Environmental wants illegally parked campers in Alicante to be gone

Dozens of campers illegally in the Saladar de Agua Amarga protected area

by admin

An environmental group has filed a complaint against alleged illegal parking practices of dozens of campers in the Saladar de Agua Amarga wetland protected area in the province of Alicante.

Amigos de los Humedales del Sur de Alicante (AHSA) filed its complaint with the Nature Protection Service of the Guardia Civil (SEPRONA).

Increase in illegal campers

AHSA reports that it has been a practice for years for RVs and converted vehicles to camp here. The land is part of the Saladar de Agua Amarga Protected Wet Area. The environmental group receives support from residents of the nearby Urbanova residential area. They have also noticed a remarkable increase in the number of vehicles and people camping illegally in this protected nature reserve in the past year. “Sometimes as many as a hundred of these types of vehicles spend the night next to Saladar beach for a long time without any form of control.”

Environmental impact

According to the plaintiffs, the “formation of a permanent human settlement will have a “significant impact on the environmental values of this wetland.” The ecologists point out the pollution of coastal waters that can be caused by the discharge of grey water from these vehicles. This also happened last summer on the beach of Carabassí, in the municipality of Elx.

Legal protections ignored

Amigos de los Humedales points out that since its approval, the Saladar de Agua Amarga has been included in the Catalog of Wetlands of the Valencian Community. The Valencian Community’s Protected Natural Areas Act prohibits camping here without permission. This activity is also punishable by law.

Call for enforcement

The action group has also sent a letter to the Ministry of the Environment. It contains a request to punish illegal camping practices. They also criticise the administration for allowing illegal camping in the Saladar de Agua Amarga for years. This, together with the growth of RV tourism and the lack of enforcement of legislation, is hurting this already affected wetland.

Cogesa Expats

Municipal indifference

The group regrets the “total indifference of the municipality of Alicante towards this problem”. They label the image of the municipal prohibition signs surrounded by dozens of campers as “pathetic”.

Since the existing camper place on Playa de San Juan has been abandoned, the municipality of Alicante lacks a specific space for these vehicles. And that clashes with the fact that this type of vehicle is becoming increasingly popular among European tourists. According to the Tourism Councilor, this type of traveller is not a priority for the city. Nevertheless, Mayor Luis Barcala assured that a suitable location for a new camper place is being sought.

Future developments

Shortly, camper tourists visiting Alicante may have to move to a more hospitable destination if the competent authorities intervene. The phenomenon is repeated at a short distance. For example, in the vicinity of the beaches of the Elche coast, such as La Marina. As a result, there are plans to construct parking spaces in the area that are suitable for this purpose.

Saladar de Agua Amarga

The Saladar de Agua Amarga is a special and ecologically valuable nature reserve. It is characterised by its unique salt marsh ecosystem. That type of wetland has become rare along the Mediterranean coast. It takes its name from the salty, bitter waters (‘agua amarga means ‘bitter water’ in Spanish)

Also read: Twenty campers and tents removed from nature reserve near Nerja

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