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Coastal erosion threatens Portugal's beaches

Coastal erosion threatens Portugal's beaches
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Portugal’s beaches are among the most affected by coastal erosion in Europe - in vulnerable areas, the coastline has already retreated up to 100 meters.

The erosion is the most severe along the country's northern and central coast - in some cities the sea has been approaching the houses.

Pimenta Machado, the vice-president of the Portuguese Environment Agency recognises that sea walls protecting the north, can cause erosion problems in the south, but he claims there is always a cost-benefit analysis before any intervention.

He said: “What we have foreseen in our model is that this retreat will intensify now with the effect of climate change,”

“It will accelerate and intensify coastal erosion in Portugal and it is something that we have to handle very carefully in order to maintain the coastline.”

The Ministry of the Environment is now investing in artificial nourishment of beaches. 35 million m3 of sand will be placed in the most vulnerable areas.