Venetian Lagoon

The lagoon of Venice is an. By headlands and islands largely separate bay in the north of the Adriatic Sea It was built around 4000 BC by draining deposits of the Brenta and other rivers of the Po valley. In it, the city of Venice is situated.

It covers an area of ​​approximately 550 km ². Around 8% of the lagoon surface consist of islands ( including Venice itself and a number of smaller islands ), 11 % are permanently covered by water (including the various channels), the remainder consisting of the fishing grounds, as well as Watt and marshland.

Laguna morta, laguna viva

The northern part, such as Torcello mainly contains freshwater and is hardly reached by the tide. He therefore called laguna morta (dead lagoon ). The saltwater lagoon, the water level falls with the tide, and rises and is flushed from the sea water, called laguna viva (living lagoon ).


Without further human intervention, the lagoon would turn into a deep pool of water and the sandbanks and salt marshes ( Barene ) disappearing into it. This is due to that originally led small rivers in the lagoon, which was to divert directly into the Adriatic Sea, the Republic of Venice, to prevent silting. Thus, the town received its protection by the surrounding water it. But thus came only a little sand, silt and debris in the lagoon, material that slowly escaped through the outlets to the Adriatic Sea. This trend was exacerbated in the 19th and 20th centuries by the fact that the outputs for the significantly higher ships, especially the industrial regions to Mestre and Marghera, were greatly broadened and deepened. Lack of supplies and increased erosion altered the lagoon steadily. Thus, the lagoon each year loses about 500,000 m³ country.

Ecological consequences

Defense and economic motives have created a situation that threatened by the loss of salt marshes, sand banks and shoals biodiversity. Here below the silting of the North, the laguna morta, faster. On the other hand, the water basin in the south, the laguna viva, deeper and hostile. While in the north the marshes grow, exacerbating the regular dredging of the access roads, especially after Mestre and Marghera, the situation in the south. In addition, groundwater is pumped out, which further lowers the lagoon floor. Finally, for some years to come food competitors who have now achieved considerable economic importance, such as the Philippine clam. This tear -called Caparozzolante with their fishing baskets the lagoon floor and thus put an intensification of material loss in the lagoon in motion, which is made possible by a relatively new phenomenon of organized crime, which takes such destruction of ground vegetation in buying from illegal fishing practices.

The protection is through the vegetation of great importance. In the salt marshes and on the sandbanks plants break the force of the waves and their roots holding the soil. Algal and bacterial mats are likely to slow the loss of sand and silt. Especially their destruction by shell collectors exacerbated the loss of material.

Flood Control Structure Moses

Already flood gates have decided to protect from massive flooding and construction, but this will probably not be enough in the long term. The winter floods in the city (it. Acqua Alta) to be controlled by it in the highs a bit. Currently, the long controversial MO.SE project ( Modulo Sperimentale for Elettromeccanico ), a kind of three-part water dam at the exits of the lagoon, in the realization and should be completed no later than 2016.

Stabilizing interventions

The lagoon, as it exists today, is a habitat of human hands, that will be gone within the present conditions in a few decades. Therefore, it is currently thought about, at least temporarily, to drain some rivers into the lagoon, where artificial canals could support the distribution of sediments.

After all, Venice has ensured that its channels are dredged, but still gets a large amount of feces, waste and industrial residues containing mainly toxic and waste in the lagoon. Then there are the numerous motor boats, which are a major cause of the pollution of the lagoon with oily residues.


The largest islands

  • Venice ( consisting of over 120 individual islands ) 5.17 km ²
  • Erasmo 3.26 km ²
  • Borgo San Giovanni 2.36 km ²
  • Murano ( seven individual islands ) 1.17 km ²
  • Chioggia 0.67 km ²
  • Giudecca ( ​​eight individual islands ) 0.59 km ²
  • Mazzorbo 0.52 km ²
  • Torcello 0.44 km ²
  • Sant Elena 0.34 km ²
  • La Certosa 0.24 km ²
  • Burano ( five single islands ) 0.21 km ²
  • Tronchetto 0.18 km ²
  • Sacca Fisola 0.18 km ²
  • Isola di San Michele 0.16 km ²
  • Sacca Sessola 0.16 km ²
  • Santa Cristina 0.13 km ²

Other islands and headlands

In the literature

  • The historical novel The lagoon of the galleys was settled by Rainer M. Schröder in the lagoon of the 16th century.
  • The youth book The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke and his film play in Venice and in the lagoon.