Venice’s Canals Bloom with Wildlife As Coronavirus Lockdown Keeps Tourists Away
The novel coronavirus has rapidly spread throughout the world with the total number of cases crossing 200,000 and more than 9,000 people dead. Cities have been shut down, borders are being closed, and hundreds of thousands of people are put under quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19 that emerged in China in late December 2019.
While the whole world is in panic, with everyone struggling to protect themselves from the deadly virus that has no cure or treatment yet, nature is reclaiming back its space.
Recently, pictures of ducks, swans, dolphins, and fishes filling the Venice canals were circulated on the social media. The sight of wildlife in the isolated streets and waterways brought a smile to everyone who is locked inside their houses.
Here’s an unexpected side effect of the pandemic – the water’s flowing through the canals of Venice is clear for the first time in forever. The fish are visible, the swans returned. pic.twitter.com/2egMGhJs7f
— Kaveri 🇮🇳 (@ikaveri) March 16, 2020
Several people have uploaded photos to a Facebook group called Venezia Pulita (Clean Venice), attracting comments from other users.
Boars in the middle of my hometown, dolphins in the port of Cagliari, ducks in the fountains in Rome, Venice canals have now clean water full of fishes. Air pollution dropped. Nature is reclaiming its spaces during quarantine in Italy. #COVID19 #COVIDー19 pic.twitter.com/dr6QILfF9V
— Francesco Delrio (@Cosodelirante) March 15, 2020
this is what happened in venice during the quarantine. ducks laid eggs on a no longer used ferry and fishes were so many and so visible in the canals… https://t.co/6GaQnTlwMy pic.twitter.com/d13toWEJUn
— giorgia (@peaachylouis) March 13, 2020
The water has become significantly clear and wildlife species can once again be seen in Venice’s canals.
Venice hasn't seen clear canal water in a very long time. Dolphins showing up too. Nature just hit the reset button on us pic.twitter.com/RzqOq8ftCj
— Gianluca De Santis (@b8taFPS) March 17, 2020
While it seems that water pollution has decreased in canals of the city, a spokesperson from Venice mayor’s office told CNN that this change is not due to the improved water quality. The spokesperson said,
The water now looks clearer because there is less traffic on the canals, allowing the sediment to stay at the bottom. It’s because there is less boat traffic that usually brings sediment to the top of the water’s surface.
However, the spokesperson did agree that while water pollution may not have decreased, air quality has certainly improved.
The current coronavirus lockdown is, however, the latest in a long streak of problems Venice has had to confront in recent times. In November 2019, the city was hit by the worst flooding it has seen in 50 years. The floods subsequently resulted in damage worth hundreds of millions of euros.
Besides, it is grappling with unsustainable and excessive tourism, many of its historical buildings are sinking into the water and a dwindling population also has created many issues in Venice.