20 Apr, 2024 @ 10:00
1 min read

Spain coughs up an extra €200m to eliminate pollution from the Mar Menor lagoon

Big boost in state aid to fight Mar Menor lagoon pollution
Algae removal at Los Urrutias beach

THE Spanish government has announced a 40% increase in its budget to remove pollution from the Mar Menor lagoon.

The Ecological Transition Minister, Teresa Ribera, visited San Pedro del Pinatar on Thursday and said the money has gone up from €484.4 million projected in the 2022 ‘Priority Action Programme’ to €675 million.

Ribera appealed to everybody to maintain the current degree of involvement and collaboration around the recovery of the Mar Menor because ‘our credibility as a society is at stake’.


TERESA RIBERA(Cordon Press image)

A lot of the pollution was caused by farmers and agricultural companies installing illegal drainage systems at the Campo de Cartagena which for years discharged nitrates into the lagoon.

Teresa Ribera said: ”There is a real commitment to recover a precious ecosystem that mirrors on a small scale what is happening in the Mediterranean.”

“We have a floor, not a ceiling: and we cannot go back. You can’t take your foot off the gas,” she said at a news conference.

She told journalists that around 40% of the budget had already been used or was in the process of being utilised.

130 files have been processed for polluting activities and discharges while talks continue on reaching a consensus on how to use water for farming.

Ribera talked about intervention in a land area heavily contaminated by heavy metals, and the forthcoming purchase by the government of twelve privately owned plots of land for environmental and forest restoration, and hydrological repair.

As for recovering the lagoon shores, a highly-visible action will be to to recover the cove of the La Manga station and to dismantle Puerto Mayor.

In regard to flood risk management and reducing pollution through improving sanitation and purification networks, the minister said that €20 million had been given to eight municipalities to improve treatment systems, and an additional €3 million for flood prevention work.

Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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