Joyel EstuaryNatura 2000 Code (pSCI): ES1300007 || Natura 2000 Code (SPA):ES0000143
The Joyel Estuary is included in the SCI “Santoña, Victoria y Joyel Marshes”. This estuary is characterised by the presence of 7 habitats of community interest (hábitats 1110, 1140, 1150*, 1320, 1330, 1420 y 9340)and because it is part of the Natural Park of the Santoña, Victoria y Joyel Marshes. Bird diversity and variety in this Natural Park has led to its classification as a Bird Special Protected Area (BSPA) and RAMSAR site.
Historically, this estuary has suffered from notable human impact due to the construction of isolating and fill dams. This has derived in the creation of two large lagoons inside the estuary: the Santa Olaja mill pond and the Joyel pond. In these confined lagoons the water is hardly renewed and their eutrophication processes pose a risk to the preservation of habitats and the protected bird species such as the Platalea leucorodia or habitat 1420 (Mediterranean and thermo-Atlantic halophile scrubs), which are highly sensitive to eutrophication of the environment.
With the purpose of reducing the degree of eutrophication of these lagoons, the following measures have been proposed for this estuary of great environmental and cultural interest:
- Redesign of the water flooding and circulation dynamics in the Santa Olaja mill pond by optimising the hydrodynamics of the system.
- Stop the proliferation of green algae existing in the Santa Olaja lagoon.
- Rehabilitation of the flooding dynamics in the Joyel pond by fixing the gates of the Soano dam.
- Removal of specimens of the invasive species Baccharis halimifolia in 4.02 ha of marsh area in this estuary.
- Draft of a bird biodiversity management plan.
The implementation of these measures will allow for the recovery of the estuary as well as the continuation of the educational and cultural activity in the Santa Olaja mill, which is used as an educational centre and ethnographic museum.
This recovery process will be complementary to the activities developed on the other two subareas under study, so the implementation of all of them is forecasted to allow recovery for the good preservation status of at least the habitats of community interest 1330 (Atlantic salt meadows) and 1420 (Mediterranean and thermo-Atlantic halophile scrubs), the preservation status of which is currently quite poor.