Italy: Venice canals run clear as Coronavirus halts cruise ship pollution

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Startling images have emerged of limpid waters in the canals of the northern Italian city of Venice. With lockdown restrictions in place to limit the spread of the Coronavirus, large cruise ships have no longer been visiting and docking in the city, thus greatly reducing the levels of water pollution in the lagoon.

The cruise ships which sail into the lagoon of Venice have long been a thorn in the side of locals. Not only do they release thousands of tourists into the narrow streets of Venice, but they also cause harmful levels of pollution. Their environmental impact is now being illustrated by the rapid change in the water of the city’s canals. 

The water of the canals is now so clear that it is possible to see the bottom of the canal, and fish swimming. The change in the normally muddy-brown water is also a result of reduced vaporetto (water bus) traffic and other boats in the lagoon as residents of the city remain inside in lockdown. 

Italian newspaper La Nuova di Venezia posted a video of the crystal clear waters. 

Rebecca Ann Hughes

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