The protest was the idea of a Madeiran citizen, Miguel Sá, who promoted it. The protest aimed to make the Government of the Autonomous Region of Madeira remove a big deposit of soil and rock on Funchal bay. This damping ground was created one year ago, after the big storm and flood in Funchal, in February 20. It was a quick solution for getting rid of all the soil and rocks that came down from the mountains, in three rivers, reaching Funchal downtown and causing destruction and death. Forty people died then on the island.
One year after those tragic natural events, more than one thousand people answered to the call for the civic protest and participated last February, 20, 2011, at 18h00, in forming the human chain around the whole soil deposit by the sea, claiming for its removal and also paying respect to the victims of the floods one year ago. The president of the Government, Alberto Joao Jardim, simply said a week before that people "can scream" but the project would move on anyway.
|Cordão humano em protesto, no aterro do Funchal 20.2.2011|
People want to have their shoreline and beach back. That is why they demand the removal of soil and rock still there and are against a marina and port project presented recently by the Government (please, see image attached). Some experts claim that the project is NOT technically sustained and that is not the best solution for the area by the sea. And it would cost more than 40 Million Euros.
As many others Madeirans, and also as a member of Save the Waves, I could not sit still watching more works of massive construction trashing the coastline of the island. A lot of damage has been to Madeiran shoreline and some important surf spots, hurting the Island's tourism, the main economical activity in Madeira. So, it is important all the action to protect the exotic and authentic landscapes in Madeira, including the shoreline, for sport, leisure, adventure, tourism, eco-tourism and simple contemplation purposes.
There is (was) a surfable wave in the area where stands now the big deposit of soil and rock, but it is not a relevant or an important surf spot like many others in Madeira. Many surfers do not even consider that spot.
People fear that this new project becomes something like Marina in Lugar de Baixo. Save The Waves at some point did some efforts to help finding a solution for the protection of that marina from the waves that hit it so hard and are destroying it. Tons and tons of rock have been carried from the rivers and put outside the construction in order to build a massive protection. Last Winter storms washed most of that material away. Hope that one day the problem is solved.
Video of the citizen protest on the bay of Funchal town, in Madeira
Cordão humano no aterro visto por alguém nele participante