ALTEA council has been given a €810,652 European Union grant to improve the mouth of the Algar River between the Sogai bridge and the sea.

Work on the longest river in the Marina Baixa region will begin in September and will take three years to complete.

The EU subsidy will fund 95% of the project covering an area of 26.5 hectares and two kilometres of shoreline.

Altea’s acting mayor, Jose Orozco, said: “This is one of the few wetlands in the north of Alicante province and is Altea’s ‘Green Lung’ as well as being a natural area of vital importance acting as an ecological corridor.”

Once the work is finished, the risk of flooding will be reduced in 67,000 m2 of urban land which Orozco said ‘will benefit some 3,000 residents’.

“The project will recover riverside vegetation and the basic biological, ecological and hydrological processes of the river habitat by getting rid of widespread exotic species such as cane, and some invasive aquatic species like the Water Hyacinth that is on the surface of the river mouth,” explained Orozco.

A network of lagoons will be created with improved filtration of water coming from the wastewater discharge plant.

Rubble will also be removed as part of the action to improve the river and its image to tourists.

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