The plenary session of the Consell approved this Friday the decree that declares the Volcanic Outcrop and the Fossil Beach of Cap Negret de Altea as Natural Monuments. This figure establishes “a special regime for the protection and enhancement of this unique enclave in the province of Alicante”, as indicated in the decree approved in the plenary session held on Friday morning, which also establishes “the creation of the Council of Participation of the Natural Monument that will be assigned to the competent Department of Environment, as a collaborating collegiate body and advisor in the management of the protected area ”.
This Natural Monument has an area of 10.76 hectares, of which approximately 1.20 hectares correspond to land areas that occupy the Cala del Soio, the tip of Cap Negret and the adjacent fossil beach that reaches the old machine gun nest Cala del Soio from the Civil War; and 9.56 hectares correspond to the marine environment of these areas.
From the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition they indicated that the protection regime of the Natural Monument “is articulated according to Law 11/1994, of December 27, of the Generalitat of protected natural spaces of the Community Valenciana and of the Law 42/2007, of December 13, of the natural patrimony and of the biodiversity ”. The object of protection “consists of the conservation and regeneration, where appropriate, of the volcanic outcrop and the fossil beach, the promotion of rational management and the sustainable use of environmental resources, as well as the promotion and management of the public use of the protected area ”, they pointed out from the Department headed by Mireia Mollà.
There are, in addition, “other parameters such as the integration of the uses of the natural monument with the objectives of conservation of its values, the correction of the existing negative impacts on the geological values, as well as on the habitats and the landscape,” they added at the same time. that had an impact that “likewise, the participation of the different local socio-economic agents, both public and private, in the planning and management of the protected area is encouraged; the participation of universities and research centers in carrying out studies on conservation, management and planning of the values of the new protected area; and also the participation in the different levels of the administration with competences in the protected area ”.
On March 25, 2019, the beginning of the declaration procedure of the “Natural Monument Volcanic Outcrop and Fossil Beach of Cap Negret, in Altea” was published in the Official Gazette of the Generalitat Valenciana (DOGV), emphasizing the importance of the place because “its The marine terrace contains an important quantity of gastropod and bivalve fossils, along with the remains of serpeulids and rhodophytes with an estimated age of 100,000 years ”. Likewise, the scientific and didactic interest of this outcrop is “very high, and its potential for use for local development and ecotourism is evident thanks to its accessibility”, so “preservation actions must be taken due to the scientific importance , and enforce it since it is a georeource of special interest, adopting conservation measures given its relevance and fragility ”.
On July 17, stopped, the Advisory Council for Environmental Participation (CAPMA) approved the declaration of said Natural Monument as a step prior to its final declaration by the next plenary session of the Council of the Generalitat Valenciana once the file passes through the Legal Council Consultiu.
And on July 22, Mireia Mollà pointed out that the approval of CAPMA “represents a before and after in the surroundings of the cove and the fossil beach”. Mollà recalled his visit to the volcanic outcrop on February 21 to check “in situ” the state of the cove, affected by the works that were being carried out at the mouth of the “Portet de l’Olla” that were causing damage to this volcanic outcrop with 225 million years old. And at that time the councilor assured that the definitive declaration of a Natural Monument “will be made in 2020”, as it has been.
The mayor of Altea, Jaume Llinares, pointed out that the declaration of the Volcanic Outcrop and the Fossil Beach of Cap Negret as a Natural Monument “is news that has been awaited for a long time by all of Altea society that today has already become a definitive protection. A protection that is above the first claim we had, and that has been a maximum bet that could have led us to suffer more delay ”. Llinares explained that “the protection area has been expanded and the Portet de l’Olla area, built on top of the volcanic outcrop, has been included. The protection of Cala del Soio was unjustifiable without including the ‘portet’ which is currently in a situation of precautionary paralysis of its works in the mouth. Heritage is the one who has maintained this situation in which the port works are found ”.
The mayor also thanked “the involvement of the residents of Cala del Soio and the entire civil society of Altea in general, since they have always shown their support in all the actions carried out.” For his part, the Councilor for Urbanism and the Environment, José Orozco, expressed his satisfaction with this declaration of a Natural Monument, and thanked “the effort made by people and administrations that have worked to achieve this protection, especially thanks to the biologist Joan Piera and to the geologist Alfonso Yébenes who have investigated, dedicated themselves, and have demonstrated the importance of the volcanic outcrop of Altea ”.
225 million year outcrop
The enclave of Cala del Soio is unique in the entire Valencian Community, as it has a high ecological value along with the Columbretes and Cofrentes Islands as it is formed by basaltic volcanic rocks with an age of about 225 million years. In Cap Negret, according to scientists Alfonso Yébenes (geologist) and Joan Piera (biologist), “there was an explosive underwater eruption in shallow waters of such violence that the contact of the lava with the sea water caused the passage to steam. and the reaction with various ions led to the appearance of rather rare minerals: prehnite, pistacite, garnet and specularite. An interesting collection worthy of a mineralogical museum of underwater metamorphism ”. Piera explained that at that time there was only one continent called “Pangea” and only one ocean, “Pantalassa”. Specifying the geological action that occurred in Altea before the Jurassic, in Cala del Soio “part of Pangea was torn apart and the fragments moved by the so-called ‘convection currents’ originating the current continents, separating Europe from Africa. Due to the fractures, the volcanic magmas responsible for the volcanoes rose, which, with the passage of time, eroded and disappeared, preserving some such as our Cap Negret that highlight the rupture and fragmentation of the old continent ”, he asserted.
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