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Open proposal to the Municipality of Hersonissos

With a very high sense of responsibility, but also with the main purpose of radically improving the tourism product and turning it into a more sustainable model, Costa Nostrum in collaboration with the Technical Office Fyrgadis Michalis and the Technical Office AELIA Sustainable Engineering, submits an open proposal to the Municipality of Hersonissos, for the transformation of the beach of Estavromenos (commonly Arina) into a sustainable beach, of high standards and requirements.

The main purpose of our proposal is a holistic approach, regarding the sustainable management of the beach and having as its main goal both the environmental protection, promotion, and upgrading of the habitat located within the coastal zone, but also the complete transformation of the beach into a sustainable beach, with the highest possible rating, according to the private protocol of Costa Nostrum, Costa Nostrum – Sustainable Beaches, offering a unique experience to each of its visitors.

Our motivation is the combination of environmental protection and the increase of environmental awareness of the bathers – visitors and residents of the wider area, with the increase of bathers’ satisfaction, making this beach, unique in its kind.

A beach that can be used, both during the summer season and during the rest of the year, when the weather conditions allow it.

Estavromenos beach is a sandy beach, just a few kilometers from the center of Heraklion, with a total area of about 27500m2, where every summer is overwhelmed with thousands of visitors – bathers who want to enjoy a few moments of relaxation and coolness.

The western end of the beach is managed privately, while the rest of the beach is managed by the Municipality of Hersonissos.

What is perhaps unknown to the general public, is that the beach of Estavromenos – Arina hosts a unique habitat, with beautiful species of flora, such as the following: Ipomoea imperati, Pancratium maritimum, Eryngium maritimum, Cakile maritima ssp maritima, Matthiola tricuspidata, Medicago marina, Silene colorata ssp colorata, Silene sedoides, Hypecoum procumbens, Euphorbia peplis, Euphorbia paralias, Salsola kal ,etc. In the same habitat are also endemic a variety of insects and butterflies of the island, such as e.g. Polyommatus icarus, Colias croceus, Polygonia egea, Pontia edusa, etc.

More information on flora and fauna can be found at http://www.cretanflora.com/ and https://butterfliesofcrete.com/. The assistance of Ms. Popi Borboudaki, Chemical Engineer, MSc, ESDAK and author of the website https://butterfliesofcrete.com, was essential, in identifying the biodiversity species of this habitat.

Among these species is the rare and endangered species “Virgin Lily” or “Sand Lily” or “Sea Lily” (Pancratium maritimum), but also the endangered and protected species of Ipomoea imperati, which grows on just four (4) beaches of the island.

Unfortunately, the uncontrolled exploitation of this beach has destroyed – perhaps irreparably – the specific habitat, deeming it extremely necessary to take measures, but mainly to change the mentality of both the bathers and the managers of the beach.

One of the main elements of this proposal is the calculation of the bearing capacity of the beach, in order to ensure both the environmental protection of the beach and at the same time the bathers who visit it to be able to live the maximum possible experience.

Some of the additional elements are:

• the creation of a special recreation area for young visitors – children of the beach, so that they can enjoy the joy of the beach even more (a highly innovative proposal worldwide),
• sustainable management of the waste generated within the coastal zone,
• the installation of appropriate equipment for the use of the beach during the winter season,
• the creation of sports zones, such as beach volley,
• the upgrade of the habitat by planting saplings such as tamarisk trees, as well as the protection of the existing flora
• the mapping of the underwater flora and fauna, near the beach,
• the installation of a real-time information system of the weather conditions of the coastal zone (wave height and water temperature) for even better information for the potential visitors.
• And much more…

In conclusion, we believe that the upgrade of this beach to a sustainable beach, with the maximum possible categorization and rating, will only benefit both the wider community and the wider coastal area, as well as, the Municipality of Hersonissos, but of course, and the general tourist product of Crete.

Proving in the best possible way that the increase of environmental awareness can be well combined with modern business and the needs of society, producing unique innovative solutions!

For more information contact Costa Nostrum at 2810 334025 and info@costanostrum.org

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