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DemolitionCulatraApril2017The Ria Formosa island homes demolition battle has reignited, with cries of foul play from island resident groups as a further 22 properties have been scheduled for destruction. This is despite the minister’s promise last April that nothing more would be done until a review in three years time.

The previously protected homes in the villages of Farol and Hangares are back in the firing line for a new wave of demolitions authorised by Polis Litoral Ria Formosa - with the full knowledge of the ministry.

ria formosa2The fight continues to clean up the Ria Formosa lagoon, one of Portugal’s natural parks, with questions submitted in parliament by opposition MPs on protection measures for the sea cucumber.

Teresa Caeiro, Patrícia Fonseca, Ilda Araújo Novo, Hélder Amaral and Álvaro Castello-Branco questioned the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of the Sea and recommended that the list of protected species includes the sea cucumber.

seahorseOpposition MPs Teresa Caeiro, Patrícia Fonseca, Álvaro Castello-Branco and João Rebelo have questioned the Government on news reports of the danger of the Ria Formosa seahorse population dying out, considered until recently the largest population of seahorses in the world .

In two questions sent to the Minister of the Environment and to the Minister of National Defence, the MPs demanded to know what enforcement actions have been carried out and how often the Maritime Police have been nabbing illegal seahorse fishermen.

sewagepipeFor those remaining unconvinced that the Algarve's protected Ria Formosa lagoon remains a convenient dumping zone for raw sewage, a video posted on Facebook records events at the outflow pipe from the Waste Water Treatment Plant to the west of Olhão, proof that large scale dumping continues despite official denial that there is a problem.

The December 28th, 2017, video clip shows thousands of cubic metres of sewage being dumped into water where the famous Ria Formosa shellfish carefully are tended and harvested in bivalve production zone Olhão 3. Click HERE

hangaresThe unveiling of a monument marking 100 years since WWI and the role played by those in the now sleepy settlement of Hangares on the Ria Formosa island of Culatra, went ahead on August 30th but with an unexpected and not universally welcomed announcement which has been slammed by the environmental organisation, Almargem.

The event aimed to 'value the collective memory and celebrate the achievement of peace and democracy,' but ended up being used by the Navy to announce the conversion of the derelict military area into a fully equipped training base for Portugal's Marines, right in the middle of the Ria Formosa Natural Park which is a Natura 2000 area.

riaformosaThe court in Faro has decided to revoke an initial decision and proceed with the demolition of 15 illegal houses on the Ria Formosa settlements of Farol and Hangares. The court order is set to be enforced as soon as the summer holiday season is over, bring tension, anger and the prospect of yet more legal fees for property owners.

The Judicial Court of Faro has ordered the "evacuation and demolition" of what it calls "clandestine summer houses" in the Ria Formosa area.

armonaAirielThe British couple who are battling to rescue their Armona island home from the bulldozers, primed to be sent in by Sebastião ‘demolition man’ Teixeira from Portugal’s Environment Agency, have come out fighting their corner with international press coverage and an August 17th  demonstration planned in front of Olhão council’s front door.

James Tod and Paul Roseby, whose half-built luxury home has been deemed illegally sited and must be removed, are putting pressure on Environment Minister, João Matos Fernandes, whom, they say, "can solve the problem with a stroke of his pen."

PinaOlhaoThe mayor of Olhão, António Pina, has been mentioned in The Times. Has there been recognition of his good works, his film star looks, or his continuing abuse of the electoral law for local councils?

Nothing so mundane - the mayor is mentioned in The Times article by Graham Keeley in Madrid in the first salvo in a battle to preserve and legalise the Armona island ‘dream home’, owned by a British couple who face the imminenbt propspect of seeing it torn down anytime from August 1st.

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