Turisme del Vendrell
Av. Brisamar, 1
Tel. +34 977 68 00 10
The marine reserve is made up of a core zone that is 0.2 miles in diameter surrounded by a buffer zone of 0.6 miles. The area is spread out along a long, sandy beach, broken up by the Masia Blanca (the White Farm House) river bed, and is a very important tourist attraction for the area. There are also sand dunes formed by the wind on the coast; these permanent dunes have been colonised by plants that make up a complete vegetation community which is typical of sandy substrates.
The sea bed, just as on land, is home to numerous species and promotes an increase in the biodiversity. The marine reserve of the Masia Blanca, which was created with the purpose of protecting the exceptional, rough beds in an area dominated by sand and mud, is located opposite the beaches of El Vendrell, near the port of Coma–ruga.
These beds are comprised of barriers of biological origin (coral communities), running perpendicular to the coast, between a sandy bed and another very long barrier that runs parallel to the coast line at the deepest part of the marine reserve. Also, there are abundant sea fields of the marine plant Posidonia oceanica, endemic to the Mediterranean, which forms a rich labyrinth of invertebrates (octopus, cuttlefish, mother-of-pearl, etc.) and vertebrates (red mullets, groupers, giltheads and sea bass, among others).
This submarine bed has favoured the establishment of several interspersed communities, presenting great biodiversity.
Three different communities can be distinguished, depending on the type of substratum: communities of soft substratum with a vegetation of sea fields of Posidonia oceanica; a soft, sandy substratum without vegetation in which a rich fauna in invertebrates, small crustaceans and typical benthic fish has developed, and a hard substratum characterised by biogenic rock where the Coral weed forms a very rough floor, creating numerous cavities that serve as a refuge to many organisms on the sea bed.
This community, known in scientific language as pre-coralline, in sub-littoral environments up to the circa-littoral area, is called “grapissar” in Catalonia and “maerl” in other coastal areas.
These sea fields also constitute a scenery worthy of admiration for their magnificent beauty, and form a habitat for many species of fish. Also, the maerl bed, which is scarce in the Mediterranean and has a very slow and vulnerable growth, is of ecological interest because, in addition to the special heterogeneity that characterises it, a great amount of species adds to its high biodiversity- i.e., an abundance of species, including some that are very rare and others of great interest for fishing.
It is necessary to add that thermal waters from the Brisamar spring which have a temperature of 19º C during the whole year, arrive at the marine reserve to enrich its waters naturally, which, like the waters of the Mediterranean, are characterised by their lack of nutrients and their crystalline appearance.