Between Siculiana Marina and Eraclea Minoa there is a long pure beach where a group of WWF operators working for the safekeeping this part of the Sicilian coast. Torre Salsa is, in fact, a nature reserve, with a stunning beach that runs for 6 Kilometres. Working for the safekeeping of the coast and its wildlife are several professionals that ensure the cleaning and maintenance of the beach, the trails and the road signage.
“For us this is not just a job, it’s more of a mission – Alessandro Salemi, the director of the reserve tells us – the best part is to be part of an association that makes you proud of your work every day, because our efforts are all aimed to the safekeeping of our coast and our territory.” This is not all they do: there also are several projects for the safeguard of the wild animals of this area. “Right in this moment – Alessandro goes on – a member of our staff is rescuing a caretta caretta turtle that was found in Sciacca. Within tonight we’ll be able to move it to our centre in Lampedusa”. “What I love about my job – says Giuseppe Palilla a WWF operator – is that we are always available 24/7 to intervene in an emergency situation that could endangers our coasts. When I chose this career I was aware I was choosing to do something greater than me and I’ve never regretted it”.
Extraordinary situations aside, they also spend their time working on long time project and plan everyday activities. “Programming the activities allows us to spread the work – Giuseppe keeps telling us – so we usually spend the weeks between February and June meeting students from the schools”. There are many occasions in which kids have the chance to meet the workers. “Talking to the students is the best part of our job. We know that the young are the one capable of really listening, so forming them is the first step in helping the environment. Even nowadays whenever I run into one of the former students, met during all these years, I discover they are responsible adults who are fully aware of the importance of looking after the place the live in.
Giuseppe has been working in the reserve since 2000 year when it was established. “In the beginning not everyone understood the importance of safekeeping this place – he tells us – we were seen almost as enemies. But then we managed to stop unauthorised building, so the tourists began to enjoy the purity of this place and even local people started to appreciate the importance of protecting this untouched area. Now there are several B&B that are full of tourists that can enjoy this purest beach from June until October finding in Torre Salsa a perfect place to spend their holiday between sea and nature. Our greatest reward? “Hearing people saying that, after all these years, nothing has changed inside the reserve: this means we are doing a good job”.