The Scientific Advisory Committee of the Mar Menor gives the go-ahead to the project to remove sludge from four beaches

The Regional Minister for the Environment, Universities, Research and the Mar Menor, Juan María Vázquez, at the meeting of the Mar Menor Scientific Advisory Committee.

The Scientific Advisory Committee of the Mar Menor has given the go-ahead this Tuesday to carry out the sludge removal project on four beaches of the Mar Menor located in the municipality of Cartagena, namely Punta Brava, Los Urrutias, Estrella de Mar and Los Nietos. The project as a whole will have a budget of over one million euros.

This was announced by the Minister for the Environment, Universities, Research and the Mar Menor, Juan María Vázquez, after participating in the Mar Menor Scientific Advisory Committee, where technicians from Cartagena City Council presented the project, which will be carried out by the council and will involve the development of a pilot project on each beach.

Vázquez stressed that this initiative is based “on the most effective techniques available that can be applied to the case of the Mar Menor, and defines the actions for the recovery and maintenance of the selected beaches,” according to sources from the regional government in a statement.

The aim of the project is to propose palliative actions focused on the removal of mud in certain areas which, together with other maintenance actions such as the removal of algae before it decomposes and mixes with the sediments, will contribute to the environmental improvement of the bathing areas.

The Mar Menor beaches selected are those belonging to Punta Brava, Los Urrutias, Estrella de Mar and Los Nietos.

The project as a whole, which has a favourable report of no effect on the Natura 2000 network, focuses on research into the effects of sludge extraction and subsequently on the study of the behaviour of the ecosystem in the event of the possibility of covering the sludge. The pilot project reproduced on a small scale all the steps or sub-activities involved in sludge removal for proper evaluation and to improve the project before implementation.

“The recovery of the Mar Menor is a priority objective for the regional government, shared by civil society. Scientific advice and support is important to select and implement actions aimed at improving the ecological state of the Mar Menor, while promoting scientific knowledge and applied research in relation to environmental problems,” said Juan María Vázquez.

Moreover, in the Scientific Advisory Committee, the researcher of the University of Alicante, Biology graduate and PhD in Marine Ecology and Modernisation of Biological Systems, César Bordehore, presented a ‘Proposal for the Integral Study of jellyfish proliferations in the Mar Menor: population dynamics, environmental factors and mathematical modelling’.

The aim of the proposal is to analyse the reproductions of jellyfish in the Mar Menor and the development of a mathematical model that explains the variability of the populations, especially of the adult specimens. It also studies the influence of different environmental factors and biological interactions (prey, predators, competition). The target jellyfish species will be the most common in the ecosystem: Rhizostoma pulmo, Cotylorhiza tuberculata, Phyllorhiza punctata and Aurelia aurita.


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