Venice Lagoon, Italy A narrow barrier island protects the Lagoon of Venice from storm waves in the northern Adriatic Sea, and breakwaters protect inlets to the lagoon. Red tiles of the roofs on the island of Venice contrast with the grays of the mainland sister city of Mestre. The cities are joined by a prominent causeway. Another causeway joins the island to the airport (image top right). Small bright agricultural fields of well drained soils (top left) contrast with the darker vegetation of backbay swamps where fishing is a popular pastime. Dense urban populations on its shores and heavy use by craft of all kinds result in turbid water in the northern half of the lagoon. This and other topics of environmental concern led to the creation of the Atlas of the Lagoon (Atlante della laguna) by the City of Venice and other regional partners in 2002 in order to document environmental conditions and track changes. Today, the Atlante della laguna is available online, and provides a comprehensive data collection of interpretive maps and imagery for the Lagoon of Venice - including astronaut photographs from the International Space Station.