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Officials in a Spanish coastal resort have apologised after spraying bleach onto a beach, causing damage to local wildlife.
The day before it reopened for children, authorities in Zahara de los Atunes, near Cadiz, sprayed more than two kilometres of the beach using a special bleach solution administered via tractors.
But the move has been condemned by environmentalists who say the bleach could have caused 'brutal damage' to the ecosystem.
María Dolores Iglesias, who is part of an environmental group in the area, told local media she had visited the beach to inspect the damage caused and said it had 'killed everything on the ground, nothing is seen, not even insects'.
She said: "It's totally absurd. The beach is a living ecosystem. And when you spray it down with bleach, you're killing everything you come across.
"Bleach is used as a very powerful disinfectant, it is logical that it be used to disinfect streets and asphalt, but here the damage has been brutal.
"They have devastated the dune spaces and gone against all the rules. It has been an aberration what they have done, also taking into account that the virus lives in people, not on the beach. It is crazy."
Alongside that Iglesias says she saw damage to a nest filled with eggs caused by the tractors.
The beach is a protected breeding ground for migratory birds.
According to the BBC, local official Agustin Conejo has since admitted it was a 'mistake' to bleach the beach.
He said: "I admit that it was a mistake, it was done with the best intention."
He went on to explain that he had just wanted to try and ensure the safety of children who are now allowed to go outside for one hour's exercise a day for the first time in six weeks.
Taking a swipe at the decision on Twitter, Greenpeace in Spain wrote: "Fumigating beaches in the middle of the breeding season for birds or the development of the invertebrate network that will support coastal fishing... is not one of Trump's ideas. It is happening in Zahara de los Atunes."
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