Marche Region - Coastal Defence Department


... the Marches has the most typical Italian landscape and, just as Italy with its landscapes and works of art is a distillate of the world, so the Marches is a distillate of Italy... (Guido Piovene, "Viaggio in Italia")

The Marches extends over an area of 9,694 square kilometres and has a resident population of around 1,500, 000 with a density of 154 inhabitants per km2.
The capital of the Region is Ancona, and the other main towns are Pesaro-Urbino, Macerata, Ascoli Piceno and Fermo.
In geographical terms the territory stretches over the eastern side of the Apennine chain, with a series of river basins stretching from west to east and hills descending towards the Adriatic coast.
The western boundary of the Marches coincides with the mountains of the central Apennine range, while the eastern border is marked by the coastline, about 172 km long.
The most interesting natural environments in the Marches, distinguished by their biodiversity, are the two national parks, the “Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga” (Ascoli Piceno) and the “Monti Sibillini” (Macerata and Ascoli Piceno), and no less than four regional parks. Two of these – the Parco Naturale Monte San Bartolo (Pesaro) and the Parco del Conero (Ancona) – are located along the coastal stretch and characterised by high cliffs, while the other two – the “Gola della Rossa e di Frasassi” (Ancona) and the “Sasso Simone e Simoncello” (Pesaro) – are situated in the Apennine foothills.

Over recent decades, the driving force behind industrial development in the Marches has come from small and medium enterprises in the manufacturing sector. Also extremely important are agricultural production, winegrowing, the transformation of typical products and the D.O.C. and I.G.P. designations.

Summer tourism is concentrated mostly along the coast, where the various accommodation facilities welcome around two million visitors every year.
The cultural heritage of the Marches is marked by little architectural gems (around one hundred historic theatres) and artistic treasures scattered over the 246 municipalities.
The wealth of poets, musicians and painters, combined with the beautiful landscape, underscore the urban dimension of even the smallest towns and a shared culture of harmony.

The Coastal Defence Department of the Marches Region has been dealing with coastal defence issues since 2000. Its core activity is designing and implementing measures for coastal defence and monitoring the same.
At present there are 14 technicians and administrative staff working in this Department, amply provided with surveying equipment, GIS instruments and specialised software.

The evolution of interest in the coast over recent decades has led the Marches Region to draw up, through this Department, an “Integrated Coastal Management Plan” in order to capitalise on the experience acquired with local actors involved in coastal defence; up to 70% of the total length of the shoreline is currently protected by rigid structures that demand ongoing maintenance and new intervention.

Partly as a result of participation in two EU Interreg IIIB CADSES projects (Cadsealand and Hydrocare), the Coastal Defence Department addresses these issues through a constant monitoring of the coastline, carried out by exploiting the best available technologies (monitoring stations with web data and digital satellite pictures to study changes in the shoreline), and numerous nourishment projects.

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