HELP US STOP THE CONSTRUCTION OF MACRO WIND FARMS IN THE COSTA BRAVA

To the European Parliament, the European Commission's Directorate-General for Environment, the Spanish Government and the Government of Catalonia

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Do not authorize the construction of any macro-offshore wind farm in the Gulf of Roses and the Bay of Pals (Costa Brava), since it would threaten the environmental and landscape values of the area where the projects presented are intended to be implemented, as well as against economic activities key to the affected area. It is an area adjacent to two marine reserves (ZEPIM, LIC and ZEPA ES5120007 Cabo de Creus; ZEPIM, LIC and ZEPA ES5120016 El Montgrí-Les Medes-El Baix Ter); the "Mediterranean Cetacean Migration Corridor" declared a Marine Protected Area by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition in 2018; to a Special Protection Area for Birds (ZEPA ES0000514 “Espacio Marino del Empordà”) and to a large area of the Natura 2000 Network in the Bay of Roses (maritime area of the Aiguamolls de l’Empordà), where the electricity cables are to be deployed  from land to the ground station, crossing seagrass meadows that are Habitats of Community Interest (HCI).

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Why is this important?

The area of the Gulf of Roses and the Bay of Pals is one of the most fragile in the Mediterranean from an ecological point of view. It constitutes, according to scientists, the largest marine natural heritage in Catalonia. We find it geographically close to areas that have a dozen environmental protection figures, as well as close to two marine reserves, it’s surrounded by three natural parks (the NP of Cabo de Creus, the NP of Montgrí-Les Medes-El Baix Ter and the Aiguamolls del Empordà NP) and it is affected by Natura 2000 Network areas. These arguments are included in a manifesto published a few months ago by a group of scientists, which has been supported by more than 100 researchers belonging to more than 20 research centres, universities and other institutions where scientists are represented:(https://drive.google.com/file/d/19ivxq-o5Hlx4gwrBw9jHxumVvPgdMwqd/view?usp=sharing)

In addition, a recent scientific study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment warned of the serious impacts that offshore wind farms can cause on marine biodiversity, the landscape, fisheries and tourism. This study recommended moving these facilities away from protected areas in the Mediterranean such as the one in question (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969722008956?via%3Dihub).

The introduction of renewable energy is necessary, but we consider that it is a serious mistake to carry out construction at the expense of biodiversity and nature, especially when there are alternatives that are less harmful to the territory and the people who inhabit it.

The wind turbines, which are planned to be constructed a few kilometers from the coast and are still in the design phase, would not only have an impact on biodiversity but also on fishing activity, which is key to the economy of the area along with tourism. The emblematic coast of the Costa Brava, with beaches and landscapes of great interest, will also be affected, as well as the territory through which the connection of the electric line is planned to run from the sea infrastructure to the distribution centre (Aiguamolls del Empordà, among other areas of high natural interest).

We also want to highlight the surprising change in the wording of the Maritime Space Management Plan (POEM) which, if we do not prevent it, will soon give the green light to the development of offshore wind power in this area. Up to now, six projects have been presented. The Spanish Government has recently published the POEM strategic environmental declaration document that maintains the Gulf of Roses as an area with high potential for offshore wind power. It should be noted that this document has not taken into account arguments that have been valid to rule out the projects proposed in Cabo de Gata, Andalusia, and the Balearic Islands. However, the previous 2007 regulations excluded the same area for this type of energy project. 

Sign and help us stop the irreversible consequences of this construction!

Image: simulation of the Cadaqués beach with the macro wind farm, carried out by the biologist and landscape designer Anna Zahonero.

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