Bora Winds Sweep Mucilage Offshore, but Threat Lingers

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by InTrieste

The relentless Bora wind, with gusts reaching nearly 100 kilometers per hour, has scoured the Italian coastline since Sunday, driving mucilage far out to sea. Yet despite its intensity, the wind has only partially alleviated the issue, leaving behind diminished but still problematic quantities of the sticky substance in small ports, marinas, and the entrances lagoons.

Recent images sent by a viewer from the Island of the Sun, located off the northern Adriatic coast, reveal the situation just days ago, six miles from shore at a depth of 15 meters. The photographs show mucilage filaments entwining sponges and bivalves in a spectacular underwater display.

However, questions remain about the future. Will this troublesome layer return to the coastline once the Bora winds die down? Paola Del Negro, general director of the National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics (OGS), cautioned against premature optimism. “The wind has certainly helped to resolve the issue, particularly on the surface,” she noted, but predicting the mucilage’s behavior is fraught with uncertainty.

Experts from OGS and the Regional Environmental Protection Agency (ARPA) warn that without a significant storm surge or a powerful thunderstorm—which might be imminent—the threat of Gonyaulax fragilis algae reforming near the coast remains. Such a reformation could pose risks not only to marine vessels but also to the broader ecosystem.

In the short term, these specialists stress the importance of avoiding southwest winds in the coming days. Yet, without some inclement weather, declaring the bathing season safe would be premature. The situation calls for a vigilant eye on the horizon, watching both the skies and the sea for the next turn in this ongoing environmental challenge.

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