Out of a total of 387 samples taken in the marine and lake waters of Italy, 32% (124 out of 387), were found to be beyond the legal limit, with an outlaw point every 78 km of coastline. This is reported by Legambiente, presenting the data collected by the Green Schooner and the Schooner of the Lakes 2023, the initiatives that every summer monitor the state of water in Italy.
The two itinerant campaigns of the environmental association from June to the beginning of August made stops in 18 regions and 40 lakes of the Peninsula. Among the most critical points: river mouths, canals, streams that flow into the sea or into the lake. Of particular concern is the state of health of the Italian sea and the lack of information on areas where bathing is prohibited. And then there is the climate crisis, with the increase in surface water temperature, drought waves, the arrival of alien species such as the blue crab. Extreme weather events have increased, affecting mainly coastal municipalities: 712 those that occurred from 2010 to June 2023 in 240 coastal areas, 186 victims.
The two campaigns have reached their 37th and 18th editions respectively and have been carried out with the main partnerships of Conou, Novamont, Anev, Renexia and the media partnership of Nuova Ecologia. More than 200 volunteers from the regional and Legambiente circles took water samples, then subjected to microbiological analysis to detect the concentration of intestinal enterococci and Escherichia coli.
Out of 262 points sampled by Goletta Verde along the Italian sea coast, 36% are beyond the legal limits: 30% were judged "Heavily polluted", while 6% received a judgment of "Polluted". In particular, 49% of the samples took place at the mouths and 51% at sea. Out of 125 points sampled by Schooner of the Lakes in 40 lakes, 23% of the samples were found to be above the legal limits (29 out of 125).
Only in 15% of the points visited by the Green Schooner volunteers was seen the information sign on water quality required by law for many years now. In 73% of the estuaries analyzed there was no sign indicating the criticality of the point and the consequent prohibition of bathing.
On the occasion of the presentation of the data of Green Schooner and Schooner of the Lakes, Legambiente presented three posts to the Meloni government poer the protection of seas and lakes. On the maladepuration front, for Legambiente it is essential that the government appoints the new commissioner for purification, to give continuity with respect to what was done by the previous commissioner, and that the interventions on the plant network are completed, providing more resources.
On the biodiversity protection front, we need to accelerate the pace of establishing new protected areas, to achieve the objectives of the EU Biodiversity Strategy, which proposes 30% of protected land and sea by 2030.
On the offshore wind front, Legambiente asks that the authorization procedures of the 72 projects still awaiting state evaluation be accelerated. The projects are mainly located along the coasts of Sicily, Sardinia and Puglia, followed by Lazio, Calabria, Emilia-Romagna and Molise.
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