About the Project - CREW

PRJ – CREW (local)

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/ SO 3.2

Coordinated Wetland management in Italy-Croatia cross border region






€ 1.836.947,50


3.2: Contribute to protect and restore biodiversity




General public, local, regional and national public authorities, natural heritage management bodies, regional and local development agencies, associations, NGO s, universities, educational institutions

CREW project aims at achieving the following objectives: set up a cross border Observatory to monitor best practices and data on Italian and Croatian coastal wetlands; protect the biodiversity in Italian and Croatian coastal wetlands by the implementation of a coordinated methodology for wetlands management (Wetland Contract); share a cross border strategy and strengthen synergies among Italian and Croatian coastal wetlands; improve the public awareness about the value of the wetlands ecosystems among policy makers, managers, professionals, and general public and strengthen their active engagement in territorial governance.

F&F – crew






Santa Croce, 191

Venice - Italy


Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia (founded 1926) is one of the first and major Architecture schools in Italy. It is a design-themed university focusing on the teaching, research, and practice of the design of living spaces and environments (buildings, cities, landscapes and territory) and it. currently offers several undergraduate, graduate and higher education courses in Architecture, Urban Planning, Fashion, Arts, and Design.

Contact person: Maria Chiara Tosi
E-mail:​​​​​​​ mnrtso@iuav.it




The structure consists of the integration of three municipal services:Europe Service, responsible for coordinating the different phases of projects under the European Commission programs, Sentina Regional Nature Reserve, member of the Natura 2000 network, with its environmental experts and Urban and Environmental Protection Service.

Contact person: Sergio Trevisani
E-mail:​​​​​​​ trevisanis@san-benedetto-del-tronto.gov.it


Public Institution for the Management of Protected Natural Areas of Dubrovnik-Neretva County


Public Institution carries out: activity of protecting, maintaining and promoting the protected area in order to protect and preserve nature's origin, ensure unimpeded operation of natural processes and sustainable use of natural resources, supervises the implementation of nature protection conditions and measures in the area in which it is managed. DNC Public Institution manages with a total of 33 protected areas of nature.

Contact person: Nikolina Djangradovic

E-mail: ndjangradovic@zastita-prirode-dnz.hr




The Community has been created by the Autonomous Region Friuli Venezia Giulia as a result of Regional Law n. 21/2019. 12 local municipalities of the coastal area have been aggregated in the Community and some functions and competences previously in charge to local municipalities transferred. It is responsible for the local development of the coastal area of Marano Lagoon (target area of the project) with a strategic role in the coordination of services related to territorial, economic and social development.

Contact person: Nicola Simeoni
E-mail:​​​​​​​ europa@rivierafriulana.comunitafvg.it




“Natura Histrica” was established in 1994.,founder and owner is Istria County. Main activity of the Institution is the protection, maintenance and promotion of protected areas and other protected natural values in the County. The aim of its activity is to protect and preserve nature, to ensure the smooth ongoing of natural processes and the sustainable use of natural resources and to supervise the implementation of conditions and measures of nature protection on management area.

Contact person: Svjetlana Lupret-Obradovic
E-mail:​​​​​​​ svjetlana.lupret-obradovic@natura-histrica.hr




Founded by Zadar County in 2002. Natura Jadera s main activites are protection, maintenance and promotion of protected and Natura 200 sites in Zadar County. Institution supervises protected areas of nature,maintain the original value of the area and provides forest and agrotechnical measures to be implemented in the sense of maintenance,perform scientific research and ensures the performance of these jobs,keeps a record of relevant data on protected nature.

Contact person: Tihana Jurisic
E-mail:​​​​​​​ tihana.jurisic@natura-jadera.com


Northern Barese Ofantino Territorial Pact


The Territorial Pact for Employment is a new tool promoted by the European Union to create local development and new employment projects.Throughout the EU territory,89 territorial employment pacts have been promoted on an experimental basis, of which 10 in Italy:Territorial Pact for Employment North Bari/Ofantino,including the municipalities of Andria,Barletta,Bisceglie, Canosa of Puglia, Corato, Margherita di Savoia, Minervino Murge, San Ferdinando di Puglia, Spinazzola, Trani and Trinitapoli.

