San Sebastian, Spain
The company Wavegarden and the City Council of Donostia San Sebastian are planning to build a new wave pool in the Spanish Basque Country. Surfrider Europe and Surfrider Spain, together with various local environmental protection associations, consider this initiative to be harmful to the environment and aim to stop the project.
Summary of the situation
In this time of climate emergency we consider the announcement of the project to build an artificial wave facility in Donostia-San Sebastian to be very worrying. It would be built on Antondegi mountain, one of the last important natural sites in the city, and only 4 kilometers from the coast, where surfing can be practiced in the ocean waves. Various organisations have decided to join forces and form the ANTONDEGI BERDEA-OLATUAK ITSASOAN collective in the face of what we consider to be a project that involves the artificial development of a green space with a significant environmental impact, and to a large extent contrary to the values of the surfing community.
The ANTONDEGI BERDEA-OLATUAK ITSASOAN collective is made up of Surfrider Foundation Europe, the environmental group Eguzki, the climate change movement Fridays for Future, the conservation associations Haritzalde and Parkea Bizirik, the birdwatching association Itsas Enara and the Bizilagunekin platform. In addition, the group is supported by Greenpeace, Surf & Nature Alliance and SEO-Birdlife, and plans to add more members.
Many of our activities distort these areas and increase the vulnerability of ecosystems to the effects of climate change, including projects involving land use or significant consumption of water resources, such as artificial wave pools. Concreting a 9-hectare natural and agricultural area such as Antondegi would prevent water from infiltrating the soil to replenish the water table and increase the risk of flooding of surrounding plots. The construction of this site would destroy a rich natural environment that constitutes a green corridor for the habitat of mammals such as foxes, badgers and hundreds of bird species, some of which are in danger of extinction.
Our mission is to discredit the project, which does not respond to the general interest of the citizens. We want to put pressure on WaveGarden and Donostia City Council, which owns the land together with the Basque government and is promoting the project by modifying the General Urban Plan (Modificación del Plan General de Ordenación Urbana). We want to ensure that environmental protection commitments and regulations are respected in order to request that the Antondegi site be reclassified as undevelopable land (maintained in its natural state or as a rural park).
The aim of the ANTONDEGI BERDEA-OLATUAK ITSASOAN collective is to defend Antondegi as a natural area, and to stop the artificial wave project or any other project threatening this environment.