The beautiful beaches of Costa da Caparica will close in August, at the rate of 5 days for each beach. The cause of this closure is the need to restore sand levels that have become too low. An operation that was announced for the month of May, but whose embankment work had not started yet due to the absence of a visa from the Portuguese Court of Accounts - and which has not yet arrived. The authorities say that the sand replacement operation of Costa da Caparica beaches can’t be done at any other time of the year. The concessionaires of the beaches, outraged by the decision to close the bars and restaurants in the middle of August, are in conflict with the municipality of Costa da Caparica. This € 6.3 million operation (financed by European funds), opens a summer controversy. Lisbob, the expatriate assistant in Portugal, tells you all about the controversial closing of the Costa da Caparica beaches in August.
An operation that would require very special conditions
According to the parish council of Caparica, the beach filling operation can only be carried out at this time of the year, because the pumping of sand on the earth requires an undulation less than two meters. It would also take into account the coefficients of the tides, the phase of the moon and the direction of the wind!
Rest assured, all the beaches of Costa da Caparica will not be closed at the same time. It is expected that the beaches of Saúde e Nova will close for swimming, followed by the beach of Tarquínio-Paraíso, between 19 and 24 August. However, the beaches of Caparica are often crowded with people and the withdrawal of some beaches, from this Cova do Vapor to the south of Costa da Caparica, will inevitably lead to traffic jams in the remaining beaches.
A budget of 6.3 million euros financed by European funds, angry local shops
Approved at 6.3 million euros and financed by community funds, the operation is challenged by the Beach Front Urban Association of Costa da Caparica, which is against this schedule it considers completely irresponsible.
"A very bad time has been chosen for this work, and in our case we have to dismantle and remove it from Tarquínio-Paraiso beach on August 18. What are we going to do We do not pay the employees during this time? Could not they do it at another time? " asks the owner of Paraíso, Acácio Bernardo, who is also at the head of this association, quoted by Diário de Notícias.
1 million cubic meters moved from the Tagus Estuary
The mayor of Caparica ensures that the schedule of the intervention - which will "transport" one million cubic meters of sand from the south channel, to the mouth of the Tagus estuary, to the beaches, according to the needs of each, is not decided yet. One may wonder then why announce this in the middle of August.
The deadline to complete this sand transfer and beach filling is approximately 30 days, but can be as long as 45 days, as the Chair of the Board anticipates. "The beaches of Costa da Caparica will be closed one week each and the work will last a month, a month and a half, but they are necessary. It is urgent to do so because we cannot expose the city in winter, as it did it in 2014 (note: the storm Christian had practically destroyed the ramparts of the city) ", says José Ricardo Martins, mayor of Costa da Caparica.
"This is an urgent operation to protect the city, since we are at the same sand levels as in 2014. The ideal would be to do it every three years, the last one having taken place in 2014. Nevertheless the Minister of the Environment must ensure that European Community funds, which are available for these interventions only once every ten years, cannot be dillapidated, "he said.