ISPRA – the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research - National Centre for Coastal Zone and Characterization Marine Climatology and for Operational Oceanography - Unit for Tides and Lagoons - now performs the duties of ex-Venice Lagoon Service, deals to the following issues:

• collecting, processing and dissemination of the Real Time tidal data (Real Tidal gauge Network), daily tidal forecasting service and forecasting and warning for exceptional or atypical high tides (storm surges) and promotion of activity in the research field related to the Lagoon of Venice and the north-western Adriatic coastline.

• The greater part of the tide gauge stations have been operating for several decades, therefore, today, the Unit for Tides and Lagoons manages long times series whose statistics offer interesting element of comparison in the research field.

• furthermore, those activities which have useful implications with the European Flood Directive 2007/60/EC; in particular, ensuring relevant coordination/collaboration within River Basin Districts, focusing methodologies for elaboration of flood hazard maps and flood risk maps connected with marine floodings based on data processing of maximum levels in the North Adriatic Sea.

• Moreover, the activities related to the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive 2008/58/CE (MSFD) as to devise a strategy by 2020 to preserve the good environmental state of the marine regions skirting the Italian peninsula.

The Unit for Tides and Lagoons manages a network of 45 tide gauge stations, equipped for the systematic measurement of water level and other related parameters, such as wind direction, wind speed, atmospheric pressure, precipitation, and wave-height, scattered within lagoon waterholes, on the harbour inlets, and along the north-western Adriatic coastline, from the Po river delta and Trieste. All these stations are part of the Real Time Tidal gauge Network of the Lagoon of Venice.

Real Time Tidal gauge Network of the Lagoon of Venice, the National Real Tide gauge Network and the National sea Waves measuring Network, are the weather and marine monitoring system of the Italian seas, managed by ISPRA.

Tide gauge station of Punta della Salute (located in the centre of Venice) and others tide gauge stations have been also equipped with a co-located suitable GPS in order to detect the continuous vertical shifts of the local Zero Tide Level which is the reference benchmark for tide measurements in the lagoon.

The real-time operability of this network is aimed at several purposes among which are:
analysis and elaboration of data referring in particular to extreme events, signalling and forecasting exceptional high tides (storm surges). This is an important source for both planning and scientific studies such as the sea level variations and Venice defence from the phenomena of high tide.