Environmental and neighbourhood organisations (ANSE, Ecologistas en Acción, FAVCAC, Pacto por el Mar Menor, ADEPEN, SEO-Birdlife and WWF-Spain) demand greater involvement of the European Union in the recovery of the Mar Menor.
Although they are grateful for the visit of the Commissioner for the Environment, the organisations have sent him a letter expressing their protest at the delay on the part of the European Union in acting on the non-compliance of different Community directives in the area of the Mar Menor, and they ask for greater control of the commitments and solutions to be applied by the Autonomous Community and the State, and the review of Community aid for intensive agriculture in the Campo de Cartagena.
The representatives of the environmental and neighbourhood associations have reminded the Commissioner that 20 years have passed since the first complaint lodged by ANSE for non-compliance with the Directive on nitrate pollution from agriculture in the Campo de Cartagena, without the measures agreed by the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia having served to prevent the deterioration of the Mar Menor.
The recent acknowledgement by the Confederación Hidrográfica del Segura that there are still 8 500 hectares of illegal irrigated land in the Campo de Cartagena is a tangible demonstration of the lack of control by the authorities over the expansion of the activity which, according to all the independent scientific reports, has contributed most to the eutrophication of the Mar Menor.
The latest report of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography also recognises that the Mar Menor has lost its capacity for self-regulation, and that the origin of the recent mortality of fish and crustaceans is a consequence of the continuous discharge of agricultural nutrients.
In this regard, the organisations regret that substantial EU funds have been spent on ineffective, if not useless, measures, and that the problems of groundwater pollution in the Campo de Cartagena and the Mar Menor lagoon have not been solved, the problems of flooding caused by uncontrolled urban growth and the lack of land-use planning in the drainage basin, the urban collapse of La Manga, port infrastructures, the failure to restore areas polluted by mining, to reclaim public land and to renaturalise natural areas such as wetlands, which could provide ecosystem services and nature-based solutions.