Environmental Issues in Corralejo.

Corralejo has grown from a small fishing village based around the old harbour into a sprawling town that contiues to be developed. This development obviously affects the environment, as more development mens there is less natural space, and more people means greater demands are being placed on the space that remains.

Cleaning the Shore.

The shores of any island are inundated with rubbish that has been dumped elsewhere on the planet, and Fuerteventura is no different. The local authorities are aware of this and they put a lot of effort into cleaning up. The main governmental body on the island, the Cabildo, has an ongoing campaign to clean up the island, and each of the 6 local councils or Ayuntamientos has its own cleaning projects.

Beach CleaningThe photos show workers from the Ayuntamiento of La Oliva, which is the municipality in which Corralejo is to be found, working on the latest round of beach cleaning. This began on 3rd December 2007 and will go on for five months. The project is a collaboration with the Mancomunidad Centro Norte, a development association of the Ayuntamientos of La Oliva and Puerto Del Rosario.

The cleaning process began at the Piedra Playa, in El Cotillo, and will continue along the coast up to Corralejo.

Of course keeping the beaches of an island such as Fuerteventura clear of rubbish is an endless task as the currents in the Atlantic mean that rubbish from countries such Portugal or even those thousands of miles to the west of Fuerteventura can end up on the shores of Fuerteventura.

The authorities have to be given credit for their efforts, but it would be much better if individuals took responsibility and didn't throw their rubbish away in a careless fashion.

There is a chain of shops that sells premium priced clothing, with an unknown percentage of the profits going to a campaign to clean up the oceans. There will always be rubbish on the shores and if you are thinking of donating it would be better if every time you visited the shore, or anywhere else for that matter, you took a little more away than you went with.

Conserving the Sand Dunes

The sand dunes outside Corralejo form a protected natural area. Some people believe that the way that Corralejo is growing offers a threat to the dunes themselves, and there does appear to be some risk, though this was probably considered during the planning stages of the development.

The transport of sand is a natural process that can be interfered with. According to a scientific paper that I found on the net there are four main things that interfere with the natural transport of sand.

The Building of Tourist Resorts.

The (recent) development of Corralejo has not been along the shore or in naturally sandy areas, but inland and on areas that had a rocky surface. There is a clump of hotels in the dunes area, and there are constant discussions about whether these should be demolished. There was an attempt to have them declared a historical monument, but as this is indeed laughable it was laughed at. These hotels were built in the seventies, when people did not know better.

The Building of Roads.

The road that runs into Corralejo is usuall covered in a fine film of sand that is blowing across the road from west to east. If the wind is in the east the sand blows the other way and forms dunes on the road which have to be cleared. The road could have been built higher to avoid this inconvenience, but the fact that it wasn't suggests that the environmental effect of the road was considered and included in its development.

A new road is due to be built as part of a plan to connect the northern and southern ends of the island with a continuous dual carriageway, and this will run to the west of the dunes.

Extracting Activities

This involves using the sand as a resource for building the resort. As far as I know this has not happened in the Corralejo area.

Gardening on the Roadside.

This has not happened in the dunes area, and there are no plans to have rows of palm trees lining the roads in the Corralejo are the way they do around Costa Calma.

The scientific paper is an in depth read, but the effects of thoughtless development can clearly be seen in the photographs.

I believe that the developers have considered the effect of development and have acted to limit the impact of the development on the environment.

© "corralejo.tv 2007 - 08"

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