problem of Venice to be of "priority national interest".

In the early 1970s, the CNR
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
The Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche or National Research Council, is an Italian public organization set up to support scientific and technological research. Its headquarters are in Rome.-History:The institution was founded in 1923...

 promoted a first competition of ideas and subsequently the Ministry of Public Works issued a call for tender, in 1980 acquiring the projects presented. The 6 projects proposed were passed for evaluation to a commission of seven hydraulic engineer
Engineer
An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality,...

s who were asked to draw up a feasibility study. Known as the "Progettone" and presented in 1981, the study proposed a combination of fixed barriers at the inlets and mobile defence structures. This triggered a long debate involving the institutions, the scientific, political and cultural world, the media and local inhabitants.

The strategies and criteria to be adopted for the safeguarding project were defined by the second Special Law on Venice in 1984. This set up a Committee for Policy, Coordination and Control (known as the "Comitatone", chaired by the President of the Council and consisting of the relevant institutions at national and local level) and authorised the Ministry of Public Works to proceed with granting of a single concession to be agreed by private negotiation. The need, reiterated also in 1982 in a document from Venice Local Authority, was for speed, but above all to adopt a unitary and organic approach to the safeguarding measures given the complex and delicate context of the lagoon basin by entrusting the work to a single body with the right qualifications. Design and implementation of the measures for the physical safeguarding of the city were entrusted by the Water Authority to the Consorzio Venezia Nuova, a pool of about fifty companies set up in 1982.

After four years of surveys, studies and analyses of the numerous systems of mobile barriers, in 1989 the Consorzio Venezia Nuova presented a complex proposal of measures to safeguard Venice known as the REA Project (Riequilibrio E Ambiente, "Rebalancing and the Environment"). This included the Conceptual Design for the Mobile Barriers at the Lagoon Inlets, the birth of MOSE. After experiments on the prototype and a number of modifications, in 1994 the new preliminary design for the mobile barriers was approved by the Higher Council of Public Works. After also examining other flood defence projects, the body approved the MOSE system.

In 1997, the Water Authority and Consorzio Venezia Nuova presented the environmental impact study (EIS) which in 1998 was given a positive assessment by a commission of five international experts appointed by the President of the Council of Ministers, Romano Prodi
Romano Prodi
Romano Prodi is an Italian politician and statesman. He served as the Prime Minister of Italy, from 17 May 1996 to 21 October 1998 and from 17 May 2006 to 8 May 2008...

. In the same year, the design for mobile barriers was given a negative opinion by the Ministry of the Environment
Ministry of the Environment (Italy)
The Ministry of the Environment and Protection of Land and Sea of Italy also known as MATTM, is an Italian ministry established in 1981. The ministry is responsible for environmental issues in Italy...

 Environmental Assessment Commission. On the request of the Committee for Policy, Coordination and Control, MOSE was developed further. In 2001, at the end of the Environmental Impact Assessment procedure, the Council of Ministers, chaired by the President of the Council of Ministers, Giuliano Amato
Giuliano Amato
Giuliano Amato is an Italian politician. He was Prime Minister of Italy twice, first from 1992 to 1993 and then from 2000 to 2001. He was more recently Vice President of the Convention on the Future of Europe that drafted the new European Constitution and headed the Amato Group. He is commonly...

, gave the go-ahead for development of the final design, defining a number of conditions. In 2002, the Consorzio Venezia Nuova presented the final design which took the requests of the Ministry of Transport and Port Authority on board, in other words, for curved breakwaters in front of the lagoon inlets and a lock for large shipping at the Malamocco
Malamocco
Malamocco is one of the three narrow inlets in the enclosing coastal dune bar that connect the Venetian Lagoon with the Adriatic Sea, together with the Lido and Chioggia inlets...

 inlet. In 2002, the CIPE (Interministerial Committee for Economic Programming) financed the first tranche of work on the MOSE system covering the three-year period 2002-2004, amounting to €453 million.

In 2003, after approval by the Committee for Policy, Coordination and Control, President of the Council Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi , also known as Il Cavaliere – from knighthood to the Order of Merit for Labour which he received in 1977 – is an Italian politician and businessman who served three terms as Prime Minister of Italy, from 1994 to 1995, 2001 to 2006, and 2008 to 2011. Berlusconi is also the...

 officially opened the first MOSE work sites by laying the first stone. By March 2008, 40% of the work underway in parallel at all three inlets had been completed and €2,443 million had been attributed out of a total cost for the MOSE system of €4,272 million.

