THE BEACHES of Orihuela Costa have “excellent” water quality, despite being less than 10 miles from the polluted and poisonous lagoon of the Mar Menor.
The Institute of Coastal Ecology assessed the waters off the 11 beaches, always popular with British expats, studying the Posidonia (seagrass) meadows for annual growth, dead fauna and general health.
Dives were carried out on all eleven ‘blue flag’ beaches: Punta Prima, Cala Bosque, La Caleta, Cala Capitán, Aguamarina, Campoamor, Barranco Rubio, Cala Estaca, Cala Mosca, Cala Cerrada and Mil Palmeras.
The conservation index had improved in all cases over previous years, assessing all 11 as “excellent.”
This ‘POSIMED project’ began in 2001, in order to monitor the condition of the underwater meadows and raise awareness on the need for its preservation.
Only miles to the south, the protected lagoon of the Mar Menor has become dangerously polluted by years of overdevelopment on the coast.
Such uncontrolled building of coastal resorts and complexes has meant that during heavy rain, surface run-off water cannot be absorbed into the soils – which act as a natural filter.
Consequently, rapid changes in chemical imbalances have caused thousands of fish and other sea creatures to die and end up washed up on the shores of coastal resorts.
Additionally, many farmers in the last few decades have reportedly built desalination plants that dump concentrated effluent straight into the sea.
Many groups have campaigned over the last few years, but have been blighted by a perceived lack of action by local, regional and national governments.
– Valencia’s municipality with the most – Orihuela collects 13 Blue Flags for its beaches on Spain’s Costa Blanca
– Campaigners send Mar Menor lagoon pollution complaint to EU which pins blame on Spain’s politicians
– Massive demonstration over Mar Menor pollution sends message to Murcia government in Spain