Three tourists headed to Valencia, Spain attempted to board a plane at Galilei airport in Pisa with 13 kilos (28 lbs) of sand and pebbles, which they took from the Island of Elba. The group distributed the sand between their suitcases but were stopped by the Guardia in Finanza at the airport. All 13 bags were seized and will be returned to the Tuscan Archipelago Park Authority. The sand and pebbles will be exhibited at the Lacona Environmental Education Center, which organizes programs and activities to educate visitors about beach and dune ecosystems.
The Park Authority is grateful that the Guardia di Finanza was able to retrieve the bags. This disruption of biological and geological ecosystems in the Tuscan Archipelago is, unfortunately, a common practice among tourists. When tourists take sand or pebbles from Elba’s beaches, they risk modifying the coastal dynamics and compromising the balance of the beaches, whether they are aware of the consequences of their actions or not. If someone illegally takes any materials from these beaches without authorization, they risk not only criminal consequences but also a fine ranging from 1,549 to 9,296 euros. (elizabeth berry)
To read more in Italian, visit Florence’s La Repubblica news site.