On 31 January 2008, the CIPE approved financing of the fifth tranche of €400 million and construction of the caissons, the most important and final part of the project, could begin.

If funding continues to arrive regularly, the work is expected to be completed in 2012.

Work sites and complementary structures

Work on MOSE is proceeding in parallel at all three inlets where 700 people are currently employed. These will be joined by a further 700 when the sites to construct the caissons on which the gates will rest are opened. Work to construct the mobile barriers was preceded by implementation of a series of measures to protect the coasts (Jesolo
Jesolo
thumb|250px|Location of Jesolo in the province of Venice.Jesolo is a town and comune in the province of Venice, Italy.-Geography:...

, Cavallino
Cavallino
Cavallino is a town and comune in the Italian province of Lecce in the Apulia region of south-east Italy....

, Lido, Pellestrina
Pellestrina
Pellestrina is an island in northern Italy, forming a barrier between the southern Venetian Lagoon and the Adriatic Sea, lying south west of the Lido....

, Sottomarina
Sottomarina
Sottomarina is an Italian town of Roman origin. It is a frazione of the comune of Chioggia, which is part of the province of Venice in the Veneto region of northern Italy. Like Venice, it is an island cut into pieces by canals, and it has bridges to bring the island together...

 and Isola Verde) from the violence of sea storms, with widening and reconstruction of 45 km of beach
Beach
A beach is a geological landform along the shoreline of an ocean, sea, lake or river. It usually consists of loose particles which are often composed of rock, such as sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles or cobblestones...

, restoration of 8 km of dune
Dune
In physical geography, a dune is a hill of sand built by wind. Dunes occur in different forms and sizes, formed by interaction with the wind. Most kinds of dunes are longer on the windward side where the sand is pushed up the dune and have a shorter "slip face" in the lee of the wind...

s and reinforcement of 11 km of jetty and 20 km of the Istrian stone
Istrian stone
Istrian stone, pietra d'Istria, the characteristic group of building stones in the architecture of Venice and Dalmatia, is a dense type of impermeable limestones that was quarried in Istria, between Portorož and Pula....

 seawall (the "Murazzi") which protects the most fragile parts of Venice's beaches. Outside the inlets of Malamocco
Malamocco
Malamocco is one of the three narrow inlets in the enclosing coastal dune bar that connect the Venetian Lagoon with the Adriatic Sea, together with the Lido and Chioggia inlets...

 and Chioggia
Chioggia
Chioggia is a coastal town and comune of the province of Venice in the Veneto region of northern Italy.-Geography:...

, two "crescents" (curved breakwater
Breakwater (structure)
Breakwaters are structures constructed on coasts as part of coastal defence or to protect an anchorage from the effects of weather and longshore drift.-Purposes of breakwaters:...

s) have also been constructed to attenuate the levels of tides and protect the locks.

Operation of the gates

MOSE consists of a system of retracting oscillating buoyancy flap gates which respects the indications given in 1982 by vote no. 209 of the Higher Council of Public Works [3], namely that the barriers must not modify water exchange between the sea and the lagoon to avoid damaging lagoon morphology and water quality, must not obstruct navigation, thus interfering with port activities and fishing, and must not alter the landscape
Landscape
Landscape comprises the visible features of an area of land, including the physical elements of landforms such as mountains, hills, water bodies such as rivers, lakes, ponds and the sea, living elements of land cover including indigenous vegetation, human elements including different forms of...

. In normal conditions, the gates, large metal box type structures 20 m wide, between 20 and 30 m long and about 5 m thick, are full of water and rest in prefabricated concrete caissons on the reinforced seabed. When a tide higher than 110 cm is forecast, the gates are emptied of water by introducing compress
Compress
Compress is a UNIX compression program based on the LZC compression method, which is an LZW implementation using variable size pointers as in LZ78.- Description of program :Files compressed by compress are typically given the extension .Z...

ed air. They therefore rise, rotating around the axis of the hinges until they emerge from the water, temporarily isolating the lagoon from the sea and stopping the tidal flow. The gates reach in the raised position in about 30 minutes and will then take about 15 minutes to retract.

