The project involves the use of freshwater mussels as alarm biosentinelle, thanks to their recognized filtering qualities and sensitivity to external agents, to create a network for monitoring and remediation of sediments in the coastal areas of Lake Orta.
The mussel from Lake Orta, whose technical name is Unio elongatulus, becomes a sentinel of the environment. It’s called RisOrta the environmental project of active biomonitoring and remediation of sediments in the coastal areas of Lake Orta, one of the activities foreseen by the Ecolago project, which foresees the positioning of these molluscs in some coastal areas. It was presented in its details today by the Ecomuseo del Lago d’Orta and Mottarone and by Irsa Cnr of Verbania Pallanza with Fai – Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano as the first financier, the Municipality of Orta San Giulio, and Fondazione Comunità Novarese onlus which has chosen to support, together with Fantini Rubinetti, a research grant to further develop the biological and digital experimental approach of the project.
Lake Orta has sediments polluted by heavy metals but purified water. However, the more superficial waters of Lake Orta are naturally exposed in the coastal area to the potential risk of the release of pollutants from the sediments, due to a series of external agents (wave motion, runoff and access by bathers). RisOrta provides for the use of freshwater mussels as alarm biosentinelle, thanks to their recognized filtering qualities and sensitivity to external agents, to create a monitoring network and to carry out a localized remediation of coastal areas.
The biological approach of this pilot study intends to provide a sustainable solution also from an economic and highly technological point of view, because the molluscs will be equipped with sensors that allow their responses to environmental conditions to be measured in real time. The data on the behavior of the mussels will be sent digitally to the CNR to continuously monitor the conditions of the environment and immediately detect any anomalies or pollutant substances.