Madeiran Big Wave surf spot Jardim do Mar endangered
FAMOUS MADEIRAN POINT BREAK OF JARDIM DO MAR
THREATENED BY SEAWALL DEVELOPMENT
The Madeiran Government has recently approved plans to build a large seawall and road in the village of Jardim do Mar, Madeira, that threatens to destroy one of the world´s best big-wave spots.
The plan calls for a large road to be built along the entire ocean side of the village, wide enough for two-way traffic and parking, and will replace the existing seawall with a structure that protrudes from 40 to 60 feet further into the ocean.
Many villagers and surfers are worried that the road will destroy the surf break, both by altering the contour of the beach and adding backwash to the line-up. Currently at high tide, there is no more than 20 feet of existing shoreline. A seawall of this size will certainly extend into the water even at low tide.
The village of Jardim do Mar, with only some 300 inhabitants, seems equally divided over the issue. In a recent town meeting of JUNTA (the local chamber of commerce), tempers were high.
Some villagers, many of whom have benefited from the influx of surf travelers, argued against it, while others supported it, citing the money and development it will bring. The meeting, however, was of no consequence. The government has already approved the project, and is actively seeking bids for its construction.
This project follows another proposal that was defeated just months ago, in the nearby village of Lugar de Baixo. The government had approved a marina at another famous point, but came under fire from local environmental groups and a newly-formed international coalition called Save the Waves.
Due to a strong publicity campaign, the ruling government party decided to move the marina to a location where no surfing would be harmed. This new development proposal, however, shows that the government still sees no value in the preservation of its surf spots.
Save the Waves is mounting a new campaign to attempt to halt this construction. They are pushing for a scaled-back version of the road and seawall; one that does not effect the wave, and is more congruous with the small size of the village.
Support to "Save the Wave" by the surfing community can easily and quickly be given by visiting the Save the Waves website.
For more information, contact
Save the Waves
Will Henry at (831) 460-1255, or
Visit the Save the waves website
Environment - Surfersvillage.