Keeping Venice from Sinking

Slowly, gradually, Venice is sinking. In the last century, the marshy land that the city sits on has lowered by about 11 inches.

But the far greater threat is the rate at which the sea level is rising. In recent years, Venice's acqua alta, or high water, has resulted in an average of 100 floods a year. The increasing sea level is largely a consequence of climate change.
Since the Great Flood of 1966, which displaced 5,000 people from their homes and destroyed $6 billion worth of treasured artwork, Italy has been working on a plan to fight back the waters of the Adriatic Sea. That plan has become Italy's biggest public works project ever.
The MOSE Project, or Experimental Electromechanical Module Project, is scheduled to begin operating next year. MOSE, named after Moses and the parting of the Red Sea, is a system of floodgates seeking to protect the Venetian Lagoon from becoming inundated with water from the sea. When inactive, the gates will lay flat on the seafloor; when water levels rise, they will be pumped full of air and rise above the surface to block sea water.
This project is so controversial, though, that it took almost four decades of political fighting for construction to start. Eight years and several billion dollars later, experts are still unsure about MOSE's ability to save Venice.
Pictures from my own trip to Venice in 2010, luckily it was dry.  But clients that were in Venice later that year during a high tide/full moon experienced a flooded Venice.

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