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Material dumped into protected site

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The Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) was informed that an act of vandalism had been carried out at the Għadira ta’ Sarraflu, and officers went immediately on site.

“L-Għadira ta’ Sarraflu is a protected site under the Environment Protection Act, noting that the habitat type it supports – a freshwater pool, is a very rare occurrence across the islands. Indeed, it is also one of the water bodies identified under the EU Water Framework Directive. It is a perennial water pool, with fluctuations in water level from wet to dry season. Such pools support ecosystems, which vary in composition depending on the water levels. These are of importance in view of the services they provide to the environment and humans.”

“The dumping of material, including oil and fuel, into the natural environment leads to impacts of various kinds. In this case, impacts to the water body and on the sediment are certain, impacting the water quality and the ecosystems that this freshwater pool supports. The level of contamination could be high, which hence would lead to significant impacts on the organisms and the ecology of the site overall, with the sediment also being contaminated. Such damage is not easy to reverse, and drastic measures might need to be taken so as to restore the water and sediment quality, allowing for the pool to sustain life in the long-term. These processes are complex in nature, and it would be difficult to predict the timeframes necessary for such. Action to remedy the situation has already been taken by the Civil Protection Department who were also on site yesterday afternoon,” the ERA said.

Attempts by the CPD to collect the substance thrown in the water by absorbent pads normally used for this purpose were not successful. “Thus ERA is coordinating with CPD, the Police, EcoGozo and other entities, to be able to determine the nature of the substance and to remedy the impacts on l-Għadira ta’ Sarraflu.”

The Authority urges anyone who may have information on this act of vandalism to call on T: (+356) 22923500 during office hours and 99210404 after office hours, weekends and public holidays or send an email on E: info@era.org.mt. 

 

Original article found on The Malta Independent

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