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Violating the Beaches

Every year, just before the start of the temporada (the holiday season) some of Mallorca’s beaches get a clean-up, a face-lift and a bit of a reconstruction and regeneration. In some cases, the sand merely gets cleaned up and re-distributed whereas on other occasions, new sand is being sucked up from the seabed to fill the beach with enough sand to last the tourist season.

Environmentalists criticize the sucking up of sand from off-shore locations for fear of a destruction of the marine life and in particular, damage to the Posidonia oceanica or Neptune grass which plays an important role in the Mediterranean ecosystem. They also criticize the use of heavy machinery on the beaches such as the digger on the photo above (in Port de Pollença). The uncontrolled use of heavy equipment causes damage to the dune system on some of Mallorca’s beaches and actually compresses the sand in a way that it is less well embedded and thus, prone to be blown away by wind and weather or swept away by the waves of the sea.

In Port de Sóller, the beach of Es Travès was completely renewed a week or two ago with sand from Albacete on the Spanish mainland. This sand was industrially produced at the quarries of Mineras Castilla-Mancha and brought over from Valencia by boat (see photo bottom); no marine land or ecosystem was put at risk, or so we were told.

The photo (top) was taken in Palma, Mallorca, Spain. The date: March 30th, 2012. The time was 13:54:13. The photo (bottom) was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of and the photographer, J. Mora.

Vielen Dank.

1 reply »

  1. That is crazy – if they bring sand from elsewhere, whether they claim it is “pure” or “synthesized” is not part of the local ecosystem! They may introduce something they didn’t even realize!!!! Crazy!!! Can’t believe I have been home for a week – miss being over in Mallorca – such a great place! Til next visit….

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