Cecina Specially Protected Zone: a Shore Protection Project

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Abstract

AMINTI, P.L., BARTOLETTI, E., BERRIOLO, G., BINI, A., BONINSEGNI, G., MORI, E., PRANZINI, E and VANNUCCHI, V., 2011. Cecina Specially Protected Zone: a Shore Protection Project. In: Micallef, A. (ed.), MCRR3-2010 Conference Proceedings, Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue, No. 61, pp. 96-103. Grosseto, Tuscany, Italy, ISSN 0749-0208.

The coast north of River Cecina mouth hosts Tombolo Settentrionale Specially Protected Zone (ZPS, according to the 79/409/CEE directive) and is constituted by linear or hummocky dunes covered by pine forest. The beach had been severely eroded since the beginning of the 20th century due to reduced river sediment input and the construction of several shore protection structures (groins and rip-raps) lack a general masterplan. Although this coastal segment is mostly used as a free tourist beach, there are a few restaurants and bathing facilities whose owners made projects in order to defend such structures, having increased erosion in the neighbouring areas. A coastal road was demolished by waves in the 1980’s and dunes were continuously exposed to wave action. In the early 1990’s, the Livorno Province administration funded a shore protection project based on groins with a submerged extension, and nourishment with sediments quarried within the Cecina River alluvial plain. This project was supported by a limited budget, and in spite of resulting in an effective stabilisation of the coast, it did not lead to significant beach rehabilitation considering tourism purposes. Due to the Regional Shore Protection Plan, Livorno Province has now financial resources for obtaining a fuller coastal rehabilitation in this area, providing more uniform shaping to the shoreline and reducing the visual impact of emerged structures. All seawalls will be removed (except for a few placed to protect adjacent tourist facilities) and the number of groins will be reduced. The latter will be realigned and many of them will be extended, with a long submerged part in order to favour the sedimentation of sand moving in the surf zone, whereas beaches will be enlarged by means of artificial nourishment. The project considers also the impact a new marina, planned at Cecina river mouth, will have on the coast.

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