Start of the fight : 04/07/2012
Fight won by : Eric
A development project for the extension of the Mediterranean Port of the town Six-Fours-Les-Plages (Var Department) is threatening the beach of Bonnegrâce, also known as 'Brutal Beach'. Brutal Beach is very popular with surfers and windsurfers. However, an official report from the 17th of January 2012 specified the details for the said marina development. The adopted solution is a so-called 'multifunctional seawall', including the construction of a breakwater and of additional infrastructure that would contribute to the artificialisation of this beach. It would affect the local hydrodynamics and the water quality due to siltation, which would impact on the incoming swell and increase turbidity.
Increased capacity at the Mediterranean Port may also lead to more grey and black water discharges by the moored vessels and hence cause problems with water quality and the health of bathers and board sports activists. The Keeper, Eric, who is also a member of the 'Collective to Save Brutal Beach ' and the SFE West Var Chapter, is mobilising against this threat. The objective is to safeguard the landscape and the cultural and ecological heritage of the site. The first action carried out to proclaim opposition to the project was the launching of an online petition.
On the 14th of September 2012, the environmental authority of the Var Prefecture endorsed the port extension project. To counteract this decision, the Keeper met with several local and departmental associations, clubs, and board sports shop owners to unite them in their protest against the project in its current form. On the 20th of March 2013, SFE participated in the public inquiry, speaking out against the project as it is and suggesting alternatives. In our response to the public inquiry, we are expressing our opposition to the development project in its current state as we believe that an upgrade of the existing structures would suffice, in order to secure and enhance this part of the coast. As a first step, we suggest a restoration of the existing port infrastructures, without adding any extensions, to improve the leisure experience, before envisaging the additional development of an area dedicated to water sports activities.
However, on the 29th of May 2013, the investigating committee endorsed the development of the southern part of Bonnegrace Beach and the port extension.
2nd of August 2012: An article is published in Var Matin.
24th of August 2012: Meeting with the Director of the local council's technical services in Six-Fours-les-Plages.
14th of September 2012: The environmental authority of the Var Prefecture approves of the extension project for the Mediterranean port.
18th of February 2013 to 20th of March 2013: Public inquiry.
20rd of March 2013: Participation of SFE in the public inquiry.
29th of May 2013: The investigating commission gives a favourable opinion on the development of the southern part of Bonnegrâce Beach and the extension of the Mediterranean port.
The petition against the project, which was initiated by the collective 'Sauvons Brutal Beach' ('Save Brutal Beach'), had been signed by 1,872 people, whose names and email addresses were personally handed over to the investigating commissioner during the public inquiry, but which had deliberately been dismissed. As a result, the right to expression of 1,872 people was not acknowledged, in disregard of the regulations in force. The Mayor justified this by pointing out that the majority of the signatories did not reside in Six-Fours. However, Brutal Beach is an internationally renowned surf spot, which explains the foreign signatures.
6th of May - 16th of June 2013: 'Brutal Wave Contest' event.