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Bobcats safeguard Bagheria Beach in Sicily

by Kyle Molyneux  |  Thu 11 Jul 2024

Bobcats safeguard Bagheria Beach in Sicily

On the coast of Bagheria (PA) on the island of Sicily in Italy, the accumulation of seaweed on the beaches, if not managed properly, can cause inconvenience to the local community and tourists. For this reason, A.M.B. Ambiente (A.M.B.), a multiservice company of the Municipality of Bagheria, has started a project for the ecological management of algae on the local coasts.

The goal of A.M.B. is the progressive improvement of the quality of services provided to local people, paying greater attention to the needs of the community and the most suitable solutions for the Bagheria area.

Vito Matranga, President of A.M.B. Ambiente, commissioned Betra, the exclusive Bobcat dealer for Sicily, to carry out the work, following their successful intervention last year. To ensure that the natural beauty of Bagheria's coasts is preserved, Bobcat machinery has been ideal, allowing rapid and effective removal of algae, while ensuring operational efficiency and minimal disturbance to the marine ecosystem.

The algae, which is not harmful to humans but little appreciated by swimmers, is taken from the shoreline where it settles and placed in a less frequented location on the coast. At the end of the summer season the algae is placed back in the water, so as not to destabilize and to safeguard the marine environment.

“It's not the first time we've collaborated with A.M.B. – having hired several Bobcat machines to them in the past. On this occasion, however, we did not only deal with the choice and supply of Bobcat machinery, we also carried out the intervention ourselves, happy to contribute to preserving the natural beauty of our coasts and to providing ecological and efficient solutions for the well-being of the community,” explained Giovanni Riela, founding partner and administrator of Betra.

"For the second consecutive year, we have chosen to rely on Betra for the removal of algae from Aspra beach in Bagheria,” said Vito Matragna. “Betra has once again demonstrated its expertise in selecting the Bobcat models best suited to our needs. In particular, the T66 tracked loader and the E35z mini-excavator exceeded all our expectations in terms of efficiency and reliability.

Removing algae
The removal of algae on the Bagheria coast is a complex operation, carried out entirely by the Bobcat E35z mini-excavator and the Bobcat T66 compact loader. Initially, the Bobcat E35z, equipped with a grapple, is used to collect all the algae present on the shoreline and move it onto the beach. The attachment allows the operator to effectively grasp and lift the seaweed, preventing it from mixing with the sand and making the process more efficient.

Subsequently, the same mini-excavator is equipped with a sifting bucket. This attachment is essential for separating the sand, allowing only marine algae to be effectively isolated and removed. The grilled bucket retains the algae while the filtered sand is released, thus ensuring thorough cleaning that respects the surrounding environment.

Once sieving is complete, the Bobcat T66 track loader comes into action. This machine is responsible for handling the seaweed and loading it onto a truck for transport to an established temporary location.

“We chose the T66 compact loader for several reasons.” explained Giovanni Riela. “First of all, the tracks are crucial for being able to move comfortably on the sand. Furthermore, it is an extremely powerful, versatile machine capable of tackling even the most complex operations. The T66 is also equipped with a Stage 5 engine, which ensures low emissions, making it a more environmentally friendly choice.

"The E35z mini-excavator was deemed the ideal model due to its optimal combination of compactness, operational efficiency, stability and comfort," continued Riela. “The E35z is able to complete jobs quickly and precisely thanks to its high operational efficiency, while its stability ensures that it can also tackle uneven terrain, such as in the specific case of a beach. Furthermore, the comfort offered to the operator, thanks to advanced ergonomic features and a well-designed cab, helps reduce fatigue and increase overall productivity."

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