BEACH VOLUNTEER PROGRAMME FOR SPANISH COASTLINE
Press Release / 2012-08-15 15:28:28
Through the Biodiversity Foundation, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Affairs has launched its "Beaches, Volunteers and Land Stewardship" programme with the intention to get 5,000 people involved in the protection of beach quality via 35 beach improvement and conservation projects. Thirteen of these projects have been scheduled to take place this August in Andalusia, Asturias, the Canary Islands, Cantabria, Catalonia and the Region of Valencia.
The State Secretary for Environmental Affairs, Federico Ramos, believes that "this programme is a good example of the coordination we need to see between government services, NGOs and the public. Our beaches belong to everyone, and we all have a duty to protect and look after them".
This programme is being developed in collaboration with 30 land stewardship organisations in all the autonomous regions located on the coast and comprises a number of projects focused on the removal of rubbish from and cleaning of beaches, the conservation and restoration of vegetation to stabilise sand dune systems, the improvement of urban beach landscapes, work on the recovery of areas in decline, the control of invasive exotic species, improving the habitat of native fauna, the restoration of more traditional sustainable uses, and coastal environment training, communication and awareness-raising activities.
The activities scheduled for this August will take place at Eucaliptus Beach and La Paella Beach (Tarragona); at the ports of Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Marina Port d'Aro, Marina Palamós, Llafranch, Fornells i Estartit (Girona); at El Campello Beach (Alicante); at Los Lances Beach and Camposoto Beach (Cadiz); at the beaches in the Los Acantilados de Maro-Cerro Gordo natural park: Calaiza Beach, Cantarriján Beach, Molino de Papel Beach, Maro Beach, Las Alberquillas Beach and El Cañuelo Beach (Malaga and Granada), at El Espigón Beach (Huelva); at El Tostadero Beach and the sand dune system at Merón Beach (Cantabria); and at San Antolín Beach and Ballota Beach (Asturias).
The activities at El Espigón Beach (Huelva) will be organised by the Spanish Ornithological Society (SEO/Birdlife), which has planned a day of bird watching on 10 August. Activities on 11 August will be focused on collecting rubbish, workshops and an information stand.
SEO/Birdlife will also be carrying out similar activities on 26 August at Eucaliptus Beach (Amposta, Tarragona) and El Médano Beach (Santa Cruz de Tenerife). Eucaliptus Beach will be the scene of cleaning-up and environmental improvement activities, as well as work to raise the value of the beach and halophyte and grassland habitats. El Médano Beach will see environmental improvement on the beaches and coastal sand dunes, with special focus on the Montaña Roja area.
The Oxígeno Foundation has planned three awareness-raising and environmental improvement days on 22, 23 and 24 August at El Tostadero Beach in Cantabria and at San Antolín Beach and Ballota Beach in Asturias. Also in Cantabria, the Red Cambera Association will dedicate the weekend of 18/19 August to work on training, taking an inventory of and eradicating invasive flora on the sand dune system at Merón Beach.
Between 11 and 25 August in Andalusia, the FIRE Foundation and the MIGRES Foundation are organising activities at Camposoto Beach and Los Lances Beach (Cadiz), respectively, while the Hombre y Territorio Association will be undertaking coastal custody activities in the Los Acantilados de Maro-Cerro Gordo natural park (25 and 26 August).
In Catalonia, GEPEC-EdC will devote Mondays and Fridays to cleaning and maintenance work at La Paella Beach. In Girona, the Nereo Association has planned awareness-raising action at sailing facilities. In the Region of Valencia, the Avinença Association will be taking action on four separate days in August on El Campello Beach (Alicante).
This initiative aims to highlight the important value of the Spanish coastline, which is almost 8,000 kilometres long and includes a significant variety of beaches and sand dune systems that need to be preserved. These eco-systems also provide a great environment for the development of economic activities capable of generating wealth and employment that, if properly organised, can contribute to their conservation.
List of Best Environmental Practices and "Responsible Beach Bar Awards" A List of Best Environmental Practices has also been prepared, containing advice for beach bars in terms of optimum resource management, pollution and rubbish, as well as the best way to use the space they occupy. This document also establishes guidelines in terms of education, environmental awareness-raising and social responsibility. More than 150 establishments have already signed up to this initiative.
Furthermore, the first "Responsible Beach Bar Awards" are being organised with all the beachside establishments of this nature that sign up to the List of Best Environmental Practices and present pro-sustainability actions they have developed or plan to develop. Candidatures and nominations for these awards can be presented until 15 September.
These awards come with a total of 24,000 euros, which will be distributed between two categories: "Developed Initiatives" and "Ideas". Within these categories, a maximum of three awards will be presented: a first prize of 6,000 euros, a second prize of 4,000 euros and a third prize of 2,000 euros.