Valencian coastal wetlands

conservation and collaboration with stakeholders

Valencian coastal wetlands

Until the XX century the Valencian coast was dotted with many coastal wetlands where freshwater met saltwater and create areas of very high biological productivity. After decades of transformation and drying up the society decided to conserve a good part of the remaining areas, protection them with different figures. However, creative actions are needed to restore the quality of many of these wetlands, while promoting the benefits for the local inhabitants. This situation has led us in recent years to develop projects in important areas like L’Albufera Natura Park, Marjal de Pego-Oliva Marsh, Prat de Cabanes-Torreblanca and Marjal del Moro; all of them are declared as protected areas.


In these four wetlands, an amphibious mower has been used to remove the accumulated vegetation in some areas and to enlarge the water surface. In total, 80 ha of closed reed areas have been opened up during these years by means of mowing and mud driving. This work has been reinforced by agreements with traditional cattle breeders to bring flocks of sheep to Pego-Oliva or Asturian cows (especially adapted to high humidity environments) to Cabanes-Torreblanca. The presence of the cattle allows the wetland clearing while providing good quality pasture for the farmers. In the case of Cabanes-Torreblanca, it has meant the recovery of transhumance, lost in the last century. Thanks to the use of traditional livestock, we have managed to limit the growth of marshy vegetation such as reeds, while creating a greater diversity of environments for the flora and fauna. In addition to this, we have planted some 15,000 plants, including bushes and water plants.

In the case of l’Albufera, we have participated in the management of artificial wetlands – green filters – to improve the water quality thanks to this pumping areas (Tancat de Milia and Tancat de l’Illa), generating re-naturalised habitats that serve as a refuge for numerous species. Through EcoSustain, an international initiative, we have also worked on the continuous measurement of water quality in Mediterranean wetlands with innovative systems.

In these wetlands we develop actions to improve the habitat for water birds (especially the Aquatic Warbler) by planting shrub species and aquatic plants. In addition to these management actions we also develop continuous awareness, education and volunteer activities. In this area, we work with the Torreblanca local council and with Natural Park in the Espai Natura, an environmental education centre. From this centre we carry out many activities including training in organic agriculture, environmental volunteering, tourist activities to discover the natural protected are and others for scholarships.

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