Wet-bridge. A “water bridge” for wetlands connection: from Ticino river to Rile, Tenore and Olona rivers
Lakes, rivers, basins and swamps are extremely important for the environment, because they enshrine a resource which is vital for animals’, plants’ and human beings’ life too: water. Wetlands are essential environment for numerous animal and vegetal species that only here can reproduce and survive. At the same time, however, wetlands are among the most endangered ecosystems of the planet. This is the reason why we commit to restore and enhance 6 of these areas in the Lombardy plain. And create a real “water bridge” to connect the species that live between two large rivers: Ticino and Olona.
Wetlands are really delicate and vulnerable ecosystems, mainly threatened by human activities: pollution, drainage, reclamation and over-exploitation. The Po Valley, one of the most endangered areas, includes some “isolated” natural areas that are extremely important for biodiversity, especially in correspondence with large rivers. In this context, well preserved humid areas are key resources to ensure that different species connected to water environment live, reproduce and scatter across new areas following their lifecycles. It is really important for small animals, like amphibians, that these areas are close to each other and connected. In the last four years we have been working to give value and reconnect 6 humid areas in the Po Valley, in order to create a “network” in which animals could move freely.
We therefore modified wetland hydrology to avoid filling of the areas, that would disappear otherwise; we created new small puddles with low water for amphibians’ reproduction, safe from fishes that prey on their eggs. We removed invasive and not indigenous plants and planted new ones, more suitable for the environment, improving in that way the condition of the whole vegetation. In every intervention area we have been conducting wildlife surveys both at the planning stage – in order to base the intervention on the species presence in the area - and at closing date – in order to verify its efficacy. All these areas have now the necessary equipment to host school visits and tours: today visitors can closely admire nature and discover its beauty, hidden at times, without affecting its balances.
Thanks to the cooperation of all the actors of the territory and to the support of Cariplo Foundation, these new “water bridges” contribute today to preserve and protect the local biodiversity of the areas included in the Ticino park, Rile-Tenore-Olona Local Park in the Municipalities of Cassano Magnago and Albizzate.
This project is funded by