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Monitoring the effects of Tuscany beach nourishment activities south of Ansedonia (Tuscany)

Background

This individual activity aims to address the problem of coastal erosion from an inter-regional point of view and involves both Tuscany and Latium regions. The Tuscany coast is affected by the loss of areas of economic, social and ecological value, weakening of the beach-dune system with wave-induced flood risk of the productive inland areas, loss and fragmentation of natural habitats. Above all, the southern stretch of the Tuscany coastline is characterized by a high level of wildness and lack of coastal infrastructures. The neighboring Latium coast, on the other hand is featured by the presence of infrastructures that have influenced the coastal morphodynamic of the physiographic unit, such as the power plant at Montalto di Castro and the jetties at the Fiora river mouth.

Taking into consideration that the direction of the net alongshore sediment transport is from south to north, all the physiographic unit is fed by sediments carried to the sea by rivers that outflow onto Latium territory. Therefore an integrated coastal zone management is essential in such a way that new coastal restoration works at and/or strategies to rebalance Latium beaches do not induce negative impacts or reduce the resilience of the Tuscan coast.

In addition, the offshore sedimentation basin on the continental shelf is characterized by sand and gravel, which are suitable for artificial nourishment of eroding beaches in the physiographic unit. This strategic resource is central to plan strategies for coastal restoration to be coordinated between Regions: in particular, the identification of priority access to the resource for those parts of the coast that are penalized for other territorial choices, such as the settlement of productive activities along the coast or the management of the lower parts of the rivers (jetties at the Fiora river mouth).

 

How does the activity develop in Tuscany?

 

The objective of this action is to monitor the current state of the beach after the reconstruction and defence of the beaches between Ansedonia and Tarquinia, considering the impact of coastal infrastructures mentioned above.

In order to evaluate the effectiveness of recent restoration works on the morphodynamicsof the beaches in Capalbio and plan any maintenance to be implemented in the future, it will be performed a set of surveys in order to assess the evolution of the shoreline and the morphology of the active beach profile. It will be important as well to perform grain-size analysis on samples of emerged and submerged beach in the intervention area, in order to assess the dynamicsof the sediments used for beach nourishment projects carried out in recent years. The results of this monitoring program will also serve to implement the existing database of this stretch of coast and thus to define more accurately the evolution of the beach, especially considering recent river flooding events and severe winter storms. It should be emphasized the peculiarity of the intervention to restore the beach at Macchiatonda and Chiarone (Capalbio), which was characterized by beach nourishment with near shore sediments, protected by a series of submerged geo-containers (polypropylene) groins filled with sand, and by the defence of the dune belt through the installation of windbreaks.

Within this action, participatory processes and communication activities  will be carried out In order to promot a dialogue between scientist and decision maker.