Sand dredging from Marbella marina to replenish worst-hit beaches

The boat which will dredge the port entrance, off Marbella’s La Fontanilla beach.
The boat which will dredge the port entrance, off Marbella’s La Fontanilla beach. / JESÚS PRIETO
  • The local council hopes to obtain 12,000 cubic metres of sand by dredging the port entrance, also enabling larger boats to enter the harbour

In Marbella, efforts are being made to get back to normal as soon as possible. The most affected beaches were those in the town centre, La Venus and La Fontanilla, where the sand which was replaced before Easter has disappeared completely.

The high waves have left huge depressions and ridges on the beaches, and the equipment which was used to repair them a few months ago will now have to be brought back. One of the immediate tasks will be to remove a large quantity of stones from La Bajadilla beach.

The council has decided to take this opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, and dredge the entrance to the town’s port to obtain extra sand for nearby La Fontanilla beach and also enable larger boats to enter the harbour. It is hoped that 12,000 cubic metres of sand can be obtained in this way, and the dredging work is already being carried out.

Experts have recommended that, instead of transferring the sand directly onto the beach, as has been done in the past when the ports of Cabopino and Puerto Banús were dredged, it should be laid two metres offshore to create a barrier. The sand will then be washed onto the beach naturally and will withstand the effect of erosion for longer.

This is the first time in six years that the port entrance has been dredged, and the accumulation of sand has been causing problems for users because only one entrance and exit channel remained open. It also meant that larger yachts could not access the port at all. These works are expected to cost Marbella council about 60,000 euros.

Hotels and other tourism-related businesses are anxious for the beaches to be in top condition before the main tourist season begins, but the government’s representative in Andalucía, Antonio Sanz, has reassured them that everything will be ready on time and that the most important works are already being carried out.