Ecologistas give ‘black flag’ to 48 beaches across Spain

Playa el Palmar de Vejer (Cadiz), under threat from over-development. Photo: Martin Haisch / Flickr-Wikimedia Commons

Spanish environmental NGO Ecologistas en Acción has given the ‘thumbs down’ to a list of 48 beaches across Spain this summer, saying local and regional authorities are not doing enough to protect the beaches from human development, pollution and overuse that is threatening the beaches’ natural ecosystem.

In a 70-page report titled Banderas Negras 2018 (Black Flags 2018), the environmental group lists 48 beaches in 10 of Spain’s 17 regional communities, plus the autonomous North African enclave cities of Melilla and Ceuta, that it says are polluted or otherwise being degraded by industrial waste, tourism activities, housing development and other human activities.

The Spanish regions having the most number of beaches that have received the “black flag” designation from Ecologistas are Andalucia, with five beaches; Catalonia, Galicia and Valencia, with three each. Eleven of the beaches cited were also listed in 2016 and 2017 reports by the organization, but have yet to be cleaned up or adequately protected by authorities.

The organization cites massification of tourism, coastal erosion and industrial and agricultural waste carried by rivers into the sea and deposited on beaches as among the principal problems facing Spanish beaches. Ecologistas also cited the increase of plastics that are washed out to sea by rains and then redeposited by tides and waves on beaches as being of particular concern.

► Read More in Spanish at Público and La Vanguardia…

► Read full PDF report in Spanish on ‘Banderas Negras 2018’, here …

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