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Storms remove new sand from controversial Dona Ana beach

donaanaDona Ana beach in Lagos, stripped of its Gold Quality status by environmental organisation Quercus, has been stripped of much of its new sand by heavy seas over the past week.

This summer's €1.8 million project to increase the size of the sand area at Dona Ana beach managed to “significantly alter the beach’s natural landscape” and also “jeopardised the conservation of highly diversified marine ecosystems,” according to the organisation as 140,000m3 of sand was added.

The Minister for the Environment Jorge Moreia da Silva was adamant that the €1.8 million of taxpayers' money that he spend on moving sand from the delicate ocean floor ecosystem to the shore, and building a sea wall of rocks, many of which were taken from the sea bed, was a good way to protect tourists from falling rocks.

Moreia da Silva defended the initiative as being designed to keep beachgoers “safe” from overhanging unstable cliffs with Quercus saying that “security isn’t achieved through the destruction of beach’s beauty.”

Quercus president João Branco called the situation a “clear example of authorities turning a beach known for its natural beauty into something totally artificial.”

Well now Quercus and thousands of outraged residents can have the last laugh as mother nature and the recent stormy weather has removed the sand, as many predicted would happen.


(Dona Ana after recent work to increase beach size)

Jorge Moreira da Silva asked in July this year, "What should the government and the local authority do? By keeping the cliffs intact, should we endanger citizens? Or, as eventually has happened, we put more sand on the beach, returning it by the way to the size the beach was in the ‘50s and ‘60s, and provide a balance between landscape, environmental protection and the security of the people? Our choice was obvious."

The work to scrape the cliffs of loose rock and to add sand to enlarge the beach, once acclaimed as “the most beautiful beach in the world” by Condé Naste Traveller magazine, was authorised in 1999. The Ministry of the Environment got around to starting the work in 2015. Therefore, safety was hardly first and foremost on the ministerial agenda during the intervening 16 years.

Moreia da Silva remains the most detested politician by much of the Algarvian population and has a habit of getting huffy when he does not get his own way. He was the minister involved in the Ria Formosa islanders stand-off which remains on hold amid swirling bad feeling.

The removal of possibly the most expensively created stretch of sand in the Algarve has failed to produce a comment or sound bite from the Ministry.

Dona Ana beach has had her revenge with the helping hand of high seas and local prayers of encouragement.



(Dona Ana beach after recent storms)


Just shells left after the sand had been swept away

(Fernando Silva Grade FB picture)

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+1 #3 Dirty Old Town 2015-10-26 12:03
...and they were so adamant about rocks falling on beach goers like what could happen to you on any other beach if you lay your towel by the cliffs so they chose that one beach because of that one hotel that is secretly planned to be built on the cliff leaning over it
+5 #2 dw 2015-10-23 13:51
I think this demonstrates the real reason for the work was to siphon public funds to the crony capitalists who got the contract for the work, with a few backhanders for the politicians involved.
+1 #1 Juha 2015-10-21 19:45
In levante we trust.

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