Contact person: Agostino Cicirello
E-mail:​​​​​​​ agociciriello@gmail.com




UNICAM is a city campus university chartered in 1336. but in 1861 is proclaimed free and 1958. becomes State University. among 5 schools (Architecture and Design,Science and Technology, Biosciences&Veterinary Medicine, Law, Pharmacy). By HEInnovate is one of the leading Italian universities on pursuing “Third Mission”, supported by excellent professors/student ratio, structures and services that offer academic assistance to students.

Contact person: Andrea Catorci
E-mail:​​​​​​​ andrea.catorci@unicam.it


Asset Publisher

Asset Publisher


Here are all the documents.


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The CREW Observatory is a transnational hub that serves to monitor and share good practices and data on coastal wetlands in the Italian-Croatian cross border region.

Common strategy for wetland management and protection.


Target Areas

Here are descriptions of target areas and important documents related to them.


PUBLISHED ON 04/08/2020
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Sentina Natural Reserve is in the Municipality of San Benedetto del Tronto, located in the Marche Region (central Italy). The city has about 47,000 inhabitants but hosts. during the summer months, up to 800,000 tourists (year 2019). The scenario is typical of several municipalities of costal area of Mediterranean Sea with specific vocation of bathing tourism and is involved with other cities of the Adriatic costs in the development of green infrastructures and ecosystem services.

Sentina is considered a homogeneous system of land, river, and lake areas, a landscape of waters and sand, covering an area of 177.55 ha. Sentina Regional Nature Reserve represents an invaluable treasure for its natural environments and life quality, and the huge variability of tourist offer completes the already existing proposals offered by the seaside tourism.

The Sentina Regional Natural Reserve is characterized by about 1700 meters of coastline with small dune systems and natural vegetation. The main part of the area is composed by natural wetlands characterized by small pools of fresh or brackish water, permanent or seasonal. This heterogeneity provides food and shelter to many species of birds, among them there is the Black winged stilt, the symbol of reserve and valuable visitor to the Sentina, but also many other species including egrets (such as the Cattle Egret), the Kingfisher and several species of ducks and passerines (such as the Cetti's Warbler). The ponds and streams are inhabited by amphibians, turtles, and reptiles. Moreover, different plant species of considerable interest are still present, including the Seashore bindweed, the Sea knotgrass and Purple spurge. This environment, also called "salt steppes", is particularly rare and it is characterized by soil with high salt concentration due to the proximity of the sea. In these areas several temporary ponds can be observed, which unlike the wetlands described above, are caused by heavy rains or storms capable of overcoming the dune barrier.

The natural area is also site to educational and dissemination activities such as birdwatching, walking or cycling, guided visits for families, schools and tourists and further educational and environmental events or activities.




The lagoon plays a role of extremely important ecological connection between the low and sandy coasts of Romagna and Veneto and the high and rocky coast of the Carso, true route entry to the Balkans and the coasts of Istria and Dalmatia. The geographical position of Friuli Venezia Giulia, to the extreme north of the Mediterranean and at the crossroads of three biogeographic regions, Alpine, Continental and Mediterranean, define its framework, wrapping the lagoon in an environment of rare complexity and beauty. The ecological peculiarities of the lagoon are reflected in an extraordinary biodiversity. The best represented fauna class, birds, includes more than 320 species; wealth values ​​that are difficult to find in the national context.

The project CREW is being implemented in the area of the Marano Lagoon, between the estuary of the Aussa-Corno river, Lignano and Marano Lagunare.

The Marano Lagoon is a landscape of extraordinary beauty that hosts unique fauna and flora of significant naturalistic importance. Protected from the open sea by a series of islands and islets, it is characterised by swampy vegetation and the unique fishermen's lodgings, the typical "casoni", built with cane and wood, that make Marano Lagoon one of the most interesting places in the Upper Adriatic Sea.

