The lagoon in which the city of Venice rises is actually not much older than the city itself - it is no more than a few thousand years old. And it may not last another hundred, such is the damage that not only the city but also the lagoon have suffered during the twentieth century. The lagoon was always a precarious and ultimately transient ecological phenomenon, and today both the city and the lagoon are under severe threat from human intervention and incursions on the one hand and on the other from climate change and natural erosion. Especially since the Second World War, a great deal of data has been amassed about the lagoon and its ecology but it has remained the domain of specialists and polemicists and it has not been collated until now. Working at the University of Venice and Churchill College, Cambridge, respectively, Jane Da Mosto and Caroline Fletcher have put together this important introduction to what is known, what is not known, what has been done and can be done to save both the city of Venice and the lagoon - for both need not only care and maintenance but also remedial treatment, or so the authors conclude.
This essential book, produced for the Venice in Peril Fund, and very reasonably priced so as to render it accessible, provides a sane and informative introduction to the problems of Venice's flooding, sinking and pollution. It also contains very new research. It also, naturally, discusses the pros and cons of what is to be done - should barriers be built? Is enough being done to protect the lagoon?