These are the 28 pools in La Laguna that the Canary Islands Government wants to make “more attractive” for tourism

The Master Plan of the Charcos de Marea, promoted by the Tourism Department of the Government of the Canary Islands, has been generating great controversy in recent days. The objective of this initiative is to adapt and promote a total of 117 natural pools to make them more accessible to tourists, a goal that has not been amusing to almost 10,000 canaries who have already signed a petition published on the platform and in which it is requested “not to touch” the puddles on the islands.

The mayor of La Laguna opposes the plan of the Canary Islands Government to intervene in the pools of Punta del Hidalgo

The mayor of La Laguna opposes the plan of the Canary Islands Government to intervene in the pools of Punta del Hidalgo

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The signatories consider that undertaking any work would cause “irreparable” damage in certain areas of the coastline that “represent a refuge for marine and terrestrial biodiversity.” This opinion is also shared by several politicians on the islands who are already taking a position against this project. This is the case of the mayor of La Laguna, Luis Yeray Gutiérrez, who this Saturday he was blunt in a press release: “This proposal does not agree with the line of development that we have proposed for two years in the City Council.”

It is precisely on the lagoon coast where the first pools are valued for their tourist adaptation and where an approximate outlay of 6,174,500 euros is planned to make improvements in 27 natural pools in Punta del Hidalgo and one in Tejina, as can be seen in a statement of the project to which this newspaper has had access. Of these 28 puddles, only two have previous structures for use as a bathing area, municipal sources explain.

The document is an analysis of the current situation of the coastline and the possible changes to be made. It is valued, for example, that there is no parking area near the puddles, that these are not well signposted and that there is a lack of living areas, garbage or complementary uses.

To solve these deficiencies, the regional government proposes to organize strategically placed and signposted parking bags. “Currently the cars travel along the coast on a dirt road until they reach the puddle where they decide to stop, the car is left on the side of the road, forming small parking clusters at some points”, the document describes.

In addition, it is proposed to place an entrance hall to “enhance” the transition area between the parking lots and the access to the puddles, “dignifying this point with an expansion of this space treating it as a viewpoint”. The plan seeks to create a larger space, with adequate signage that marks the entrance to the natural pools.

Likewise, they want to create a coastal walkway for pedestrians that “in its interior part allows vehicular access, so that if in the future the car can be dispensed with, that space is incorporated into the pedestrian immediately, without necessary works”, they point out.

Regarding the area of ​​stay, it is noted that the puddles are “very natural” at the moment and that this is “a great opportunity for interventions to be very respectful of the environment by means of lightweight elements avoiding construction with concrete bases” , they explain. Thus, what is proposed is the drafting of a complete project for the coastline to know the orography of the area and “resolve the accesses and living areas with easily removable, beautiful and highly durable structures.”

As for the type of puddles, they state, no additional use is required, with the exception of a lifeguard service “if the use becomes more intense.”

El Charco de La Arena is not included in the plan

The municipal group of Unidas can in the City of La Laguna expresses its rejection of the project embodied in the Master Plan of the Charcos de Marea. “It is striking that the reality of Charco de La Arena is not addressed, a space that has been privatized for too many decades and that is currently without a Costas concession and that, yes, must be recovered for public use “, they criticize.

“The coast of La Punta del Hidalgo is also a place of high ecological value, with the greatest marine biodiversity in the Archipelago, generating an irreparable condition if, as is intended in the Plan, a model is opted for altering the environment to adapt it to the needs of a tourist activity that already occupies and damages too many natural spaces in the Canary Islands “, they continue in a statement.

In addition, United can criticize that the Plan reflects ideas that “collide head-on” with the actions that have been supported by the local government, such as the limitation of vehicular access to the road, stating that while there are no other access alternatives “the car should keep going to encourage the use of puddles ”. “This is a complete nonsense carried out with its back to the City Council, which is committed to a sustainable use of this space and to protect it against any massive activity,” they conclude.

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