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Regulations for the removal of sand and material from marine quarries (Emilia-Romagna)


To support the implementation of the ICZM Protocol, for the coming years, it seems crucial to fill the gap in legislative and administrative standardization and authorization procedures to operate and control the use of submarine sand deposits for the defense of the coast. The problems associated with the exploitation of those reserves, now require a framework at a national level.

Emilia-Romagna Region has a long experience related to exploitation of off-shore deposits. In fact, two beach nourishment projects with sand coming from underwater deposits were carried out in 2002 and 2007 up to a total of over 1.6 million m3 of sand harvested and used for the nourishment of beaches under erosion. Moreover, Emilia-Romagna Region participated to several EU project dealing with coast erosion and sustainable use of sand resource. In these fields the sub-project “Search for submarine sand in the Mediterranean Sea”, developed within the Regional Framework Operation BEACHMED-e, analyzed the technical tools available for the characterization and potential use of natural sand resources on the continental shelf, to face the erosion along the Mediterranean coasts. To do this, it has been evaluated the potential availability of sand and gravels in the submarine deposits of participating countries (France, Spain, Greece and Italy), included new and existing sources, whose main characteristics have been analyzed in order to verify their suitability for beach nourishment activities for different coastal areas assets.

On the basis of administrative decentralization occurred with the Legislative Decree no. 112/98 and the jurisdiction assumed by the Regions to defend the coast from erosion and the integrated management of coastal areas in Art. 89 of the same, the indications for the use of marine deposits must consider the preferences of use for beach nourishment as already pointed out at the national level by the Legislative Decree 152/2006 Art. 109.


How does the activity develop in Emilia Romagna?

Consistent with the actions identified in the Beachmed-project, the guidelines for the authorization and the exploitation of offshore sand deposits will be developed as:

1. Collection of basic information: gathering information from existing studies and projects concerning quantitative and qualitative characterization sediments in the area of interest.

2. Identification and implementation use of the SEA (MSP): the future exploitation of a sediment deposit needs the involvement of numerous authorities dealing with the sea use.

3. Definition of an integrated deposit management and exploitation approach through identification of the areas, selection of the technologies, organization of the sand deposit database.

4. Dissemination of the results, promoting participation of the various stakeholders involved at different levels.