Ericeira’s beaches remain the sparkling gems of Portugal for more than a few reasons. One of the reasons that natives, along with thousands of tourists each year, take to the coastal side is not only for the colorful tides but also for the breath-taking views.
We noted in our community, just less than ten years ago, harbors such as the Fisherman’s beach overflowed with a streaming variety of fish, crabs and other sea creatures for commercial catch. However, what was once a thriving variety of sea animals is now a barren marsh piled with cosmetic by-products and human waste. What is even more interesting to note is the exact amount of waste that is stemming from our own industrial activities in Ericeira and its direct effect on our ocean.
According to the European Environmental Agency (EEA) and Coast Watch Portugal, there is an abundance of POPs, better known as Persistent Organic Pollutants, which are pesticides flooding Portugal’s environment. Although the POPs is decreasing, 18 percent still disrupts the ecological balance of marine life. These chemicals are most commonly released during industrial and even residual burning.
This, along with the constant course of other commercial activities has inadvertently sped up the warming of the oceans. Another factor along Ericeira’s coast has been ocean acidification, the process in which the oceans absorbs CO2. According to the EEA, this is occurring a hundred times faster than it did the last 55 million years.
While these findings are real and alarming, it will only grow further out of hand without a change in our behavior. Only by working together can we achieve this common goal. Check back soon to hear ways you can be help turn the tide on beach and ocean pollution.