Praia Dona Ana, now even more dangerous

Dear Editor,

The environment minister’s citation of using “citizens’ safety” for the massive beach engineering works at Praia Dona Ana is both a flawed and unjustified argument. Extending the beach to surround additional offshore stacks has now directly exposed beachgoers to yet more dangerous unstable cliffs which, to me, sounds even more unsafe and badly planned.

When the sand pumps stop and the sand has settled, Praia Dona Ana will rank as the third worst beach in the Algarve, in line with the man-made sand banks of Praia da Rocha (Portimão) and Praia dos Pescadores (Albufeira).

​Almargem would at this stage do well to write (with a degree of urgency) to the EC Commissioner (Environment, Maritime Affairs & Fisheries) and demand an immediate stop to any future funding before any more money is wasted on unnecessary coastal projects that ruin areas of outstanding natural beauty. Almargem should also question the EC as to how many more beaches have been scoped by POLIS and targeted to be widened under the pretext of citizens’ safety.

​Portugal simply cannot afford to burn money on beach replenishment. Depending on the nature and intensity of winter storms, all these man-made beaches require maintenance which may end up being an annual expense and certainly not just a one-off €1.8 million sand dumping exercise. Money like this would be better spent on painting white lines along the EN125 since the very real threat tourists face is driving to and from the beach safely in the first place.

Charlie Frew MSc, Silves