The five public spas built by the Autonomous Community in Los Urrutias, Punta Brava and Estrella de Mar, in the municipality of Cartagena, are already a reality after completing the works, inaugurated today by the Minister of Water, Agriculture, Livestock, Fishing and Environment , Antonio Luengo, who highlighted the investment made, estimated at 1.2 million euros and the fact “of its landscape value, so characteristic of the Mar Menor, its contribution to the recovery of the ecosystem and its condition of public spaces that will allow greater accessibility to the bathroom ”, according to sources from the council.
“In this way, without losing sight of the recreational use of the Mar Menor beaches, the ecosystem is protected and its recovery is advanced, which is a priority for the regional government, as has been proven with all kinds of actions aimed at its protection. and to the harmonization of uses in its environment ”, he points out.
This is an action contemplated in the Natura 2000 Network, specifically, in the ‘Comprehensive Management Plan of the Protected Areas of the Mar Menor and the Mediterranean Coastal Strip of the Murcia Region’ “which establishes favorable points for biodiversity, by the agglomerations of underwater fauna and flora that can host, since a single wooden post can gather more than thirty species, from sea anemones and polychaete worms, to small fish, in addition to serving as a refuge for a multitude of marine fauna such as chirretes, eels, shrimps or sea bass; and other protected ones, such as the seahorse, the fartet or the nacra, ”Luengo pointed out.
The five spas are built in wood on stilts that give access to areas suitable for bathing located inland. They have an access walkway from the beach to different platforms of stay and access to the bathroom, with solarium areas and shaded areas. The spas are dimensioned to access bathing areas with depths of between half a meter and one meter, and have stairs to the bottom of the sea. All of them have an accessible route to an adapted bathing area, in the depth of half a meter.
The spas have been located based on data obtained in the study of characterization of the bottom in areas suitable for swimming with sandy bottoms, where there are no protected species, and the name chosen for them has been El Carmolí and Punta Brava, for those of Punta Brava, Los Urrutias and Estrella de Mar.
The department that Luengo directs recalls that the natural condition of the Mar Menor leads to the sandy beaches of the continental shore, of artificial origin, being lost over time due to storms. In fact, until the middle of the last century, the Mar Menor lacked sandy beaches, and instead, to improve bathing, spas were installed that allowed access to water several meters from the shore.
These facilities, today almost disappeared, are part of the ethnographic heritage of the Mar Menor, being one of the most characteristic elements of its landscape. In addition to their cultural interest, they are structures that serve to fix filter organisms, so their presence has shown that it improves the quality of bathing water and they are the most respectful alternative to the Mar Menor for the ecological restoration of the beaches for bathing, especially on the beaches most affected by the presence of mud.
The spas also help to avoid the erosion of the sand on the beaches, thus preventing the displaced sands from affecting the existing grasslands in the shallow waters of the Marmeron coastline. The location of the spas inaugurated today was determined precisely because it is one of the areas most affected by the presence of sludge, according to the council.