Venice Residents Say Water in Canals Looks Clearer as Coronavirus Keeps Out Tourists

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While the negative effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to spread across the news, these residents of Venice, Italy, are finding a small positive amid the current situation.

As Italy remains under a nation-wide lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus, people in Venice are noticing that without any tourists, the water in the canals has become much clearer.

So much so, that locals are able to see small fish swimming in the water, CNN reported.

Residents of the romantic city were so pleased with the waterways that they have been sharing their favorite clear canal photos to a Facebook group dubbed Venezia Pulita — meaning Clean Venice.

“Nature resumes its life….how beautiful,” one user wrote.

Another shared, “Low water.. but not too much. Nevertheless you can see the bottom. Never seen anything like it.”

One person expressed that they wished the canals were always this clear.

A spokesperson for the Venice mayor’s office a told CNN that the change in appearance doesn’t have to do with improved water quality or a lack of pollution.

Instead, “the water now looks clearer because there is less traffic on the canals, allowing the sediment to stay at the bottom,” the spokesperson said.

Increased boat traffic “usually brings sediment to the top of the water’s surface.”

The decrease in boat traffic is also improving the air quality in Venice, the spokesperson added.

“The air, however, is less polluted since there are less vaporetti [canal boats] and boat traffic than usual because of the restricted movement of residents,” he said.

China experienced something similar on a much larger scale. NASA imagery showed that as people there stayed home, traffic dipped and factories and industrial facilities remained closed, the air quality improved significantly.

While traffic remains low in many tourist destinations, not all vacationers around the world are practicing smart social distancing.

Despite growing concerns over the spread of the virus, many Florida beaches are still packed with people.

The Clearwater Beach in West Florida saw many arriving for spring break vacations. Several images of sunbathers went viral on Twitter after local ABC reporter Sarah J. Hollenbeck shared photos of the packed coast on Monday.

“BUSY BEACH! This is what @MyClearwater Beach looks like right now as spring break crowds flock to the sand,” she shared.

According to Hollenbeck, Clearwater officials plan to vote on potential restrictions to be put on the beach this Thursday, March 19.


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