"Our goals are to restore and re-equilibrate the lagoon, and eliminate the causes of environmental degradation." - Maria Giovanna Piva, President, Venice Water Authority
The safeguarding of Venice is divided between two departments, the Comitatone, which determines policy, and the Consorzio Venezia Nuova, charged with the planning, designing, and implementing the policies. Together these two departments have created a functional integrated system of defenses classified into: 'local,' 'diffuse,' and 'coastal.'
'Local' defenses are mostly limited to the city proper and the surrounding inhabited islands. These projects are mainly concerned with the protection of built up areas, this was accomplished through the raising of pavements, embankments, walkways, and bridges high enough to defend against flooding of medium-high levels (up to 110cm). In the past, the issue of flooding was remedied by knocking down the buildings that sat below sea level and building new ones in their place. If this trend continues many of the architectural glories of Venice will not be able to keep pace with the constant raising of pavements and sidewalks, which in turn will destroy the elegant proportions and hide the bases of columns.
 Fletcher, Caroline and Jane Da Mosto. The Science of Saving Venice. Turin: Umberto Allemandi & Co., 2004. p. 45.
 ibid. p. 46.