Environment Minister inaugurates Polis SW works and warns of effects of climate change on the coast

The minister of the Environment, who visited the Sines and Odemira councils yesterday, said that «the Portuguese coast is, in […]

Minister of Environment_coastalpolis sw_odemira_01The Environment minister, who visited Sines and Odemira yesterday, said that “the Portuguese coast is, throughout Europe, one of the areas that is already feeling, and will feel, the effects of climate change. We have to adapt to rising sea levels and the occurrence of extreme weather events».

Minister João Pedro Matos Fernandes, who was on the Alentejo coast to inaugurate three contracts for the rehabilitation and enhancement of the coastline, under the responsibility of Polis Litoral Sudoeste, stressed that, following the recent Paris Agreement, it is necessary to invest in the «decarbonization of the economy ».

But there is still a need to invest in measures to mitigate the effects of climate change and adaptation. In Portugal, he announced, these measures "will include specific actions to defend the coast, reforestation, particularly in protected areas and efficient management of rainwater drainage networks."

The day of the Minister of the Environment, who was accompanied by the Secretary of State for Spatial Planning and Nature Conservation, Célia Ramos, by the mayors of Sines and Odemira and also by those responsible for the Sociedade Polis Litoral Sudoeste, began with a visit to one of the sections of the project for the protection and restoration of Dunes and Arribas Systems, which includes the areas of São Torpes, Morgavel and Porto Covo, in the municipality of Sines.

According to Sociedade Polis Litoral Sudoeste, this project intends to “contribute to the reestablishment of the geomorphological balance of the dune-beach system and to the resilience of this coastal section, keeping motor vehicles away from the sand and discouraging the casual crossing of people on the primary dune embryonic”.
The bet involved placing a continuous palisade, about 2,5 kilometers long.

"During the next bathing season, a set of panels with environmental information will be implemented, in order to improve the knowledge and identification of the threats and potentials arising from the functioning of the coastal zone, with a view to guaranteeing its ecological, environmental and social sustainability" , said the Polis Society.

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The Minister of Environment, with the mayors of Sines and Odemira (behind), the Secretary of State for Nature Conservation and the member of the Polis Society – Photo: CM Sines


Later, the Minister of Environment inaugurated the contract for the “Valorização and Qualification of Praia da Samouqueira”, in Sines, budgeted at around 217 euros, which had community co-financing through the Operational Plan for the Enhancement of the Territory – POVT.

The protection and balance of the coastal ecosystem, the protection and stability of the cliffs, minimizing risks and reinforcing the protection of people and goods, in this coastal section, whose bathing appetite has been increasing over the last few years, were some of the objectives of the work.

The project also includes the beaches of Porto Covinho and Praia Grande de Porto Covo, organizing car and pedestrian circulation, removing them from the risky strips of the cliffs, with the aim of mitigating phenomena of coastal erosion and safeguarding people and goods.

The first phase of the project, which corresponds to the contract now completed at Praia da Samouqueira, foresaw the planning and conversion of paths, marking them out in certain locations and routes, and the restriction of car circulation, solutions that will reduce occupation in areas sensitive and risky.

The protection and recovery of the natural heritage were also contemplated in this intervention, through the recovery of vegetation cover in degraded areas, the removal of invasive vegetation and the planting/seeding of native species in about 950 square meters, with solutions that will contribute to the mitigation of one of the most relevant factors in terms of coastal erosion, and consequently, for the preservation and stability of the cliff.

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Intervention of the Southwest Coast Polis – Photo: CM Sines





Yes, in the municipality of Odemira, the minister inaugurated the contract to improve and refurbish Praia das Furnas, budgeted at around 234 thousand euros and which had community co-financing, through the Alentejo Regional Operational Program – InAlentejo.

This intervention aimed to improve access and conditions of use and safety of the bathing space, associated with the protection and enhancement of existing natural resources, namely the extensive dune cord that precedes the sand area.

The contract consisted of reprofiling and marking the carriageway and parking pockets, thus preventing disorderly and abusive parking, creating a pedestrian path along the intervention area, removing the old existing palisade to protect the system dune, planting tree species and placing adequate road signs and information.

The works to recover the four raised accesses to the sand in wooden walkways and urban furniture were also included in the contract, as well as the works to reformulate the rainwater drainage system.

In the intervention area of ​​Polis Litoral Sudoeste, dredging is also planned at the mouth of the Mira river, next to Furnas beach, a project budgeted at 1,3 million euros.