The level of 110 cm above which the barriers will enter into operation has been agreed by the responsible bodies as the optimum level with respect to current sea level. However, the MOSE System is flexible enough to also be used for high waters below that level. According to the winds, pressure and level of the tide, the system can also be managed in different ways, with differentiated closure of the inlets or partial closure of each inlet.

A total of 78 gates divided into four rows will be installed to protect the three inlets: two rows of 21 and 20 gates at the Lido-San Nicolò inlet, the widest, connected by an artificial island
Artificial island
An artificial island or man-made island is an island or archipelago that has been constructed by people rather than formed by natural means...

; one row of 19 gates at the Malamocco
Malamocco
Malamocco is one of the three narrow inlets in the enclosing coastal dune bar that connect the Venetian Lagoon with the Adriatic Sea, together with the Lido and Chioggia inlets...

 inlet and one row of 18 gates at the Chioggia
Chioggia
Chioggia is a coastal town and comune of the province of Venice in the Veneto region of northern Italy.-Geography:...

 inlet. To guarantee navigation while the mobile barriers are in operation, three locks are being constructed to allow the transit of vessels (large ships at Malamocco, pleasure, emergency and fishing boats at Lido and Chioggia).

At the end of work, the consortium which has designed and constructed MOSE will be in charge of management and maintenance of the system for four years, then for a further 10 years it will be responsible for its operation and for all the other public works.

Usage

The project consists of a system of 78 mobile barriers designed to protect the three entrances to the Venetian Lagoon
Venetian Lagoon
The Venetian Lagoon is the enclosed bay of the Adriatic Sea in which the city of Venice is situated. Its name in the Venetian language, Laguna Veneta— cognate of Latin lacus, "lake"— has provided the international name for an enclosed, shallow embayment of saltwater, a lagoon.The Venetian Lagoon...

. The barriers will stay on the seabed until high tides and storms are forecast. They will then be inflated, blocking the sea from the lagoon and effectively reducing high water levels.

Projections

The MOSE project has a budget
Budget
A budget is a financial plan and a list of all planned expenses and revenues. It is a plan for saving, borrowing and spending. A budget is an important concept in microeconomics, which uses a budget line to illustrate the trade-offs between two or more goods...

 of
Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

 4.7 billion and it is planned to be completed by 2014. , the project is reported as 63% complete and projected to open on schedule in 2014

Controversy

The project has met resistance from environmentalist
Environmentalist
An environmentalist broadly supports the goals of the environmental movement, "a political and ethical movement that seeks to improve and protect the quality of the natural environment through changes to environmentally harmful human activities"...

 and conservationist
Conservationist
Conservationists are proponents or advocates of conservation. They advocate for the protection of all the species in an ecosystem with a strong focus on the natural environment...

 groups such as Italia Nostra
Italia Nostra
Italia Nostra is an Italian not for profit campaigning organisation, dedicated to the protection and promotion of the country’s historical, artistic and environmental patrimony....

. The World Wide Fund for Nature
World Wide Fund for Nature
The World Wide Fund for Nature is an international non-governmental organization working on issues regarding the conservation, research and restoration of the environment, formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States...

 has commented negatively on the project.

The main criticisms of the MOSE project, opposed since the beginning by environmentalists and certain political forces, are related to the costs to the Italian State of construction, management and maintenance, said to be much higher than alternative systems which other countries (the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 and England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

) have employed to resolve similar problems. In addition, according to those opposing MOSE, the system with its monolith
Monolith
A monolith is a geological feature such as a mountain, consisting of a single massive stone or rock, or a single piece of rock placed as, or within, a monument...

ic integrated conception is not "gradual, experimental and reversible" in line with the criteria specified by the Special Law for the Safeguarding of Venice. There have also been criticisms of the environmental impact of the barriers, not just at the inlets where complex levelling will be carried out (as the part of the seabed where the barriers will be installed must be flat) and the lagoon bed will be reinforced to accommodate the gates (which will rest on thousands of concrete piles driven into the bottom for metres underground), but also on the hydrogeological balance and delicate ecosystem
Ecosystem
An ecosystem is a biological environment consisting of all the organisms living in a particular area, as well as all the nonliving , physical components of the environment with which the organisms interact, such as air, soil, water and sunlight....

 of the lagoon.
The NO MOSE front also emphasises what could be a number of critical points in the structure of the system and its ineffectiveness to cope with the forecast increase in sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

.

