July 7, 2020

48 black flags awarded to beaches and coasts, 40% for raw water



Ecologists in Action has awarded this Tuesday its symbolic 48 black flags to the most polluted or worst environmentally managed Spanish beaches and coasts, of which 40% corresponds to discharges of raw water, although the accumulation of garbage continues to have a lot of weight .

According to the report “Black Flags 2020” presented today, of the almost 8,000 kilometers of Spanish coasts that are analyzed in it, the biggest problem, as in 2019, has been the discharge of water and its poor purification, which have led to the allocation of a total of 19 of these badges.

This year some recurring black flags have been re-assigned that already obtained the symbolic award in 2019, such as the Gijón sanitation system (Asturias), the Fonsalía port project (Sta. Cruz de Tenerife) or the Mar Menor (Murcia) ), whose situation continues to worsen over time.

Due to contamination, they have received black flags, among others, the Cádiz beach of El Carmen in Barbate, without a treatment plant; the Ría de Huelva; or in Valencia, the beach of Les Fonts (Alcosebre), and in Murcia the Bay of Portmán and Sierra Minera.

Regarding mismanagement, they have received the insignia among other coastal areas Nerja (Málaga) for the impact of an urban project; Barcelona for the expansion of the airport and threatens the La Ricardía lagoon; in Vizcaya, due to the expansion of the car park in the San Juan de Gaztelugatxe biotope, and in Galicia, the mariña in Lugo due to insufficient treatment system.

2020 is the year that the largest number of complaints about discharges and purification has received in the last six years, which is significantly remarkable, and “leads us to wonder whether the necessary measures have been taken since the first sanction in 2018 by the EU to resolve this “serious deficiency”, according to the document.

The report awards two flags to each coastal province, plus Ceuta and Melilla. Beyond the discharges, eight of the insignia have been awarded for urban speculation; six for industrial conditions; six for stunning ports and cruises; five for coastal erosion and works; two for biodiversity issues; one for accumulation of garbage and the other for more than one specific cause.

The document also refers to the health crisis of COVID-19 to alert the waste that is reaching the seas, such as gloves and masks, which are “sources of contamination that we cannot overlook”, and “most are not recyclable “, recalled the person responsible for the report.

He has also warned of the problem of “urban deregulation” as a way out of the social and economic crisis that “we are seeing” with regional authorities opting for brick, which would be a “wrong way out” because “concentrating more people on the coast now can further aggravate the effects of the pandemic. “

“The coast is one of the first victims for this type of decision”, Megías has denounced, and without wanting to give details about the Mar Menor after claiming that it was not in competition, he did say that the serious environmental problem of the lagoon will still worsen more if it takes time to take solutions.

The report denounces “the serious threat” that they pose for many temporary beaches such as Gloria, which are increasingly stronger and recurring, and is encouraged to reflect on whether the responses will continue to imply “a huge economic amount to restore the damaged infrastructure, or if we should propose a new management model that is integrated with the natural environment ”.

This year, in addition, a report has also been prepared on the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of the Black Flags report, and it is recalled that in the last six years of annual complaints – since the new methodology was established – 284 black flags have been awarded, although unfortunately, not all situations have been resolved favorably.

In addition, special mention is made of anthropic conditions (of human origin) on coastal biodiversity, which have reduced and endangered hundreds of animal and plant species, and examples are given of some threatened species, from the barnacle Patella ferruginea, the prairies of the marine phanerogam Cymodocea nodosa, or the algae of the genus Gelidium spp.

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