Quercus to remove Dona Ana’s “gold flag”

In the latest chapter of the Dona Ana beach controversy, environmental organisation Quercus has said it is ready to strip the Lagos beach of its “gold quality” classification due to the catastrophic sand replenishment project conducted under the auspices of the Portuguese government.

Speaking to TSF radio, Quercus president João Branco called the situation a “clear example” of authorities “turning a beach known for its natural beauty into something totally artificial”.

And while Quercus’ ‘Qualidade de Ouro’ flag is attributed to beaches solely for their water quality, the situation at Dona Ana has led the group to reconsider its remit.

“Quercus doesn’t want a flag with its symbol flying over a beach that makes us feel ashamed,” explained Branco.

“We have awarded a flag in the past, but what is going on is so serious that, eventually, we may have to rescind it.”

Branco also stressed that “much more sand” has been channelled into the beach than it ever had before. The entire operation has “destroyed” the area’s natural seabed, he claimed.

Quercus’ statement adds to an already endless list of complaints lodged by beachgoers and environmental associations, all of which claim the sand-replenishment intervention has “destroyed” the natural beauty of a beach that in 2013 was considered “the most beautiful in the world” by Condé Nast Traveler magazine.

The €1.8 million project – another from the already reviled Polis Litoral association which has been trying (this far unsuccessfully) to demolish 800 homes in Ria Formosa all year – continues to be justified by the government on the pretext that it is keeping beachgoers “safe” from overhanging unstable cliffs.

The work is expected to be completed this week.

As we have already reported, environmental group Almargem recently announced it is sending an official complaint over the issue to the European Commission and Portugal’s Public Prosecutor’s Office (click here https://www.portugalresident.com/%E2%80%9Cdona-ana-crime%E2%80%9D-leads-almargem-to-complain-to-brussels)