File photograph Rincón de la Victoria. / PEDRO LUIS ALONSOfrancis silva

Half of the beaches on the Costa del Sol are at serious risk of sand loss

Only 5% of the beaches in Malaga province are not affected by this problem and experts say projects need to planned in their entirety and not in isolation because stabilising works in one area can cause problems in another

IGNACIO LILLO Malaga

The loss of sand is a “serious risk” for half of the beaches in Malaga province, while another 40% are at “moderate risk” and 5% at slight risk, according to a report on the Strategy for the Protection of the Malaga Coast which the Secretary of State for the Environment, Hugo Morán, presented to mayors and councillors in Malaga on Tuesday morning.

The report, which can be seen on the website of the Ministry for Ecological Transition, says coastal erosion is one of the biggest challenges facing Malaga, because its beaches are a major tourist attraction.

“The coastline is receding in Malaga, like most of the Spanish coast, although that doesn’t mean it is going to disappear tomorrow; however, it is losing sand,” said Ángel Muñoz Cubilla of the Ministry’s Coast and Sea Protection department.

The Secretary of State stressed the need for stabilisation works to be well-planned, because “in the past actions taken in certain places have caused problems elsewhere on the coast. The projects have to be planned in their entirety, not in isolation,” he said.

Urgent works begin next week

For now, the most urgent works to deal with the damage from the recent storms will start next week and will cost 2.1 million euros. These aim to have the beaches in tip-top condition for the summer season. There will also be consolidation or structural restoration works in seven places, including Marbella (from La Venus beach to El Ancón), San Pedro Alcántara, Benalmádena, Los Baños del Carmen, the seafront in Rincón de la Victoria and Los Cordobeses beach in Mijas.

Hugo Morán also warned that due to climate change sea levels are rising and this means that defence mechanisms need to be put into operation. He said construction close to the coast needs to be re-thought, “because we can see how that is advancing and in the medium to long term something will have to be done about it,” he said.

The meeting in Malaga on Tuesday morning. / FRANCIS SILVA