THANK YOU to everyone who has helped us to start to turn the La Covacha Nature Reserve from a dream into reality. There is still much to do in the project and we have extended our goal so that you can carry on helping us to achieve this dream.
Help us to reach our new €5000 goal
This new goal will help us to pay in full the first part of the work, as we had to extend the jetty as we realised that the original one was too short to easily access the island.
If we reach this new target, we will also be able to embark on the second stage of our project, that includes laying a floor and putting a roof on the new porch and fitting out the tool house as a centre to be used by small groups. We need to paint it inside and out, lay a proper floor, along with printing and hanging panels explaining the history and present situation of the marsh.
Finally, we will install a camera to study the osprey as it tries to breed in the Bay of Cadiz for the first time in decades
SALARTE is the only private NGO to manage a Reserve Zone of the Andalusian Network of Protected Natural Spaces.
Since February 2014, we have been entrusted with the stewardship, upkeep and management of this old saltpan-island that was abandoned decades ago and which we are gradually recovering.
La Covacha is an old saltpan with a surface area of 26.5 Ha, located in the Puerto Real municipal district. It is part of the Trocadero Island, which was declared a Natural Site pursuant to Act 2/89, of 18 July, and a Reserve Zone of the Bahía de Cádiz Natural Park. It has been a Special Area of Conservation of the Natura 2000 Network - the European network of protected areas since 2012.
Despite the numerous restoration and conversation projects by the public authorities, the lack of upkeep and management of La Covacha meant that the tides and strong back wash damaged the sluice gates and outside boundary walls that protect La Covacha from the surrounding marine environment. This led to a dramatic drop in numbers of the spoonbill( Platalea leucorodia) colony based in La Covacha since 1997.
Convinced that civil society needs to be take up the managing of salt pans and areas in the maritime-terrestrial public domain, the Fondo para la Custodia y Recuperación de la Marisma Salinera – SALARTE [Fund for the Stewardship and Recovery of the Salt Marsh], sought authorisation to take on La Covacha for its integral management as a service for aquatic and marine biodiversity..
This private NGO is made up of young independent professionals that do not have sufficient economic resources to invest. However, thanks to environmental volunteer drives, agreements with professional shell fishermen and organising bird-watching route, it has repaired the damage to the outside boundary wall, built new sluice gates and is managing the water inside the island to foster biodiversity.
During spring and summer 2014, the osprey (Pandion haliaetus) chose La Covacha as the site for the first attempt of non-assisted reproduction in the Bahía de Cádiz Natural Park since it was declared extinct as a breeding bird halfway through the 20th century. Our aim is to use management resources to encourage osprey breeding in 2015.
What your donations will be used for
Your donations will be spent on:
Constructing and installing two nesting platforms for the osprey
Constructing and installing several artificial perches
Building a bird-watching hide
Refurbishing a tool room for the management and maintenance of the island.
Building a jetty to make it easier to access the island.
Any donation, no matter how small is welcome.
We have prepared a series of packages to show our appreciation for your help and, depending on the amount donated, you will receive a gift or a unique opportunity to learn firsthand about our work and the treasures to be found in salt marshes.
About the guided visit
A guided visit of around 3 hours of part of the legendary island after which the most iconic square in Paris, the Place du Trocadéro, is named.
La Covacha is a natural reserve with restricted access that is home to the most outstanding spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) colony in the Bay of Cadiz, and where the osprey (Pandion haliaetus), the showpiece of Cadiz’s fauna, is attempting to breed for the first time.
Organised by the only NGO that manages a natural reserve in Andalusia, territory management experts will show you how biodiversity and local employment are combined thanks to marsh fishing and shrimping, volunteer schemes and environmental education.
A traditional fishing boat will take you through the tidal reed beds and sea grass meadows to disembark – at the jetty that you have helped to build – on the island that the Hundred Thousand Sons of St. Louis took during the Peninsular Wars, from where “the braggarts”, as the French invading army was known, bombarded Cadiz and the local women turned the missiles into ringlets.
After you have discovered how the marshland water is managed using sluice gates and walls, you will have time for bird watching from the hide, which you have helped to build, and take in the local scenery.
The estimated timeline to implement the project is one month.
The rewards can be redeemed from May 2015 onwards.