There are three nature reserves in the Marano Lagoon:


the Regional Reserve of the Mouths of the Stella River that takes in the entire delta of the river, and can only be visited by boat, and the Riserva della Valle Canal Novo (Canal Novo Valley Reserve) that covers an ex-fishing of around thirty-five hectares and the Riserva naturale valle Grotari e Volcan (Natural reserve Grotari and Vulcan valleys), two small fishing valleys which spontaneously re-naturalized following the cessation of fish farming.

The Regional Nature Reserve of the Mouths of Stella River is not reachable by ground; the water is, in fact, the only way to arrive to the river's delta, river that you can up as far as Precenicco and Palazzolo. It is a wonderful microcosm, a real paradise for birdwatching: between the beds of reeds that skirt the river, between the other, marsh harriers, mute swans, red, white and grey herons.

The Val Canal Novo Regional Nature Reserve covers a total surface area of 121 hectares, made up of a former fishing valley bearing the same name, a small lagoon area called "Corniolo" and some sowable land. A complex natural ecosystem, it includes wetlands and water of varying levels of salinity. A lagoon visitors' centre has been set up inside the reserve, not far from Marano, based on the English Wetlands Centre.

The Grotari and Vulcan valleys are two small fishing valleys located close to the town of Marano. Originally a lagoon, Valle Grotari was built after 1930 by isolating a stretch of the lagoon environment by embankments, while Valle Vulcan has a slightly older history.  Currently they are among the most spectacular examples of how abandoned wetlands can become an extraordinary basin of naturalness and biodiversity. After the cessation of the activity, in fact, with the stagnation of rainwater, the valley area, sweetening itself, has progressively transformed into a large reed bed not subject to tide, alternating with shallow stagnant pools, rich in shrub vegetation along the perimeter banks and with a fair presence of blackthorn grown in the reeds: a unique and precious habitat.


The Comunità Riviera Friulana has been created by the Autonomous Region Friuli Venezia Giulia as a result of Regional Law n. 21/2019.

The Community aggregates 12 municipalities of FVG Region: Lignano Sabbiadoro, Carlino, Latisana, Marano Lagunare, S.Giorgio DN, Ronchis, Muzzana DT, Palazzolo dello Stella, Pocenia, Porpetto, Precenicco and Rivignano-Teor, with a population of more than 50.000 inhabitants. The Community is responsible for the local development of the coastal area of Bassa Friulana and elaborates the Local Development Strategy. In addition, to the Community has been transferred also competences on the environmental sector, and for promotion of plan protection measures. Having a surface of 17.000 Ha (45% of total HA) of wetlands areas, Natura 2000 protected and special zones and regional reserve, the Community structure has competences and knowhow on biodiversity protection and preservation and on promotion of its sustainable management.

This territory includes the Marano lagoon, one of the most important lagoons and wetlands of North Italy. The whole area is protected by Nature 2000 network due to the intensive presence of rare habitats and species. In CREW project, UTI is sharing its experience in managing this important wetland and comparing its techniques with other partners. The result of this joint sharing will produce a useful tool for the whole cooperation area (the wetlands contract) that will guarantee the correct management of this wetland in the future. The Marano lagoon has been chosen as the pilot area of the project and the participatory approach with wetland actors and stakeholders implemented within the local labs is perfectly in line with the Community Development Plan.


The Ofanto river is one of the most important watercourses of Southern Italy. Its rich natural and cultural heritage is protected by the Regional Natural Park of the Ofanto River.

The Ofanto river was a protagonist of the greatest battle of the second Punic war, its banks were the battlefield of the Battle of Canne. With its 170 km, the Ofanto river has its source in Campania in the town of Torella dei Lombardi in the province of Avellino, crosses part of Basilicata in the area of Mount Vulture and then flows in Puglia. It is usually divided into Upper Ofanto and Lower Ofanto, the first with a torrential trend with strong currents and the second that flows in the Apulian area with a trend of the river plain with wide banks and little current.

