ENVIRONMENTAL group Ecologists in Action have announced their annual ‘black flag’ awards to beaches they say have suffered from pollution and poor management in Spain.

Six of their unwanted honours go to beaches in the Valencian Community with two each in the Alicante, Castellon, and Valencia provinces.

In Alicante province, Cala Mosca on the Orihuela Costa gets a poor management award which the group says ‘clearly represents the Mediterranean coast with great biodiversity and species perfectly adapted to an arid ecosystem’.

It’s also an area which features the site of a controversial development featuring over 2,000 homes, with preliminary work starting last month after years of opposition from environmentalists and residents.

Javea’s Arenal beach gets an award for a serious problem with discharges with Ecologists in Action saying that ‘unfortunately, every time there are episodes of heavy rains and storms, the coast appears full of wipes and other debris’.

In Valencia province, the beach of l’Arbre del Gos is a winner because not enough has been done to counteract sand erosion.

Regeneration work is being carried out but it got a black flag nevertheless ‘due to bad management which is a territorial cannibalistic band-aid: short-term, ineffective and devours resources without solving anything’.

A special joint black flag has been given to all the beaches in Valencia City due to the ‘lack control of coastal water and wastewater discharges’ and ‘difficulties in getting public information on the problem’.

In Castellon province, awards go to Surrach beach in Benicarlo for ‘huge amounts’ of waste accumulation and to Fortin beach in Vinaros that has been ‘subjected to new construction and breakwater repairs since 2018’.


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