Take it or leave it. The survival of San Vito Lo Capo beach is at stake

“Mom, can we pick up shells?”
Why bring home shells, coral, hermit crabs, sand, and sea pebbles? To admire them on a shelf? To make it a memory? To say “I’ve been there”?

By collecting the valuable fruits of the sea, as well as the remains of its inhabitants, we will only have stolen from the beach a trace of life, depleted our waters, and achieved the sole purpose of satisfying our ego.

Did you know that San Vito Lo Capo beach is a pocket beach?

A pocket beach, that is, a “pocket” beach, enclosed between rocky coastal stretches. This natural miracle is born thanks to the action of the water that brings material such as shells, animal shells, remains of the lives of mollusks, sea urchins, and starfish, gradually shattered over time. It also includes residues from the erosion of rocks and cliffs carried by the current.

Pocket beaches are extremely rare and have high environmental value.
It is astonishing how San Vito Lo Capo embodies all of this!

“If you take home a souvenir from the beach, soon there will be no souvenirs left. So let’s play with the shells, yes, and then return them to the sea.”

It may seem obvious, but it isn’t. Too often, we witness destructive games played by adults and children, resulting in the gratuitous exploitation and depletion of our greatest resource: the beach.

What can we do?

Intense tourism development can negatively impact the beach ecosystem due to a series of phenomena such as anthropization, cementification, and mechanical cleaning. But there are good practices we can adopt:

  1. Reject the image of a pale and artificial bay, often enriched by banks of beached Posidonia, precious against coastal erosion.
  2. Consider the beach a living ecosystem of coral grains, white mother-of-pearl crystals, small insects, and delicate vegetation.
  3. Inform everyone about the importance of proper and respectful behavior, or it will be the end for San Vito Lo Capo.
  4. Communicate that collecting shells is illegal! The Navigation Code (Art. 1162) establishes an administrative penalty for anyone who collects and removes shells, sand, gravel, or other materials from the beach or belonging to the seacoast state property

The challenge.

A community attentive to the territory will always have to seek a balance between the economic well-being of its community, which primarily lives off tourism, and the preservation of the natural asset that constitutes the only real heritage for its children.
From this principle, we set the “TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT” campaign, aiming to draw attention to one of the many reasons for the beach’s impoverishment: the collection of its vital elements – shells, corals, and marine treasures – by adults and children.

Take it or leave it, the survival of the bay you love is at stake!

Campaign carried out by the No Marine Resort Committee with the sponsorship of the Municipality of San Vito Lo Capo and the Circolo Legambiente Pizzo Cofano.


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