ON Friday, The Coastal Service of Alicante began to pour 8,000 tonnes of artificial sand along the beach of Playa Portet, Moraira in a bid to recover it after the January storms, despite the fact the beach did not suffer like others of the Marina Alta as the Cap d’Or protected it.
When the laying of the sand began on Friday, the turquoise seawater turned brown.
Ecologists in Action (EIA) have demanded the halting of these actions which, in correspondence with Council restoration plans, are being developed along the entire Marina Alta coastline.
EIA have stated that the contribution of artificial sand will have a serious effect on the surrounding ecosystems of Moraira – it is an economic waste and in this case, its requirement is not justified by coastal erosion since there has never been a sandy beach in this location.
For the EIA, this is another example of how tourism comes before sustainable management of the coast. Artificial sand, they say, will not solve the problem of coastal erosion and in this case, when the next storm comes, will bury the surrounding posidonia meadows.
In the long run, a project to recover 50 metres wide from Playa Portet is currently being drafted by the Directorate General for Sustainability of the Coast and Sea, of the Ministry of Environment. The project plans, first of all, to carry out an environmental impact study.
Residents believe that an environmental impact study should have been carried out before this recent emergency work was initiated.
However, the Head of Coasts, which depends on the Ministry of the Environment has claimed to be following an environmental monitoring programme and before pouring the articificial sand, the association located, with GPS, the specimens of pinna nobilis and marine phanerogams (posidonia).
The profile of the historically narrow beach has changed dramatically, not just with the newly-coloured water but having grown several meters in width.
This said, the seawater will recover to its usual colouration in a few weeks.