Port cities host a rich biodiversity. Protecting it can bring associated positive effects, besides the obvious ones. In Tarragona (Spain), the green areas policy of the port authority is showing excellent results. These areas must reduce the water footprint, promote the biodiversity and mitigate the CO2 emissions. The port has focused on the reforestation of degraded spaces and replacing water intensive plants for others more adapted to the Mediterranean climate. Every year, these areas neutralize 1500 tons of CO2 and provide shelter for endangered species such as bees. In Ceuta (Spain), the Port Authority supports the local Sea Museum (Museo del Mar), that is responsible for studying, protecting and disclosing the local biodiversity. This institution publishes several books and magazines promoting the results of their research, for example on the impact of ships on whales and dolphins. The museum also organizes educational activities and leads projects to include coastal areas in the European networks of protected natural reserves. Additionally, it is responsible for a unique facility, the “pudridero” a facility to preserve the carcasses and collect the bones to study and learn about marine animals.
➜ El Vigía, Museo del Mar Ceuta
Two excellent projects focused on preserving or restoring the natural biodiversity: In Rouen (France), the Port Authority HAROPA, has developed between 2017 and 2019 a project to restore the wetlands connected to the Seine river in Sahurs. The new structure and water canal allow the tide to reenter the area and recover the natural environment of the estuary. In 2020 the port authority planted flora improving the integration of the site in the landscape and installed educational panels. In Bahía Blanca (Argentina), the Marine Wildlife Rescue Station has helped more 115 animals from 15 different species, over the past two years, since it was created. This facility is the result of the cooperation of the port authority of Bahía Blanca with several environmental organizations.
➜ HAROPA – Port of Rouen, Port of Bahía Blanca
There is an increasing attention to protect the local biodiversity of port cities. In previous weeks we have seen the examples Trieste, Seville, Montreal and Quebec. A new project this week comes from France. The Port Authority of Le Havre, HAROPA in cooperation with the Seine-Normandy Water Agency has installed a floating pontoon and artificial marine habitats to recover the local flora and fauna. The new installation will also work as nurseries for fish and support wildlife. The project also includes the ecological monitoring for the next two years.
➜ HAROPA – Port of Le Havre
The port of Sevilla (Spain) presents an innovative project combining the management of dredging sediments and the creation of new habitats for threatened aquatic birds. This project follows the new work philosophy of “working with nature” and is a collaboration with the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). More ports around world are making new efforts for biodiversity. The port of Singapore has commissioned a coral relocation and conservation program, and in Imbituba (Brazil), the port launched the 12º edition of the whale monitoring program as part of their environmental plan.
➜ Port of Sevilla (PDF), Rice Media, Portos e Navios
The aim is to integrate its car-handling terminal building more effectively into the urban surroundings. It will form a local landmark for the City Port and its roof will be turned into a public park within a few years. It will also promote biodiversity. The garden meets sustainability criteria, and everything in it can be either re-used or recycled.
➜ Hanging Gardens ; Video
Bees are the most important pollinator of food crops in the world. They play a crucial role in our food system, and the ecological balance of our ecosystems. However, sometimes they create colony in the most unexpected places, such as a storm drain I the Port of Trieste (video). To solve the problem, the port contacted a beekeeper to find a new home for the swarm. The operation was not complex and the bees now have a new home in the hills close to the port. The project is a good example for the Goal 10 of the AIVP Agenda 2030, protecting biodiversity.
➜ Port of Trieste (video), sustain web
Artificial concrete and sand nesting boxes installed by the port of Montreal and port of Quebec proof successful. Bank Swallows are back to occupy the nests installed last year, in some cases multiplying their colony fourfold. In the project, the port of Quebec tested three solutions for artificial nests, being the concrete ones the ones with best results.
➜ Port Montreal, Port Quebec (Twitter)