The Alvor Estuary is one of the most important coastal wetlands in Southern Portugal. This rich ecosystem includes sand dunes, mudflats, salt marshes and Salinas, supporting a diverse, specialised flora and fauna. Over the last twelve years, A Rocha Portugal has been leading a prolonged legal campaign to protect the site from inappropriate and illegal developments proposed by a private company (now called Water View, S.A.) that owns the nearby Quinta da Rocha estate. In 2015, the Criminal Court of Portimão convicted Water View
Scientific research has always been an essential part of A Rocha’s community conservation programmes. For this reason we are happy to announce the publication of a case study on the Ria de Alvor in the journal ‘Ocean and Coastal Management’. Because Ria de Alvor is a small estuary, it is sensitive to small environmental disturbances that can result in dramatic consequences both for its habitats and those who depend on it, from birds and plants to fishermen and shellfish gatherers. But if its size
Today we celebrate Nature 2000 Day. It is thanks to this network of protected sites all over Europe that Ria de Alvor has a level of protection that allows us to fight further for its conservation. In Ria de Alvor, besides several protected habitats, there are also species of flora - Limonium lanceolatum, Linaria algarviana, Thymus camphoratus - and fauna - Lutra lutra (otter), Mauremys caspica.
A Rocha Portugal has again been successful in court. In 2007 A Rocha began legal proceedings to protect Quinta da Rocha (the headland on which Cruzinha, our field study centre, is located). Part of the headland and the Ria de Alvor which borders it is a Natura 2000 site, yet the main landowner illegally destroyed some of the more wildlife-rich areas. The legal process is inevitably protracted, but in July 2008 A Rocha won the injunction to stop the destruction of the protected habitats