Project Area Name: Lake Lugano

Project Manager Name: Stefano Beatrizotti

Contact: stefano (dot) beatrizotti (at) gmail (dot) com

Area Website:

Area Social Media: Facebook


Lake Lugano is a large peri alpine lake of considerable aesthetic, cultural and recreational value to residents and tourists. Once a clear-water lake, Lake Lugano was impacted by pollution from the 1960s, and became severely eutrophic by the end of the 1970s. The deep waters of the lake became de-oxygenated, either permanently (North Basin) or seasonally (South Basin), while the surface waters saw the appearance of algal blooms and an alteration of the diversity of the biological assemblages, including plankton and fish. From the end of the 1970s, in an effort to restore the chemical and biological quality of the lake, the external load of phosphorus has been reduced through the construction or the improvement of several sewage-treatment plants across the watershed. Since then, the conditions of the lake have improved. At present, nonetheless, the lake remains eutrophic. What's more, other environmental threats, including the spread of exotic species and climate change, are increasing. For example, since the early 1970s, the surface waters of the lake have been warming by approximately 0.1-0.8 °C per decade, depending on the season, and these are among the higher warming rates documented in Central Europe. In this project, divers will join forces with local academic and environmental management agencies in an attempt to document the major changes that are occurring to the lake.


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