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No Grandi Navi


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Picture provided by Reuters

Save the Earth Save Ourselves!

After years of government hesitation to shut down tourism, detrimental to local life, Italy’s citizens are finally appeased. Hundreds of Italians rallied. They shouted through megaphones, raised protest banners, signs and posters painted in red proclaiming, “No Grandi Navi!” (No Large Ships). They boarded row boats, motorboats, skiffs, nearly anything safe, to block the passage of the Venice canal. 

Associated Press/ Venice Protestors

In Nature, Nothing is Perfect, and Everything is Perfect.

A year of peace, a token from Covid lockdowns, has awakened the long-needed awareness—our planet needs its people to speak out, to protect it, and to heal it. In a Reuters post, Venice resident and teacher Marta Sottoriva explains, “We are here because we are against this passage, [and we are] also against a model of tourism that is destroying the city, pushing out residents, destroying the planet, the cities, and polluting.” 

“The hardest thing in life to learn is which bridge to cross and which to burn.”

David Russell

However, According to Reuters News, CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) estimates 3% of Venice’s GDP(Gross Domestic Product) comes from cruise tourism. Allessandro Santi, chairman of the federlogistica business group was reported by Reuters saying, “4000 workers and many others who work in this sector….are starting again after 17 month[.] Finally there is light at the end of the [Covid] tunnel.” While closing the canal was a huge win, will the people have the courage to shift their livelihoods for the planet? Humans, in general, survive only three days without water. Will Italians join together to continue their fight in the right direction?

“Help Me [Covid], You’re My Only Hope!”

Our world may never experience Star Wars in real life, even though enterprises are headed in that general direction. Unless we follow Covid’s one gift–the silence that allowed us to hear our planet’s cries. The National Library of Medicine heard it and leapt at the chance to study Venice waters during lockdown. and their analysis of volatiles in Venice lagoon waters were filled with hope. According to their research, “Mass tourism increases marine litter, water traffic emissions, solid waste, and sewage release. Plastic marine litter… also leaches contaminants into the seawater.” WAIT FOR IT! High levels of multiple contaminants were traced in Venitian waters; however, after the lockdown, researchers discovered, “sharp and encouraging pollution decrease at the molecular level.”

A view shows clear waters by gondolas in Venice’s Grand Canal, following the country’s lockdown within the new coronavirus crisis. (Photo by ANDREA PATTARO / AFP) (Photo by ANDREA PATTARO/AFP via Getty Images)

Cool, Clear, Water

An eyewitness to the remarkable change, Guardian reporter John Brunton, based out of Paris and Venice, reported, “There is a clear view of the sandy bed, shoals of tiny fish, scuttling crabs and multicolored plant-life.” The remarkable transformation, however, cannot be blamed entirely on mass tourism. Davide Tagliapetra, an environmental researcher for the Institute of Marine Science, told a media, all motorized transport churns up the muddy canal floor. 

Is No Grandi Navi Enough?

No, but it is hopeful. The Nature Conservancy organization reported, “The science is in: We don’t have to accept a fate of gloom and doom for the Earth. This is a hopeful wake-up call, but only if we act with great urgency.” What can the average person do? As Italy demonstrated the number one tool we have in our arsenal, is a massed collection of our voices. It’s time to act. WE MATTER! OUR PLANET MATTERS! Thank you Italy, for showing the world what citizens can do!

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