Fluvial channel silting work has been promised for over 20 years.
The Solar Boat performs ecological tours on the Arade River, from Portimão to Silves, both in the summer and winter months
Photo: Pedro Noel da Luz | Correio da Manhã
The dredging work on the Arade River, between Portimão and Silves, has been promised for over 20 years, but still has no deadline to start. For now, the Government reveals that the only thing that is planned is to conduct a study. The progressive silting up of the river means that it is currently only navigable during high tide and only by draft vessels (size of the boat in the water) up to one meter. Therefore, there are few boats that reach the city of Silves, despite the tourist and environmental potential of this river route.
In a written response to deputies João Rebelo and Teresa Caeiro (CDS), to which the CM had access, the Ministry of the Sea only mentions that "the Directorate-General for Natural Resources, Security and Maritime Services has planned to carry out a study of the technical solution of said dredging, based on a study carried out by the former Port and Maritime Transport Institute ".
The referred document, whose environmental impact study was in public consultation at the beginning of 2005, provided for the dredging of a 11.2 km long canal between the cities of Portimão and Silves, which would allow medium-sized vessels to navigate. dimension, with draft up to 1.2 meters, at any time of the day without being dependent on the tide. Also planned was the environmental requalification of the area surrounding the river, whose project envisaged, among other things, the creation of seven nautical facilities. The study also indicated that in the area of the Arade River there were 86 species of birds and that the river was home to several juvenile fish species.