Porto de Recreio de Olhão will be expanded, but Câmara does not allow it to be in front of the Markets

Public consultation runs until March 1

The project to expand the Porto de Recreio de Olhão, which provides for the creation of 102 new mooring places, including 28 for larger vessels, with a length between 15 and 25 meters, is under public consultation until the 1st of March.

The Environmental Impact Assessment of this project does not hinder the progress of the project, but the Câmara de Olhão has a condition to allow the expansion of the port to advance: an unimpeded view of the Municipal Markets from the estuary.

The project's intervention area is the entire area from the current East limit of Porto de Recreio to the Caíque Bom Sucesso pier, in the area between the two Municipal Markets of Olhão.

An analysis of the project drawings contained in the documentation made available for public consultation reveals that the new access posts and walkways will not extend to the caique pier, but will occupy around two thirds of the intervention area.

An intention that could clash with the position of the Câmara de Olhão, an institution that will always have a say in this process, taking into account that António Pina, mayor, told the Sul Informação that, when the municipality is called upon to give its opinion, it will “prove unfavorable to any expansion into the area in front of the markets”.

Even so, the mayor of Olhão says he is «satisfied with the expansion of the Port of Recreio».

As for the Environmental Impact Assessment, which is being consulted, it does not pose obstacles to the progress of the project, despite making some recommendations.

According to the Technical Report supporting the Environmental Impact Study, prepared by the Centro de Ciências do Mar do Algarve (CCMAR), the main concern has to do with «the increase in water turbidity, particularly during the dredging period, which will affect the normal functioning of the seagrass present in the surrounding area'.

This is because underwater grasslands “are especially sensitive to reductions in light intensity”, and turbid water can cause “significant loss of seagrass”, with “drastic consequences for the services they provide, such as carbon sequestration”.

«As there is no way of quantitatively anticipating the increase in transient turbidity resulting from the intervention, this should be permanently monitored and monitored during the execution of the work. This monitoring appears to be the only way to assess potential negative effects in real time and implement corrective measures to minimize them», the report reads.

As for the physical impact on seagrass, a very important ecosystem within the Ria Formosa, it is not in question, since there is no vegetation at the place where the dredging will take place.

In this way, says the CCMAR, it will not be because of the installation of the Recreation Port that the existing marine prairies in the vicinity of the intervention area will have future losses of the services provided by the habitats of the surrounding area, «both in terms of annual carbon sequestration and nitrogen, or the loss of biodiversity of invertebrate species'.

As for the characteristics of the project, the company Verbos do Cais, the concessionaire of the Porto de Recreio, reveals that the intervention aims to «increase and improve the offer of mooring places for pleasure boats», as well as the «creation of berths that permit the mooring of larger pleasure craft'.

In all, 102 places will be created, 41 of which for “vessels with a length of up to 6 meters and a beam of up to 2,50 meters”.

There will also be places for vessels with a length of up to 12 meters, 32 of which for boats with a beam of up to 4 meters and one for those with a beam of up to 5 meters.

As for large vessels, moorings will be created for boats measuring 15 by 5 meters (21), 18 by 5,2 meters (6) and 25 by 7 meters (1).

Anyone can consult all documents associated with this project and the Environmental Impact Study and make suggestions related to the project, on the portal Participate.