What do estuaries give us?


IHCantabria, Aves Cantábrica and the City Council of Arnuero brought to the audience, through an essentially didactic day, the work carried out around the marshes of Joyel and Victoria, as well as the enormous benefits they bring to society.


“Convincing people that having a well-kept ecosystem brings health and well-being to those who live in that environment. This is one of the objectives pursued with the Participatory Conference that the Institute of Environmental Hydraulics of the UC (IHCantabria), in collaboration with Aves Cantábrica and the City Council of Arnuero, offered yesterday Thursday afternoon at the Casa de las Mareas de Soano, Arnuero.

José A. Juanes, coordinator of the LIFE CONVIVE project, director of Teaching and Training and coordinator of the Hydrobiology Area of the IHCantabria, was in charge of bringing to the attendees the benefits that estuaries provide to life, what are called “ecosystem goods and services”, and which are unknown to the vast majority. “They have great long-term value, they provide provisioning services, such as food, water; services to regulate the climate, water, waste, the spread of diseases; cultural services, as they provide beauty; and lastly, essential services such as soil formation, photosynthesis, etc.,”Juanes explained. In this sense, he added that the great challenge of the Joyel marshes is “to try to see how to optimize the number of visits to the Santa Olaja mill in front of the state of conservation of the lagoon”.

These statements were endorsed by the second speaker, Sergio Tejón, member of Aves Cantábrica, and collaborator in the LIFE-CONVIVE project, developed both in the Joyel and Victoria marshlands, as well as in Tinamenor and Oyambre. Tejón recalled that Spain is the second country to undertake LIFE projects co-financed by the European Union, which, in this case, aims to “integrate human activities in the conservation of the Natura 2000 network on the coast of Cantabria”. The last one to participate was Ramón Meneses, director of the Trasmiera Ecopark, who stressed the “need to create a territory of social, cultural and natural integration”, an objective pursued by his institution.

The Conference, which was open to the general public, was inaugurated by the mayor of Arnuero, José Manuel Igual, the mayor of Noja, Miguel Ángel Ruiz and the director of the Natural Park of the Marshes of Santoña, Lourdes González. All of them thanked the participants in the LIFE-CONVIVE programme for their excellent work and for keeping the municipality’s green spaces in optimum condition, an essential part of its richness.