Recently the western Mediterranean has suffered the consequences of the cold drop DANA, a meteorological phenomenon that usually coincides with the beginning of spring and autumn, and that last September 13 and 14 affected many municipalities in the Region of Murcia, including San Pedro del Pinatar. The streets of the municipality turned for hours into rivers of mud that finally reached the Regional Park, flooding the salt ponds. The water, that got into the Park through the Molino de Quintín, has put at risk this year’s salt harvest, which had barely begun at the beginning of September.
As a first measure, two tractors of the company Salinera Española S.A. raised a speck to close the gap where the water entered near to Lo Pagán.
The effects of DANA in the Regional Park have been:
- Beaches like Torre Derribada and La Llana, which were severely eroded by the storm, were closed to the swim and marked with a red flag by the Emergency Service and Civil Protection of the Municipality of San Pedro del Pinatar.
- Effects on coastal dune systems.
- Significant reduction in salt production. The Director of Salinera Española, S.A. confirms a loss of approximately 8000 tons of salt, plus 20% regarding the tons of salt expected to be extracted.
- There have also been breakages in motes and canals, making necessary the cleaning of these canals and the fixing of motes so as to allow the water flow.
In this regard, one of the main objectives of the LIFE-Salinas Project is to mitigate the damage caused by the storm and the sea-level rise on the protected area, taking the following measures:
- The installation of sand collectors and the revegetation with native species, which will stabilize the coastline by preventing the flood of the salt flats and control erosion.
- The improvement of the salt circuit through the construction of new flecks or dikes in certain salt ponds. This will improve the water evacuation in the eventual case of heavy rainfall.
- An international day on coastal salt mine management will be organised, focused on the effects of erosion and sea-level rise due to climate change. With this in mind, a newsletter on Coastal erosion and sea-level rise will be disseminated as well as an international web forum.
- Four activities (one per year) will be organized so as to commemorate the World Climate Change Day, with the aim of raising awareness of the effects of global warming on both global and local scales.