In the high stretch of the river, the vegetation is composed of forests where there are oaks, ash trees, poplars and willows. In the lower stretch, the wooded areas have been lost and the vegetation is strictly riparian: there are poplars, willows and elms as well as thick reeds and typical marsh vegetation. Near the mouth, thanks to the high salinity and to the stagnation of the water, Mediterranean salt steppes have settled down and are considered of high conservation priority.

Many species of birds nest along the riverbed: the magpie, the goldfinch, the coot, the moorhen. Among the birds of passage during the migrations is possible to observe the oystercatcher, the cormorant, the heron and the red heron, the knight of Italy, the kingfisher and the piro piro; among the birds of prey the kestrel and the kestrel. The ichthyic fauna present in the Ofanto is composed by carp, carassi, brown trout, catfish, carp and eels. Among the mammals, a very important sighting has been that of the otter, which returned a few years ago to populate the area of the Ofanto river.


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Due to its location, climate and water richness, the Neretva River Delta, with a total area of about 20.000 ha, it is one of the most interesting areas of the Republic of Croatia, Europe and the world, extending to about 12.000 in the Republic of Croatia.

It is the largest river mouth of the Republic of Croatia and is one of the few remaining wetlands in Europe, consisting of remnants of Mediterranean wetlands with preserved coastal lagoons and large areas of wetlands. Particularly prominent are reed beds where many endangered species of animals live.

In the area of the Neretva Delta, six geographically defined areas with a total area of 1.624 hs and one mineral are protected with the Nature Protection Act (OG 80/13, 15/18, 14/19 and 127/19).

The delta area has also been declared an area of the Natura 2000 ecological network of particular importance to the European Union as a Conservation area for birds (POP) and a Conservation Area significant for species and habitats (POVS) with a total area amounting to about 23.800 ha.

The Neretva River Delta is internationally recognized as the Ramsar Area – a wetland of international importance which expands over 12.742 ha. The aim of the Ramsar Convention is to conserve humid habitats on the earth which are critical to the survival of many plant and animal species. Including wetland birds. The Neretva River Delta represents one of the five selected areas of the Republic of Croatia of exceptional international importance.


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Strucna podloga Posebni rezervati u Delti Neretve

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Veliko and Malo blato at Croatian island Pag is an ornithological reserve from 1988. Veliko blato is shallow swamp with brackish water while Malo blato usually dries up in summer period.

Veliko blato is a shallow swamp like lake, illuminated all the way down to the bottom, with a large biomass of plants and animals which makes it a buffet table for the various and numerous kinds of animals. Almost all the Croatian swamp birds, and also many of the European ones, migrate across the coast. During this long journey, Veliko blato is a valuable sanctuary, resting place and feeding area (somewhat of a small bed & breakfast).

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Special ornithological reserve Palud - Palù


Palud - Palù (Ital. Palude, Rov. Palu - swamp), target area of the project CREW, is a particularly interesting and significant wetland. In spite of its relatively small surface it has an exceptionally rich and diverse bird population. Palud – Palù is situated in the vicinity of Rovinj City, close to the Adriatic coast. It is very important site for birds, and a beautiful oasis for those who seek a peaceful moment in nature. So far, around 235 bird species are recorded for the area, over one half of the overall Croatian bird population. Many of them nest in the area, while the others use Palud as a valuable temporary resting and feeding place during migration.


Besides birds, visitors can see other natural and cultural values, such as insects, amphibians and reptiles, remnants from the Roman empire or even dinosaur footprints on the beach.

Palud - Palù is part of the significant landscape of Rovinj islands and coastal area and Natura 2000 Ecological Network.


The area is also attractive for visitors because of it lovely beaches and walking paths.


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ROLL-UP DESIGN (Version 1)

PUBLISHED ON 02/12/2020
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ROLL-UP DESIGN (Version 2)

PUBLISHED ON 02/12/2020
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IUAV - Maria Chiara Tosi


Final video of the project




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