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Italy's Salty Po Delta Hurting Agriculture, Fisheries

Fishers work gathering clams in Pila, Italy, on the Adriatic Sea which the Po River feeds into, early Friday, July 29, 2022. Drought and unusually hot weather have raised the salt levels in Italy's largest delta. It's killing rice fields along with the shellfish that are a key ingredient in one of Italy's culinary specialties. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Fishers work gathering clams in Pila, Italy, on the Adriatic Sea which the Po River feeds into, early Friday, July 29, 2022. Drought and unusually hot weather have raised the salt levels in Italy's largest delta. It's killing rice fields along with the shellfish that are a key ingredient in one of Italy's culinary specialties. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
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Porto Tolle, Italy (AP) -- Drought and unusually hot weather have raised the salinity in Italy’s largest delta, where the mighty Po River feeds into the Adriatic Sea south of Venice, and it’s killing rice fields along with the shellfish that are a key ingredient in one of Italy’s culinary specialties: spaghetti with clams.

At least one-third of the stock of prized double-valve clams raised in the Po Delta have died off. Plants along the banks of the Po River are wilting as they drink in water from increasingly salty aquifers and secondary waterways have dried up, shrinking amphibians and birds' wetland homes.