Appeals

During the years, nine appeal
Appeal
An appeal is a petition for review of a case that has been decided by a court of law. The petition is made to a higher court for the purpose of overturning the lower court's decision....

s have been presented. Eight have been rejected by the TAR
Tar
Tar is modified pitch produced primarily from the wood and roots of pine by destructive distillation under pyrolysis. Production and trade in tar was a major contributor in the economies of Northern Europe and Colonial America. Its main use was in preserving wooden vessels against rot. The largest...

 and the Council of State. The ninth, currently being examined by the Administrative Tribunal
Administrative tribunal
*Administrative Appeals Tribunal*United Nations Administrative Tribunal*Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal...

, was presented by Venice Local Authority and contests the favourable opinion of the Safeguard Venice Commission on the commencement of work in the Pellestrina site at the Malamocco inlet where part of the MOSE gate housing caissons will be made using processes which, according to the Local Authority, could damage a site of particular natural interest.

As regards the environmental damage caused by work currently underway, environmental associations have also requested the intervention of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, as the activities affect sites protected by the Nature 2000 Network and by the European Directive on birds. Following the report of 5 March 2004 by the Venetian MP Luana Zanella, on 19 December 2005 the European Commission
European Commission
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....

 opened an infraction procedure against Italy for "pollution of the habitat" of the lagoon, given that the European Environmental Commission Directorate General considers that as it has "neither identified nor adopted — in relation to the impacts on the area ‘IBA 064-Venice Lagoon’ resulting from construction of the MOSE project — appropriate measures to prevent pollution and deterioration of the habitat, together with harmful disturbance of birds with significant consequences in the light of the objectives of article 4 of EEC Directive 79/409, the Italian Republic has not fulfilled the obligations deriving from article 4, paragraph 4, of EEC Directive 79/409 of the Council of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds".[5] Specifying that the aim of the initiative is not to stop MOSE, the European Environmental Commission has called on the Italian Government to produce new information on the impact of the sites and the environmental mitigation
Environmental mitigation
Environmental mitigation, compensatory mitigation, or mitigation banking, are terms used primarily by the United States government and the related environmental industry to describe projects or programs intended to offset known impacts to an existing historic or natural resource such as a stream,...

 structures. The Water Authority and Consorzio Venezia Nuova confirm that the work sites are temporary and will be completely restored at the end of the work.

Alternative proposals

Over the years, various proposals have been presented as an alternative to MOSE. Some propose quite different technological systems, others suggest technologies to improve the efficiency of the system of mobile gates. On the request of the Mayor of Venice, Massimo Cacciari
Massimo Cacciari
Massimo Cacciari is an Italian philosopher and politician.Born in Venice, Massimo Cacciari graduated in philosophy from the University of Padua , where he also received his doctorate, writing a thesis on Immanuel Kant's "Critique of Judgment." In 1985, he became professor of Aesthetics at the...

, some ten or so of these projects were examined in 2006 by various round tables of experts appointed by the individual responsible bodies, including the Higher Council of Public Works. In November 2006, the negative opinions expressed by the experts led the Government to give the definitive go-ahead for the MOSE project as the alternative proposals presented were found to be ineffective or inappropriate for guaranteeing the defence of Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

.

See also

  • Thames Barrier Park
    Thames Barrier Park
    The Thames Barrier Park is a park in London's docklands, named after its location on the north side of the River Thames next to the Thames Barrier. It is intended to aid the regeneration of the area by creating an attractive public space alongside residential and commercial developments...

  • Floodgates
  • Oosterscheldekering
    Oosterscheldekering
    The Oosterscheldekering , between the islands Schouwen-Duiveland and Noord-Beveland, is the largest of the 13 ambitious Delta works series of dams, designed to protect the Netherlands from flooding...

    , part of the Delta Works
    Delta Works
    The Delta Works is a series of construction projects in the southwest of the Netherlands to protect a large area of land around the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta from the sea. The works consist of dams, sluices, locks, dikes, levees, and storm surge barriers...

  • Flood
    Flood
    A flood is an overflow of an expanse of water that submerges land. The EU Floods directive defines a flood as a temporary covering by water of land not normally covered by water...

  • Flood control
    Flood control
    In communications, flood control is a feature of many communication protocols designed to prevent overwhelming of a destination receiver. Such controls can be implemented either in software or in hardware, and will often request that the message be resent after the receiver has finished...


Sources

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