Environmental restoration project for Tordera’s river

The Seminary CEAB held on 6 July has focused on the recovery of the Tordera river mouth. It has been exposed a plan of concrete measures to renaturalize the space.

The environmental biologist, specialist in restoration of the natural environment, Javier Rubio, has explained in detail his project for the recovery of the La Tordera’s last section. He was at the CEAB Seminars with Dr. Enric Sagristà, an expert in coastal zone management and a collaborator in the study.

The starting point of the project is to eliminate the economic activities that exist in the mouth area, that is, to remove the two existing campsites at this point. Afterwards, a series of actions would be carried out that can be summarized as:

  • Eliminate riprap and strip the ground to remove all material that is not natural
  • Reduce the exploitation of the aquifer to guarantee ecological flows
  • Widening of the river bed and “setback” of motes
  • Improve the geomorphology of the Rec Viver ditch
  • Recover old secondary arms of the river
  • Recover the coastal sandbanks
  • Make a first design of the orography so that there are different types of terrain and habitats

All of this would make it possible to restore the lost dynamism and biodiversity to the river, recovering an appearance similar to what it had sixty years ago.

Javier Rubio explaining his restauration project in the last Seminari CEAB

Regarding agricultural activity, the proposal is compatible with maintaining the peasants in the area.

According to the author of the study, “the aim is to encourage public administrations to carry out actions to restore the river to its rightful space, avoiding channeling, and eliminating everything artificial.”

Javier Rubio remarks that it is a “plausible project, with a long-term vision and that, among other things, represents a significant reduction in the risks associated with flooding.”

In this sense, during the question time that followed the presentation, what was experienced with storm Gloria was recalled. La Tordera, not having the necessary space for the correct fluvial functioning, could not properly evacuate the water and high-risk situations occurred both for people and for the environment, given the proximity of campsites, intensive agriculture, and a plant that manufactures active pharmaceutical ingredients.

The actions proposed in the project would mean a notable reduction in these risks and would allow a more resilient river, better prepared for extreme weather events, which are expected to become increasingly common given the climate emergency context. Likewise, it would allow the recovery of the dynamics and biodiversity of this river’s mouth.

This is one of the themes that has been addressed within the CEAB Seminars, which are organized periodically to exchange knowledge in different fields. Many of these meetings are open to external research staff at the Center for Advanced Studies in Blanes, as well as to other people who may be interested in the topic dealt with on each occasion. To facilitate participation, the seminars can be followed both in person and online. More information, in our profiles on social networks, with the hastag #SeminariCEAB or by email: seminaris@ceab.csic.es