On February 14, 2007 Pedro Castro, a spokesman for Asturias’ political party PSOE responded to the previous week’s protest against a dredging project at Rodiles by stating that the governmental party has decided to “repair” the river instead of moving forward with the dredging project. Castro felt this decision was a good compromise for both parties and that this would end tensions between both surfers and boaters.
His proposal is to enlarge the river mouth at El Puntal to diminish the speed of the river’s flow, which would eliminate the need to dredge; he also added” this would maintain the canal without having to touch the Rodile’s sand bar.” Castro left the press conference with confidence that his solution will solve the current controversy in Rodiles.
Castro made such decisions with no environmental impact study (EIS) to back his claims. Experts in the field, hired by Asturias’ Surf and Body Surf Association, advised that such a project would have detrimental effects on the marine environment, stating “ Any change on the river mouth, involving the change of shifting elements (such as the sand bar) or fixed elements (such as the levies) will have a drastic effect on the dynamic of the place.” These experts, which include a highly qualified group of engineers, affirmed that “ the canal and the amount of sand in the sand bar are proportional to the amount of water that comes in and out of the estuary during a full tide cycle. Diminishing the flow of water will affect both the habitats in the estuary and the sand bar. These changes would be irreversible to the natural environment.” Enlarging the river mouth is not believed to be an acceptable solution and could potentially have a negative affect on the wave and the estuary.
Hugo Suarez, head of the group of engineers stated that, “the current state of the canal is perfect. There is plenty of room for everybody and there is no need to make any changes. Changing the size of the river mouth will have drastic effects on the natural environment and the Rodiles wave, which do not justify this unnecessary project.”