Marzenego River

The MICS Italian case study, led by AAWA, is located along the Marzenego River and its tributary Rio Draganziolo, Italy. Local citizens, municipal authorities and statutory agency associated with the management of the Marzenego River and tributaries took part in co-design workshops, to discuss problems related to the river and wetlands and identify priorities for citizen monitoring. Based on these workshops, the following citizen science monitoring activities were adopted:  

  • Water quality monitoring using the Freshwater Watch (FWW) method and online platform (www.freshwaterwatch.thewaterhub.org) across 26 sampling sites. 
  • Hyserve kit for bacteriological analyses.  
  • Riparian vegetation monitoring (Marzenego fluvial park)
  • Aquatic vegetation monitoring both in mature  

Throughout 2021, technical, scientific and social assistance will be provided to citizens by the MICS team. 

Interested in learning more?

You can find more details and regular updates on the citizen science activities here: http://marzenegomics.distrettoalpiorientali.it/ 

Local context

The river Marzenego originates in the province of Treviso and flows into the Venice Lagoon, after a journey of 45 km. The river flows through dispersed rural and urban land uses with intensive agricultural activities. Urbanization and agriculture activities have caused the degradation of water quality and river channels have been artificially modified, which in turn has increased the risk of flooding. In Italy, participatory processes in which citizens can volunteer, called “river contracts” have been adopted since 2007. The Marzenego river contract began in 2012. A total of 26 public and private organisations have signed the ‘Marzenego River Contract’ to support the improvement of the river system and engage citizens, local schools, homeowners and farmers.   

Nature-based solution

Among the various NBSs carried out within the Marzenego River Basin the MICS project will focus on two wetlands - Oasi Lycaena and Oasi di Noale - that have been recently restored, and on a new project which aims to enlarge and improve the performance of the Noale Oasi. The Oasi Lycaena wetland is a protected area of about 60 ha owned by the Metropolitan City of Venice. It was a clay quarry until the mid-70s. Following the end of the excavation activities and the subsequent abandonment of the area, the quarries underwent a process of spontaneous naturalization and as a consequence the area was transformed, in a few years, into a wetland of great biodiversity value. The oasis of Noale has a similar history to Lycaena, a quarry area that was later abandoned and therefore naturally redeveloped. Since the wetland creation, there has been an increase in biodiversity and environmental quality. Example of fauna sighted after the works include Lataste frog (Rana Latastei) and Red Heron. 

Co-design

The Ground Truth 2.0 co-design light methodology (MICS deliverable D4.6, based on Wehn and Pfeiffer, 2020) was adopted and used to guide the set of citizen science activities in the Italian case study. Four co-design workshops were held with citizen scientists and local authority stakeholders associated with the management of the Marzenego River and tributaries. Co-design workshops were held in-person and online (due to the COVID-19 pandemic). In total, over the four co-design workshops, 45 people attended. The objectives of the co-design workshops were to build a common understanding of the problems related to the river and wetlands and identify priorities for citizen monitoring. The agreed challenge identified by the stakeholders at the co-design workshop was to improve the water quality and landscape, whilst reducing flood risk along the Marzenego River and tributaries. It was agreed amongst the stakeholders that the following monitoring activities would take place: water quality monitoring, bacteriological analysis, riparian vegetation monitoring, aquatic vegetation monitoring.  

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 824711.

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