Marbella residents ask mayor to turn back time and put wider breakwaters back to save beach

Old photograph of the breakwaters in the centre of Marbella.
Old photograph of the breakwaters in the centre of Marbella. / SUR
  • A Facebook group has attracted a lot of support for rebuilding pedestrian-access groynes on Marbella’s La Fontanilla beach last seen in 1991

Residents in Marbella have joined forces to try to get the mayor to agree to construct breakwaters on La Fontanilla beach similar to those the town had until 1991. They say it would be the perfect way to increase the amount of sand on Marbella’s rapidly-eroding beaches.

The campaign comes after another winter of heavy storms has removed much of the sand from beaches near the centre of the town, including La Fontanilla, and attempts to put the sand back have not been very successful.

The Espigones Transitables para Marbella - walkable breakwaters for Marbella - group has been set up and coordinated via Facebook, aiming to ask the council to build wide breakwaters with footpaths and seats on, similar to those that existed on the town’s shores from the early 1970s to 1991.

Supporters claim that the substantial structures were excellent at collecting and trapping sand, as old photographs show, as well as providing much-used public space.

Spokesperson for the group, Miguel Lima said: “We don’t just want our beaches back, we want those illuminated spaces with benches that went 150 to 200 metres out to sea, from where you could look back to the coast, meet friends, fish or lie down and read a book.”

The breakwaters were removed as residual effluent used to accumulate there, in a time when more raw waste used to enter the sea.

Two weeks ago, Marbella councilors met with government officials in Madrid to get more support for building breakwaters and an initial study is under way, however, for the moment, the 1970s-style structures are not being considered. With the work of the Facebook campaign, local residents hope to change the authorities’ minds.