The Port of Huelva is located in an estuary of high ecological value and at the same time in one of the most important industrial areas in Spain. The singular challenge for the port is therefore to balance economic with social interests and with the conservation of more than 245.000 ha of protected areas (Biosphere Reserve, Natura 2000 Network, Natural Site, RAMSAR, etc). The commitment of the Port of Huelva at the highest level is reflected in its environmental strategy that sets ambitious policy objectives. In cooperation with its Port Community the port aims towards leadership in the fields of energy, conservation, water and air quality management.
The Ecological Recovery project of the port is a concrete successful example in that respect. Through concentrated efforts for over 10 years and a total investment of 27 million euro, the project addressed the environmental recovery of the degraded left bank of the Odiel estuary and the conservation of habitats and their environmental values. The environmental work was complemented with the construction of a boulevard along 1 km of the Odiel estuary, and a 4 km pedestrian path. This has provided citizens with a recreational area of high environmental and social value. The more significant results of the project included:
- The recovery of ecological functions in marshes and the native species, spartina maritima.
- The creation of a carbon sink that captures more than 300 tons of carbon annually.
- The stabilization of marshes eroded by sea level changes.
- The conservation of protected species such as pandion haliaetus, platalea leucorodia and lutra lutra.
- The eradication of invasive species such as spartina densiflora.
- The creation of a 4km pedestrian pathway.
- The extensive dissemination of successful and pioneering conservation examples and relevant contribution to environmental science
The Ecological Recover project positioned the Port of Huelva as an international example of good environmental practice.