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Multifunction Artificial Reefs



Without dunes there are no beaches and without beaches there is no tourism. This is the motto that ProDunas has coined and this statement is still in full force. The dunes form the great reservoir of sand which supplies the beaches. This has been proved during the 2016-2017-2018 winters. We keep insisting that: tons of m³ of sand lie a few meters off shore on the sea floor. The criterion of ProDunas is that these tons of clean sand should be returned to the coast. Ecologically speaking we can affirm that on the very edge of the sea shore no marine ecosystem exists, so no marine habitat will be destroyed.

The aggravating factor is that these masses of sand lying between the sandbars and the beach have formed a consistent and level line, which means that the twice daily tides reach the foot of the nearby dunes. This phenomenon is new and is stunning, since it does not look like stopping, and these tides continue licking at the foot of the dune, and the beaches are always wet. This closes the circle: wet beaches – bathers climb the dunes to sunbathe – the dune breakdown is intensified – dunes lose their consistency causing a loss of the natural recovery relationship between winds and nature.

Unfortunately the Demarcation of Coasts does not support this manner of recovering the sand that lies uselessly just off shore.


Because of this worrying situation Pro Dunas’ proposal is to install multifunction artificial reefs in 3 of the dune coastal areas. This measure can provide the necessary coastal and dune protection. This innovative solution has already been implemented around the world including on Spain’s east coast. They are demonstrating that they can stabilise the shoreline and at the same time create new marine ecosystems.


ProDunas insists that an ecological and respectful way of working with the environment favours a symbiosis between sea and land. Multifunction artificial reefs are undemanding actors and justify the opinion that submerged and / or visible breakwaters on the coast that has protected dunes are an inconvenience.

Reasons to support artificial multifunction Reefs:

  • They can counteract the negative effects of up to 90% of the force of the storm waves;
  • They create marine ecosystems with rich biological diversity;
  • They compact the seabed;
  • They do not alter the sea view from the beach;
  • They do not obstruct the dynamics of the marine currents.

Our Association is endorsing the technical studies to ensure the stabilisation of the beaches. These must be carried out under strict official guidelines and under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment and Demarcación de Costas. They involve physical work in the sea itself that can last between 3-4 months. A specialised company has to do this work. The company will have to use specialised machinery and know how to carry out this very technical exploration. This research requires quality data such as:

  • The installation of buoys to measure wave height, sea level and currents;
  • Intervention by divers to diagnose the state of the seabed, the different geographic locations, marine species present, always with photographic evidence;
  • Up-to-date bathymetries of a high quality. This is a set of techniques for measuring the depth of sea, rivers, etc. as well as the study of where plants and animals are distributed in their various layers or zones;
  • Protocol of sediment samples from the seabed, its location, coding and the geographical coordinates of the zones of this sediment sampling;
  • Granulometry: This is the measurement of the size of the grains of a sedimentary formation and the calculation of the number of these corresponding to each of the sizes provided by a granulometric scale so that its origin and mechanical properties can be analysed;
  • Good historical-photographic base (aerial and non-aerial) of each of the study areas to see the evolution and better understand its hydrodynamic functioning;
  • Maritime climate: A historical database of the maritime climate (winds, waves, sea level, temperature …) is needed both on the coast as well as in deep water;
  • Biosphere: It is important to see what species are present to evaluate what is to be encouraged to develop in the multifunction artificial reef;
  • Coastline: It is advisable to carry out a historical analysis of the evolution of the coastline. For example: by using orthophotography;
  • Environmental Impact Statement.


Although the Spanish Ministry of Environment and / or the European Union must carry out this research, the project can be pre-financed. We think that the interested parties – Marbella Town Hall, the hotels, the chiringuitos and members of the public, etc. should cooperate and help in financing these studies so that the solution to the loss of coastline and its dunes is not delayed even more.

We are wasting valuable years. We want 2019 to be decisive in presenting conclusive solutions and get all the necessary scientific projects concluded so that the implementation of multifunction artificial reefs on the dune coast along the Costa del Sol can begin.


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Asociación ProDunas Marbella

La Asociación trabaja incesantemente en defensa y preservación de los singulares ecosistemas aún existentes en los entornos naturales con dunas en la Provincia de Málaga; impulsa la protección de su flora autóctona y pequeña fauna silvestre; fomenta la recuperación, rehabilitación y conservación de la interesante biodiversidad en las zonas dunares del municipio de Marbella.