Ecological restoration in the Port of Huelva

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Rocío López Picón_TailleOKThe city of Huelva is located on the estuary of the rivers Tinto and Odiel. Its urban development is concentrated along the left bank of the river Odiel, where the infrastructure of the Inner Harbor is located, as well as facilities of an important basic chemical industrial complex settled since the 1960s. This left bank of the Odiel river forms part of the Service Area of the Port of Huelva, and consists of marshes, dunes and river beaches that since the industrialization have suffered serious environmental degradation.
In order to environmentally restore the area and to promote the social use and the integration of the Harbour in the city of Huelva, the Port Authority of Huelva is undertaking various actions of social and ecological restoration in a stretch of five kilometers on the left bank of the river Odiel. Such actions are: the environmental restoration of marshes, dunes and beaches deteriorated over four kilometers, and the creation of a riverwalk of one kilometer in the most deteriorated marshes which are closer to the city of Huelva. The goals of the project have been the following:
– Diversification and conservation of protected habitats and species of high environmental interest, included on some European red lists.
– Enhancement of the natural resources of the area.
– Improvement and diversification in the functionality of the marshes due to the construction of an infrastructure adjacent to and above the marshes that connects the city of Huelva and the Port.
– Stabilization and restoration of the marshes.
– Erosion control in areas of low marsh.
– Environmental information.
After environmental monitoring studies, it is possible to show that the project has recovered with great success both, the ecological functions of the marsh ecosystem and the influx of citizens and tourist to the area. The project budget was 27 million €.

Rocío López Picón : Phd (DEA) Environmental Engineering, Master´s Degree in Environmental Science, with additional training in Environmental Management Systems, Audits, languages and specific applications.
I am specialized in environmental management in the port-industry sector where I have been developing my functions since 2004, specifically for the Departments and Areas of Port Operations, Infrastructures, Port Public Domain, and Strategy in the Port Authority of Huelva, the largest Port in Spain.
I have developed and worked on projects related to environmental monitoring, the monitoring of air quality, spills, pollution of soils and projects waste management, environmental and landscape restoration, and pollution prevention.
I have also conducted monitoring environmental impacts and aspects related to port operations, construction of major infrastructure, port facilities – Industrial located in the Port of Huelva, as well as managing the Port Public Domain.
The intervention in the management of environmental incidents, the managing of the environmental risks and the development of manuals, procedures and work instructions for environmental management system, are also important issues developed in the Port of Huelva. Many of these projects have been published and exhibited in various national congresses.

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