Planning of the Maritime Space in Coastal Waters

localizzazione aree test

SP3 provides a set of tools required to Maritime Spatial Planning and the exploitation of resources in the coastal area.

The Italian coast is subject to the impact of human activities for over 2000 years: factors that threaten the balance of the coastal ecosystem and its socio-economic value (urbanization, erosion, pollution, eutrophication, unsustainable exploitation of fisheries, etc..) are part of a framework heavily modified both indirectly (eg deforestation Etruscan, Roman and medieval catchments, dams and reclamation of coastal marshland of the last century) and directly (diversion of rivers, construction of artificial embankments, dredging), to which the effects of climate change are added, possibly determining the acceleration of degradation mechanisms such as erosion and the spread of alien species.

In order to know about the dynamics and elements of fragility of the coastal area is therefore first necessary to study its development through the integration of historical data (old maps) and geological data (stratigraphic reconstructions to define the paleoenvironmental evolution and palaeogeography).

The interdisciplinary framework SP3 includes geophysics, marine biology, oceanography, oceanographic modeling, socio-economic impacts assessment.

There is also the need to design a technologically advanced system of observation of coastal processes, which also takes into account the dataset acquired in 1996 by ARPA and Public Research Institutes (Convention maritime regions - MoE), with the monitoring function for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC, adopted by Law 152/2006).

New dataset are acquired through the development of new technologies for the acquisition of total coverage bathymetries, with the planning of repeated survey in the most dynamic areas, in order to quantify sediment movements.

Thanks to this database, RITMARE integrated methodologies can be applied to reduce the causes of environmental damage related to the degradation of ecosystems, developing innovative ecosystem approach technologies for the recovery, early warning, rapid response.

SP3 establish an early warning system for coastal risk management: the skill to measure, plan actions and and, if necessary, mitigation measures will be acquired. Rapid response assessment will be developed (real-time) to relevant events in the coastal environment, both natural (eg . a river flooding that reaches the sea) and anthropogenic (eg, spills of pollutants).

Finally, SP3 improves the chemical-biological-ecotoxicological protocols for assessing the state of the ecosystem in relation to the pollution of sediments and plan for interventions, with particular reference to the 28 sites of national interest that are located in coastal areas. 

The results of the subproject provide tools for evaluation and decision making on coastal planning, establishment of protocols, resource management, coastal protection and mitigation of climate change impact. In particular, SP3 develops and promote, among the authorities responsible for coastal management, decision support systems that can integrate information from scientific, technical and economic point of view, coming to an effective marine spatial planning.

The areas of development of the sub-project are:

  • WP1 - Evolution, morphological structure and sedimentary balance

  • WP2 - Functionality of coastal ecosystems

  • WP3 - Strategies for observation of events

  • WP4 - Coastal Oceanographic Modelling

  • WP5 - Supporting maritime space planning

SP leader Roberto Zonta - ISMAR