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Madrid prepares expropriations before the rise of the sea

05/12/2021 at 12:14 CEST

According to denounce those affected. The situation has caused a wave of unease and uncertainty about the future.

The specter of expropriations flies over the Ebro Delta due to the climate crisis. The situation is taking on very worrying shades and this humid area (the second most important in the country after Doñana) is in clear danger of disappearing in the coming decades.

The reasons are none other than a combination of factors that seem to have allied to unleash the perfect storm: progressive rise in sea level, erosion of the coast and reduction of the contributions of sediment and water that over time have been shaping east delta.

Those affected will not only be the 350,000 birds, especially aquatic birds, which have their natural paradise in the Ebro Delta, but also countless entrepreneurs who live from agriculture and also from tourism in this enclave. There is even an entire urbanization that runs the risk of being permanently flooded.

The residents of the area are alarmed by what is coming over them. Now, the Government has designed a plan with a battery of measures to try to stop the effects of the degradation of the Delta, which were notably aggravated by the storm Gloria, which caused damage never seen before in the area.

The problem is that the plan presented by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition includes measures that have caused even more distress to those affected. To get started, It is planned to review the demarcation of the maritime-terrestrial public domain area of ​​the coast, to face the new climatic situation.

This review consists, broadly speaking, of “pushing further inland & rdquor; the line of the public domain, encompassing lands that until now were not affected by the coastal demarcation. This, according to the Ministry, is done to “create a protection strip that allows the free movement of the coast and the controlled damping of the beats of the sea & rdquor ;.

This is necessary, adds the Ministry in its 600-page document, because “climate forecasts must be taken into account to deal with the effects of the rise in average sea level & rdquor; in the next years.

Housing estates and rice fields

The new demarcation, which has been subjected to public exposure and has generated a host of allegations that must now be studied before proceeding with the process, ‘swallows’ houses, restaurants and even urbanizations such as Riumar, which has 700 neighbors, but that get to be more than 6,000 in summer.

The City Council assures that the new public domain affects 97 of the 300 properties, which has led the mayor, Lluís Soler, to describe it as “looting & rdquor ;. The Riumar Neighbors Association, which groups some 400 owners, has also denounced that this demarcation will cause them to lose their homes. “They will no longer be ours & rdquor;, assures the association.

The ministerial document refers, in some specific cases, to the “Dismantling & rdquor; from certain restaurants and other tourist establishments that have been too close to the sea, just a few meters, when half a century ago they were almost a kilometer away.

Rice industries in the Ebro Delta will also be affected, although it has yet to be specified in what way, because the plan initially provides for “naturalization & rdquor; several hundreds of hectares of rice fields located on the coast, which would also remain in the public domain.

Ecologists, for their part, do not reject the expansion of coastal boundaries, but point out that “it is also necessary to address, and decisively, the main cause of pressure in the Delta, which is none other than the retention of sediments in reservoirs & rdquor ; that is upriver. “The actions that are proposed on the coast make sense when the arrival of sediments in the medium term has already been assured, and this is not the case & rdquor ;, points out Roberto González, from SEO / BirdLife.

González states that “in the reservoirs of the Ebro river clog the sediments& rdquor; and that prevents them from reaching the delta, as has happened for centuries, shaping the space that exists today.

The Ebro Delta could become the first area of ​​Spain to be victim of climate change, and not in a tangential or anecdotal way, but to a severe degree, with expropriations and business closures, displaced population and a general drop in productivity, in addition to the reduction of biodiversity.

It may interest you: Plan to ensure the conservation of the Ebro Delta

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