EUROSION: Case Study: El Medano (Spain)

Type of Entry: Case Study

The “Montaña Roja” Natural Reserve extends an area of around 166 hectares, and it extends throughout approximately 3km of coastal zone, in the municipality of Granadilla de Abona, in the southern sector of the Tenerife Island (Canary Islands). There exist volcanic cones like “Montaña Roja” (171m height) and the Bocinegro Mountain (36m height), as well as different sandy types of formation: (1) Beaches, located to both Montaña Roja sides (Beach of Leocadio Machado and Tejita beach), (2) dunes, at the moment very threatened by human influence, (3) fossil dunes located in a wide sector of the mountain base and the southeast.

The ecological and environmental singularity of the landscape and its values have caused the research for protection and regeneration formulas. The degradation of the zone has taken place by the development of all type of activities, although the cattle dealers and agriculture have affected fundamentally, the sand extraction to the construction, the opening of a landing field in the zone of Tejita, the nonregulated opening of numerous belt roads and footpaths for hikers, the spills of rubbish and sweepings, and the suburban zones in Tejita.

The main measures for protection of this natural space is the classification like Special Natural Reserve (1994) that establishes the writing of a Director Plan (not approved yet), as an instrument of planning and management. The Director Plan contemplates the basic investigation like first passage towards the recovery of the natural space. The objective is as much to inventory the natural resources of the ecosystem and to know dynamics, like avoiding the development of recovery activities that could generate undesired impacts.

In this sense different experiences from dune regeneration have been made, using deposits of diverse type (that includes marine vegetables, dragged by the currents and waves that are deposited in the beach) in removed flesh zones and their sand cover, with the intention to retain sand progressively and permit the germination of vegetation that allows to fix the primarily accumulation. In another experience it was chosen to arrange small obstacles in a exposed zone totally desolated, by means of the nourishment of own materials like “picón”, with capacity to retain sand on which vegetation germinates, initiating the process of regeneration of the ground and the dune formation.

Leaning in this type of experiences, it was elaborated a Pilot Study of Regeneration, that deepens in the development of investigation experiences. The purpose of the planning and environmental management of the zone correlates with the sustainability criteria.

The erosion and degradation of the ground by effect of the human occupation, limit enormously the future economic, educative and social advantage of the territory.

EUROSION Case Study: El Medano (Spain) (522.541 Bytes)
Contact: Inmaculada RodrĂ­guez Santalla
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos - Escuela Superior de Ciencias Experimentales y TecnologĂ­a
Telephone: +34 91 488 70 17 / +34 91 488 74 90