UNDERSTANDING THE CHALLENGES FACING THE BAY
arroyo contaminado

CLIMATE CHANGE

NOISE POLLUTION FROM BOATS

RISING SEA LEVELS

THREATS
 

DEFORESTATION

 Weaknesses

TOURISM PRESSURE

POPULATION PRESSURE

URBAN PRESSURE

INDUSTRIAL PRESSURE

MISCELLANEOUS SPILLS 

GARBAGE ON THE COAST

A STRONG PORT ACTIVITY

EROSION GREEN ZONES

INVASIVE SPECIES EXPANSION

MASSIFICATION OF AQUATIC ACTIVITY

UNCONTROLLED SEAFOOD

UNKNOWN ECOLOGICAL VALUE BAHIA

THREATS

- DEFORESTATION: it is a global problem that reduces biodiversity since the land loses its forest cover, thus causing desertification, as well as generating floods and landslides.
In the Bay this problem also exists of yesteryear, where indiscriminate logging together with intense livestock activity makes it difficult to recover forest areas. Also adding the extractive industry of aggregates destined for the construction of the entire network of road infrastructures, urbanizations, industrial estates that are located in the territory, has caused the greatest loss of relict holm oak groves in the Bay of Santander



- CLIMATE CHANGE: "Climate change constitutes one of the greatest challenges for humanity today. Its effects are already visible - from the force majeure of storms and rising sea levels to changes in temperature and weather conditions - and they are only going to get worse. Urgent action is needed to reduce emissions, mitigate changes and adapt to them. "
- Source: Background  Population of the United Nations
Climate change is associated with a gradual increase in temperatures that could put the biodiversity of our seas at risk, including the habitats of our bay.



RISING SEA LEVELS:
  As a result of global warming caused by climate change, which in turn causes sea level rise due to the acceleration of the thawing process or changes in the climate where atmospheric phenomena of greater intensity and magnitude are unleashed. Unfortunately, the effects of rising sea levels are already being felt in many parts of the world.

A rise in sea level for the Bay would have terrible consequences: sea invasion in coastal areas, causing soil erosion, flooding of wetlands and threatening farmlands, homes or leisure areas.
 
 
 

Weaknesses


POPULATION PRESSURE : mainly due to the influence of the urban area of Santander on the Bay. A high population density inevitably influences the well-being of ecosystems. More people implies, more waste, more discharges, more bathers and users of the bay, etc.

PRESSURE OF TOURISM: The pressure of tourism is increasing and there is still much ignorance on the part of tourism about the protected and sensitive areas of the Bay. In addition, we must not forget the increasing pressure of pleasure boats as well as the large number of bathing areas in the Bay: Magdalena, Peligros and part of the beach in the inner part of the mouth of the bay. In addition, in the external area of the mouth and the nearby coastal area are the beaches of Mataleñas, 1ª Sardinero, 2ª Sardinero and Camello, in the municipality of Santander, and the beaches of Puntal, Somo and Loredo in the municipality of Ribamontán al Sea.

NOISE POLLUTION FROM BOATS : in the absence of clear regulations  and without legal limitations to the number of boats in many areas of the bay, noise pollution is a reality, and it is particularly serious in areas of reproduction and breeding of birds (eg the Isla de Mouro and the estuary of Cubas)


URBAN PRESSURE particularly in the coastal area of the Bay, where population pressure also supports the expansion of the bay's population centers. The main problem would be that in some section it could be requalified to continue to grow urbanistically in a massive way. However, it should be noted that the different municipalities have made a significant effort in their spatial planning plans to delimit the construction sections.

INDUSTRIAL PRESSURE: mainly affects the coastal area of the bay, where a multitude of industries are installed. The industrial and mining activity in the area has also been one of the great drivers in the deforestation of the bay as well as the filling of the marshland areas. Industrial pressure is a reality that requires monitoring  and constant monitoring. 
Some of the examples of industries that carry out their activity in the surroundings of the bay and  that generate discharges to the estuarine environment are: Emgrisa (industrial waste management), Terquisa (chemical products), Ferroatlántica (metallurgical, currently the continuous discharges have stopped), SIMSA (processing of soybean and sunflower flour and oils, currently inactive), Santal SA (granite production), (Fleischmann Iberica (refractory products) and Dynasol Elastómeros (chemistry), in addition to those linked to port activity and those generated by the Raos, Heras and Guarnizo industrial estates.

INVASIVE SPECIES EXPANSION: a real problem with which from different  associations and institutions  they have already carried out awareness and eradication campaigns in different areas of the Bay. Unfortunately, invasive alien species such as the feather duster (Cortaderiaselloana), the chilca (Baccharis halimifolia), the evening primrose (ludvigiapeploides) end up taking advantage of all the space, preventing the local species, typical of the place, from surviving. 

MISCELLANEOUS SPILLS:  Whether they are industrial spills,  sanitation, diffuse water or a boat accident. This is a threat that the bay lives with. For this reason, it is necessary to monitor the quality of the water, especially in the most sensitive areas to identify possible illegal discharges, as well as to develop mechanisms to reduce possible accidents in our bay waters or in the vicinity.

STRONG PORT ACTIVITY: The port of Santander has intense activity, mainly freight traffic. Where in 2020, 5.8 Mn tons were exceeded despite the pandemic (11% decrease compared to 2019). This intense traffic is associated with higher spills, risk of accidents,  noise pollution, etc ...

UNCONTROLLED SHELLFISHING : the Bay area is an ideal place for shellfish, distinguishing three areas suitable for shellfish. Some species that can be shellfish in the area are  Slimy clam (Venerupis pullastra),  Fine clam (Ruditapes decussatus),  Golden clam (Venerupis aureus),  Japanese clam (Ruditapes philippinarum),  Clam (Callista chione),  Cockle, oyster, oyster  (Crassostrea angulata),   Mussel (Mytilus edulis) and Sea urchin (Paracentrotus). .

MASSIFICATION OF AQUATIC ACTIVITY : also caused by an increase in tourism and population growth itself. The increase in the rates of use of the bay sometimes leads to bad practices, uncontrolled anchoring, increased noise pollution, annoyances for the fauna that lives in the bay, ...

GENERAL UNKNOWLEDGE ZONES ECOLOGICAL VALUE BAHÍA:  broadly speaking, there is a lack of knowledge of both the local population and tourism about the areas included in the Natura 2000 Network or areas that deserve special protection  for its characteristics. This lack of knowledge leads in some cases to irresponsible and harmful activities for the bay's ecosystem. 

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Other pressures:

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