In just nine years, the Portuguese coastline has ‘lost’ 100 hectares – equivalent to 100 football pitches.
Some sandy beaches have been reduced by as much as 50 metres, Célia Costa, secretary of state for territory and nature conservation tells Lusa.
The data comes from the COSMO study (standing for continental coastline monitorisation programme) led by Portuguese environment agency APA.
Explain reports, one of the objectives of the programme is to “try and understand which areas need bolstering” with imported tons of sand.
One such area identified is the stretch between São Jacinto and Costa Nova, in Aveiro.
Another are the beaches south of Cova-Gala in Figueira da Foz, where sand loss has been in the region of 50 metres since 2010.
News website O Minho stresses that just the effects of storm Helen last February pounded the coast causing marked erosion and “losses of 30 cubic metres per linear metre”.
COSMO has so far cost 3.6 million euros, and has the support of community funding. It has involved the taking of endless aerial photographs, and can be consulted on (click here).
Says tabloid Correio da Manhã, districts where rising sea levels pose the most problems are Aveiro, Setúbal and Faro (meaning the whole Algarvian south coast).
In terms of populations ‘at risk, a recent study by scientists at Lisbon university suggests up to 146,000 Portuguese could be affected by coastline erosion by 2050, adds CM.