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The “Responsible Mediterranean” initiative starts with a large-scale cleanup in the Saladar de Lo Poyo, Cartagena

The “Responsible Mediterranean” initiative starts with a large-scale cleanup in the Saladar de Lo Poyo, Cartagena

21.02.2024 |  Blog TM  | News TM | TM News 

Lecture time: 3 minutes

At TM, we continue to advance in the “Responsible Mediterranean” project in defense of the Mediterranean Sea and its biodiversity!

The synergy between the Hippocampus Association and Arba Cartagena – La Unión has resulted in a resounding success with the execution of a large-scale cleanup in a natural environment. On this occasion, the citizen action was carried out in the Crypto-wetland of Lo Poyo to commemorate World Wetlands Day, organized by the Cartagena City Council and with the collaboration of around twenty environmental associations and organizations.

The initiative brought together 140 volunteers in this protected natural area located to the south of the Mar Menor, recognized as a Natural Park, SCI, and SPA within the Open Spaces and Islands of the Mar Menor.

During the day, focused primarily on the collection of microplastics, a total of 308.83 kg of garbage was collected, of which 97% corresponded to small plastic fragments of less than 2.5 cm. To assess the quantity of these residues present in the more than 974,000 m2 of the wetland, the collected waste was delimited and counted in five 2 x 2 m quadrants. The results from the quadrants were as follows:

  • Quadrant 1. Boundary between the Ponce Ravine and the Saladar Lo Poyo: 599 fragments, with a total weight of 3.5 kg, of which 565 were plastic.
  • Quadrant 2. Boundary between Saladar and beach: 920 fragments, with a weight of 0.35 kg, of which 910 were plastic.
  • Quadrant 3. Saladar: 435 fragments, with a weight of 1.04 kg, of which 414 were plastic.
  • Quadrant 4. Saladar: 400 fragments, with a weight of 4 kg, of which 395 were plastic.
  • Quadrant 5. Beach: 413 fragments, with a total weight of 18 kg, of which 396 were plastic and 17 were debris.

In addition to waste collection, more than 5 m3 of invasive exotic flora was removed, mainly American agave in an area of about 100 m2, as well as various outbreaks of Myoporum pictum (evergreen), aloe and Yucca.

Photographs taken by Jose Luis Alcaide, president of the Hippocampus Association.

The day unfolded both on the beach and in the vicinity of the ravine and salt marsh, with the participation of land volunteers and divers from the Hippocampus Association equipped with metal detectors. Thanks to the collaboration of Civil Protection of Cartagena and the Red Cross of the Sea, the day passed without incidents. In addition, workshops and games were organized to entertain young children as part of the activities.

For us, the Mediterranean is in our DNA and is one of our most important environmental commitments outlined in our Corporate Responsibility Master Plan.

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