Posidonia on the beaches protects sand erosion

The recent storms have seen heavy seas along the coast over the last few weeks, which will continue throughout the winter months in the province.

However while many residents complain of the build up on posidonia on the beaches and some town halls continue to remove it, it should be made well aware that the presence of this plant is in fact good for our beaches and is one of the last lines of defense against sand erosion, an issue that costs the province millions of Euros each year in replacing sand lost to the sea.

There are many town halls, such as Calpe, that have been working hard on awareness campaigns over a number of years to inform residents as to what posidonia actually is and its benefits for our beaches. Contrary to what many people believe, the posidonia is not an algae, but the balls and leaves that are seen scattered across many beaches are in fact the remains from the flowering plant called Posidonia Oceanica, elements of great importance to the natural ecosystem, both when alive and under the sea and when dead and washed up on the coast, very often in great quantities.

 The Mediterranean endemic species, Posidonia Oceanica, is in fact a testament to the good quality waters. Unique to the Mediterranean Sea it is fundamental to the development and growth of many animal and plant species, and is a keystone for many species, without which they would simply disappear. IT is also an important produced of oxygen, producing two to three times the rate of the Amazon rainforest. It forms part of a rich ecosystem, providing shelter to some 400-plant species and over 1,000 animal species. It aids in maintaining the balance of the coastal sediments, and sands are protected from erosion by its accumulation on the beaches, reducing the impact of waves and storms during winter months.

The construction of property so close to the beaches and sea walls is, in reality, a death sentence for many beaches along the coastline of the province, inhibiting the natural movement of sand resulting in it being dragged out to sea, so the last line of defence against the disappearance of many beaches is to leave the natural barrier that forms during winter, the posidonia, and its presence should not be associated with dirt or abandonment but rather as natures clever way of preserving our coasts.

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