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Areas Urbanism & territory, Tourism and Economic activities Environment

Consell gives dog-owners dispensers and bottles to clean pet mess from public spaces

cartell 2021 cansThe Formentera Department of Environment has unveiled a new campaign seeking to educate dog-owners about the importance of picking up after their pets in public spaces. To make the job easier, the Consell has made available 3,000 bag dispensers, 1,000 bag pack refills and 1,000 bottles of sanitising liquid free of charge at the FDE (Àrea de Medi Ambient, Carrer de Mallorca, 15, Sant Ferran).

Interested islanders can schedule pickup by calling 971 32 12 10 or emailing mediambient@conselldeformentera.cat (proof the animal has been chipped will be requested). The Consell based its €6,219 order on Formentera’s 3,105 chipped dogs in the Balearic Islands Identification Registry of Pets (RIACIB).

In the words of FDE chair Antonio J Sanz, “pet owners need to be responsible for their animals. As this initiative highlights, we could all be a little more mindful of keeping our streets and parks clean. We’re appealing to pet owners’ sense of responsibility and asking everyone to do their part, because promoting cleanliness and respect for the surroundings is everyone’s business.”

9 April 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Consell tracks incoming and outgoing water levels at Estany Pudent to deal with sanitary issues and create conditions for bird nesting

foto 2021 nidificacio ausThe Formentera Department of Environment reports that an array of measures in recent months designed to guarantee appropriate water flow in Estany Pudent have the twofold objective of ensuring sanitary conditions and enabling bird nesting.

With the blessing of Ses Salines nature reserve management and the national coastal authority, municipal personnel positioned bags of gravel to reduce the incoming flow of water. The stopgap measure has so far proven effective, with Estany Pudent registering water levels far below normal levels, circumstances which are conducive to nesting birds. While authority on species preservation lies with the Govern balear, Formentera’s government collaborates with the regional administration on such issues.

The Consell maintains constant communication with the firm contracted to manage Formentera’s salt pans in order to ensure an coordinated monitoring of water levels. FDE staff insist that though many birds vie for nearby nesting sites, current physical limitations mean the number of couples the pond can accommodate is limited.

The current measure is viewed as a Band-aid until a permanent lock-gate is installed. The Consell has begun related legwork and brought in an outside firm to draft a project so reproductions of the original Sa Sequi lock-gates can be made. The salt-mining firm has proposed its own strategy, however, given the area in question is classified as a cultural interest site (BIC) and a briefing from the Regional Environmental Commission requires permits to be issued before action is taken, that proposal is currently under review.

Illegal construction in a protected space
On 6 March, the Consell ordered crews to halt works which the contract holder had commissioned unilaterally, without permits and without the go-ahead of the coastal authority or the Balearic natural spaces office. The project, for which the company had also failed to draft a highway impact study, involved installation of three lock-gates under PM 820-2. Given features protruding into the highway, the installation appeared dangerous, particularly for motorists. Agents of the national coastal authority, FDE and local inspection service stopped the operation so it could first be assessed and requests issued for related permits, and to guarantee the safety of individuals traveling on the highway.

10 April 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Consell joins Saturday’s ‘Earth Hour’ by cutting lights in Sant Francesc and Sant Ferran

cartell 2021 hora planetaThe Formentera Department of Environment is adding its name to “Earth Hour”, a global campaign for environmental awareness, by pledging to hit the lights at the Sant Ferran and Sant Francesc churches and the municipal funeral parlour. The blackout will take place Saturday 27 March from 8.30pm to 9.30pm.

The World Wide Fund for Nature-helmed event aims to encourage people and government institutions to turn off the lights in homes and particularly visible buildings in major cities across the world — a statement about the importance of environmental safeguards and responses to climate change. Details about the campaign can be found at www.horadelplaneta.es.

25 March 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Reminder: oversize rubbish and hasardous waste must be taken to Deixalleria

foto 2021 taca oli BThe Formentera Department of Environment reminds islanders that garden clippings, household appliances, batteries, mattresses and any other refuse material unfit for streetside bins can be disposed of for free at Formentera’s household waste disposal centre. The Deixalleria opens Monday to Saturday 9.00am to 1.30pm, and afternoons Monday to Friday 3.30pm to 5.30pm. Pickup of appliances, old furniture and outsize rubbish is also available by calling 900.102.656.

This weekend Consell de Formentera cleaning services were dispatched to clean motor oil, a hasardous waste, left beside bins on carrer s’Espalmador in Es Pujols. The FDE reminds islanders that improper dumping is punishable by fines of between €150 and €1,745,000.

15 March 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Conclusions of SPP-winner ‘Antroposi’ made public

foto 2021 presentacio imedea 1The Formentera offices of tourism and environment report that the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (Imedea) took to the Internet yesterday to share conclusions from its study of the impact of drainage pipes, moorage and other human activity during the Anthropocene on meadows of posidonia seagrass. “Antroposi” won €83,821.54 in 2017 after it was named one of the winners of the inaugural edition of the Consell de Formentera-backed Save Posidonia Project.

Consell de Formentera premiere and tourism chief Alejandra Ferrer praised Imedea, the Formentera offices of tourism and environment and all those who participated in SPP by adopting square metres of seagrass meadows. “SPP came about as a way to use marketing around Formentera’s environmental engagement to get businesses and regular people involved in protecting our natural surroundings”, said Ferrer, “islanders and tourists alike had to be familiarised with the issue to understand why protecting posidonia and our local habitat mattered”. She insisted real progress would take a great deal of inter-agency coordination, but said safeguarding the seagrass was “a quality of life issue, and ultimately, an economic one too”.

For his part, Antonio J Sanz applauded the efforts of Imedea researchers: “They are helping us understand the science behind what’s happening to our posidonia meadows, and insight they share will be invaluable as our local government —the closest to ground-zero on this issue— works to protect this element of our natural heritage.”

Imedea researcher Iris Hendricks presented conclusions from over a year’s worth of research that focused on various swaths of nearby seafloor in seeking to understand how humans affect the seagrass when they release sewage into the water or anchor on or navigate above posidonia meadows.

Effect of sewage pipes on Posidonia oceanica
Researchers compared seagrass near a sewage pipe, where levels of inorganic nutrients are high, with seagrass located at some distance (the control) and determined after one year of monitoring that the former exhibited 24% less growth. Rates of nitrogen and carbon particle sedimentation were also greater nearer to the pipes — 6.2 and 9.5 times higher, respectively. The researchers concluded that the source of nitrogen was indeed the pipes, and that nearby seagrass was storing the nitrogen in its tissue.

The researchers were also able to determine that ambient light and thus photosynthesis rates were similar near and far from the effluent pipes, concluding that sewage in the water did not impede photosynthesis by blocking light.

As for large watercraft like ferries, researchers determined that their passage was to blame for increased levels of turbulence and sedimentation in meadows near Es Freus.

€112,000 for next SPP winners
The most recent edition SPP has been allocated €112,000, funding which is currently in the final stages of approval. Eleven proposals were received, and the expected winner would look at the impact of “emergent pollutants” on Formentera’s posidonia meadows. “Since SPP launched 252,000 square metres of seagrass have been adopted”, said the environment chief, who asserted that with 76.5 million square metres of posidonia in adjacent seabed, “there’s still plenty left that can be adopted”.

President Ferrer insisted in her closing remarks that “right now Formentera has an opportunity. We all saw the recovery of the surrounding natural ecosystem during the absence of human activity during lockdown. We need to attack our problems at their root rather than focusing on the downstream effects, and studies like this one will help us make real progress.”

11 March 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

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