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MedArtSal Project: Cervia and Marsala win the Italian call for proposals

The MedArtSal project, which promotes the sustainable development of artisanal saltworks in the Mediterranean basin, finally begins its implementation phase. The national and international commissions have selected in Italy the two proposals that better translate in action the principles of innovation in salt production and environmental protection.

The funds allocated by the ENI CBC MED project were awarded to the Cervia Saltworks Park, with the proposal titled "Cervia salt: sweet by nature", and the Ettore and Infersa saltworks, with the proposal "Recovery of tanks and canals of the Salina Infersa". Each company will receive a sum of 30,000 euros. This is also expected for the six salt pans distributed in the other three MedArtSal pilot nations, Spain, Tunisia and Lebanon.

The Cervia saltworks will use the financing for two main goals. On the one hand, the restoration and creation of nests in favor of the vast avian population that live in its wetlands. Protection of the birds and the landscape will be accompanied by the purchase of a special oven, thanks to which it will be possible to produce and market a very refined smoked salt ennobled by the scents of pine, a characteristic tree of the surrounding area. The judging committees have been convinced by the close connection of the proposal with the economic and social context. The innovation project will in fact involve the municipal and provincial authorities, the Po river Delta Park, a cultural group and cooperatives that collaborate with the saline in the packaging of salt, in the management of educational and tourist activities, also through social inclusion activities.

In Sicily, the sum will be used to restore the traditional embankments that separate the Ettore and Infersa saltpans from the sea. This will be accomplished through circular economy practices and techniques linked to ancient traditions, in particular the use of local tuff blocks. Thanks to the recovery of these structures it will be possible to improve production by up to 15%, and accompany the latter with a sustainable aquaculture system and an internal path for ecotourism. Not only will it be possible to improve the production of the precious and renowned salt, but the intervention will also have a direct impact on the environment, favoring the fish repopulation of the tanks in contact with the sea, and improving of the local fauna habitat. Especially birds, as the wetland is part of a Special Protection Area.

"We are very satisfied with the proposals coming from Cervia and Marsala, they are perfectly in line with the sustainability criteria that MedArtSal has developed after a long period of research and analysis", explains engineer Manuela Puddu, project manager for the MEDSEA foundation, committed in the Italian quadrant of MedArtSal. "Industrial production of the last century has neglected the ancient harmony that has always combined work and environment, culture and beauty in the Mediterranean saltworks. This is only a first step, of course, but a step in the right direction”, concludes Puddu.

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