SailGP has teamed up with the University of Cadiz and the Bay of Cadiz’s Natural Park to support a project protecting threatened migratory seabirds as part of its local impact project in the city.
The project focuses on the nesting and breeding areas of the Kentish Plover and Common Tern, which nest in the dunes and areas above the high tide line in the Bay of Cádiz Natural Park and surrounding beaches.
If disturbed, the adult birds can abandon eggs or hatchlings in their nests, which means the intensive use of the beaches around Cádiz puts the reproduction of the species at risk.
The project focuses on the area around Punta de los Saboneses, a nine hectare protected area above the high tide line, and Levante beach in Puerto Maria - a one hectare protected area.
SailGP’s local impact project will fund the fencing-off of nesting and breeding areas, the regulation of tourist activities and erection of education signage. It will also fund the ongoing monitoring of populations and continued conservation of the area.
During the Spain Sail Grand Prix presented by NEAR, SailGP athletes including Spain’s Paula Barcelo and Nora Brugman, New Zealand’s Blair Tuke and Great Britain’s Luke Parkinson were invited to a nesting site to learn more about the threatened birds from University of Cádiz professor, Alejandro Pérez Hurtado.
Speaking about the project, sustainability and impact project manager Rosie Gosling said: “Having a positive impact on the cities where we operate is a key focus for us at SailGP and we work closely with our host venues to identify projects that support our combined goals. In Cadiz, we are thrilled to have provided solar lighting to Elcano sailing club which is a community sailing hub in the city and also where our Inspire program operates from, aligning to our League clean energy goals.
“We also worked closely with the University of Cadiz who identified the importance of their ongoing work to protect threatened bird species in Andalucia, and we are excited to be funding the protection of two key areas of the Natural Park to enable safe breeding spaces and encourage regeneration of these areas.’
Elsewhere, SailGP also worked with the Ayuntamiento de Cádiz and the Instituto Municipal de Deporte to deliver a project installing solar powered lights onto the pontoons at the Elcano Sailing Centre. The installed lights will be fully solar powered and will deliver 328 kW of lighting over the course of a year, saving 113kg of CO2 emissions.
The impact project is part of SailGP’s year-round purpose-led calendar of sustainable initiatives in which the league collaborates with each venue on the Season 3 tour.