THE MARINE PROTECTED AREA OF THE CINQUE TERRE
The Protected Marine Area of Cinque Terre, facing the five towns, is enclosed between the promontory of Punta Mesco and the Capo of Montenero in Riomaggiore. Established in 1997, includes four municipality, Riomaggiore, Vernazza, Monterosso al Mare, Levanto and the villages of Manarola and Corniglia.
The purpose of are is conserve biodiversity and habitats of the sea of the Cinque Terre. The coastline is characterized by steep cliffs, dry and isolated reefs, inhabited by countless Posidonia oceanica, a plant that forms dense meadows, a place of refuge and breeding for many organisms. Seabed degrade quickly. with rocky soil close to the coastline and sandy to greater depths. Among the gorgonians stands the Eunicella verrucosa, a white gorgonian, rare in the Mediterranean and widespread in the Atlantic Ocean. The steep rocky seabed of Punta Mesco and Capo Montenegro are also rich in corals, including rare black coral.
The Cinque Terre is also home to whales and dolphins, and its waters are included in the Cetacean Sanctuary.