Barcelona beaches shrink by 20 percent due to storms

by admin
Catalan beaches Barcelona

The beaches around Barcelona are starting this summer with a 20% smaller surface area compared to last year. Recent storms have significantly reduced the sand surface. This information was presented on Tuesday from Montgat, a town considered the “kilometre zero” of coastal regression.

Montgat has lost nearly all its beaches over the past decade. The Area Metropolitana de Barcelona (AMB) is urging the Generalitat and the national government to implement a long-term plan to combat sand loss, as annual sand replenishments are proving ineffective.

Erosion impact on Barcelona beaches

During Semana Santa (the week before Easter), a severe storm eroded between 15% and 30% of the sand along Barcelona’s five-kilometre coastline. This equates to a loss of approximately 130,000 square metres of sand. Subsequent storms have hindered the natural return of the sand, causing significant coastal erosion. These southern storms are becoming more frequent along this coast, threatening not only the beaches but also facilities such as beach bars, stairs, boardwalks, and showers. To replenish the beaches, Barcelona extracted 17,000 cubic metres of sand from Port Olímpic, which was then added to the beaches of Barceloneta, Sant Sebastià, and Nova Icària.

Call for coastal protection action

Ramon Torra, the director of AMB, stressed the importance of beaches as socio-economic drivers. He called for coordinated action between the government, the Generalitat, and local authorities to protect the coastline and prevent further losses. The situation in Montgat has led to the closure of six beach bars. This has resulted in a loss of €360,000 in municipal revenue, according to Mayor Andreu Absil. Additionally, this has caused layoffs of staff and further negative impacts on the local hospitality industry.

Adapted beach facilities

Due to the reduced beach area, facilities and equipment on the beaches have been adapted. In Montgat, the number of beach accesses has been reduced from 17 to 3 over the past six years. There are no longer any play and sports fields, such as beach volleyball courts. Badalona has had to leave some beaches without toilets due to the limited space.

Improvement in water facilities

Due to the improved drought situation, between 10% and 20 % of showers and foot washers will be open this summer. That´s a significant improvement from last year. Some municipalities even have twice as many facilities available now. The AMB also invested €480,000 in renewing beach facilities, including new walkways and toilets in various coastal towns.

Inclusivity and accessibility

The AMB has taken steps to make the beaches more accessible and inclusive. Flags suitable for the colour-blind have been installed, along with new shaded cabins for swimming assistance. New walkways have been added for people with limited mobility, and pilot projects for flexible walkways to the sea are underway.

Related article: The sea is eating the coast line of Malaga

Baycrest Wealth

You may also like