Ecologistas en Acción presents a report which proves the systematic failure of Autonomous Regions to implement the Coastal Law, and points out privatization of terrestrial maritime public lands and the destruction of coastal ecosystems to be more and more frequent.

The report proves that the autonomic and local administrations, sometimes with the consent of the Coastal General Directorate are privatizing the Terrestrial Maritime Public Lands (DPMT), not only due to the improper occupation or invasion of these areas, but also by means of the reclassification of areas of land servitude. This is causing the breach of the transit zones and limiting more and more the access to the sea, those areas being closed or modified in most of the cases as residential areas or tourist complexes.

The privatizing of the terrestrial maritime public lands is already the main problem that the coasts of the Spanish State are suffering, in some territories in a generalized way. A clear example is constituted by the Hotel Barceló, situated in Cala Vinyes, in Baleares, which invades the Terrestrial Maritime Public Lands with its reforms, in a clear attempt to privatize the area of the beach.

Another attempt of privatizing of the coastline is constituted by the Management Plan of the Asturian Coast (POLA), document which, at the same time as protecting the first 500 metres from edifications, it allows the installation of golf clubs in that same strip, acting as a “magnet effect” for the town-planning developers to install the full residential, hotel and services model in the adjacent areas.

Furthermore, the report proves that there is a constant occupation of the transition and protection servitudes, due to the construction of macro-infrastructures such as tourist or residential complexes, in many occasions accompanied by golf clubs. This practice of incivility from the administrations has been observed all along the Spanish coast line. Here we have to emphasize the shameless project of the construction of 2 towers of 21 floors right by the sea in the Rincón de Loix (Benidorm) just 60 cm from the coast line, and which counts with the approval of the Autonomous Government of Valencia.
Another serious problem for our coasts is that the 20 first metres of the protection servitude area are classified as areas of special protection, where the constructions can reach a height of 1 metre maximum. However, the reality is that installations of more than 30 metres are being constructed, these constituting real architectonic facades. The problem of the screen effect proposed by the Costal Law is reproduced the most in the area of the eastern strip. Being the area of Benidorm and “la Manga del Mar Menor” their best representatives.

This model has been exported to places where it was scarcely present, such as the Beach of “la Casería”, in San Fernando (Cádiz), where 7 towers of 16th floors have been installed a few metres off the sea, and situated in lands adjacent to the Natural Park of Cádiz Bay, exerting a screen effect over all of Cádiz Bay. The Autonomic Administration is the one in charge of managing these grounds.

If we analyse the fulfilment of the Transit and Access Servitudes, we see that even if these areas entail the obligation of being permanently free of public pedestrian crossing and of being only used by surveying and safeguarding wheeled vehicles, this is not fulfilled in a systematic way, being the eastern coast and the “costa del sol” the main example of this non-fulfilment.

A shameless and highly reprehensible case is the management of both the Regional Administration of Murcia and the town halls of San Javier and Cartagena, which have passed us on a nearly collapsed situation in “la Manga del Mar Menor” hindering the free access to many beaches of this coastal strip, remaining many of these nearly for private use.

Another outstanding case is represented in Portio's inlet, in Liencres (Cantabria) where
we must emphasize the permanence of countless fences and shutters which hinder the utilization of the right of way.

In view of this situation, Ecologistas en Acción reports the lack of will of most of the Autonomous Regions to guarantee the fulfilment of the Coastal Law and to ensure the conservation of the coastal ecosystems, and requests the Ministry of Environment, specifically the Coasts General Directorate, that measures are adopted for solving these problems. Ecologistas en Acción considers especially important that coordinating mechanisms are established between the different competent administrations for guaranteeing a suitable management of the coast.