SPAIN’S Ministry for Ecological Transition has announced 21 measures to reduce pollution and runoff into the Mar Menor to ‘zero’.

The measures will tackle dung from cattle farms, runoff from old mines and water treatment in an effort to stop nitrates and nitrites reaching the biodiverse salt-water lagoon.

It comes as environmental campaigners have spent years fighting the ‘poisoning’ and ‘green-coloured waters’ at the World Heritage Site.

ALGAL BLOOM: A pollution problem in the Mar Menor

The 10-year project will cost €430 to €615 million with the national Ministry working closely with Murcia’s councillor for agriculture, Antonio Luengo.

The most expensive parts of the project include construction of a drainage network around the shore of the lagoon.

Murcia’s Hydrographic Confederation of Segura (CHS) will also work to clear up floodwater channels known as ‘ramblas’.

Citizens’ action groups have been very critical of the local authorities’ inability to properly maintain these ramblas that drain the land into the sea, as slow-flowing water collects more chemicals destined the lagoon.

TEN YEAR PLAN: Teresa Ribera (Minister at the head of Department) and Antonio Luengo (of Murcia Government) discuss the project

Such nitrates and nutrients are harmful and cause an ‘algal bloom’ that turns the waters green, as they did in 2016.

Last month, The Olive Press reported on lead weights poisoning seahorses en masse.

READ MORE: SAVE OUR SEAHORSES! A British metal detectors club battling to save seahorses on the Costa Blanca

Jorge Salgueiro, who is part of the large Mar Menor Action Group, is sceptical of the plans.

“It’s a false dawn if the public aren’t involved,“ he told The Olive Press

“The control of spending and the control of politicians must be considered.

“There are many actions proposed and a huge quantity of money for the implementation – but it has to be monitored.”

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