MURCIA’S Mar Menor lagoon is facing a new ‘environmental catastrophe’ according to a local council.
Recent heavy rainfall and rising temperatures has led to increased nitrate levels in water pouring into the lagoon from fields on the Campo de Cartagena.
That means a resulting upturn in dangerous algae that reduces oxygen levels in the lagoon which could kill fish and other marine species.
Los Alcazares Environment councillor, Antonio Campoy, says the circumstances mean that new build-ups of ‘green soup’ caused by a rise in algae are likely unless work is done to scoop them up when they form in the water.
He appealed to Murcia’s Environment Ministry to ‘act immediately’ and offered the council’s help.
The regional government has 90 staff available for the daily clear up of biomass from Mar Menor beaches to prevent degradation and pollution.
They have also been assisted by fishermen.
Visiting Los Alcazares Yacht Club on Wednesday, Environment Minister, Antonio Luengo said:
“The regional government is providing extra investment to help municipalities and distributing staff around areas that need greater reinforcements.”
“We are seeing a significant proliferation of algae, specifically the one known as ‘angel hair’ which is caused by the massive flow from internal basins of fresh water loaded with nitrogen,” added Luengo.
The minister blamed the national government for not following through on requests by the Murcia administration made in 2019 to deal with the problem.
That’s a view not shared in Madrid who in turn have pointed their fingers at Murcia politicians for not doing enough to stop lagoon pollution for many years.
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