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A beach of rare natural beauty, Pachia Ammos at Stavros Akrotiri Chania, is at risk from the construction of a sewage pumping station. Residents and visitors of the area are trying to protect Pachia Ammos with mobilizations and legal means.

In 1973, the area of ​​Stavros in Akrotiri, Chania was designated as a landscape of exceptional natural beauty, in need of special state protection (Government Gazette 1242/B/1973). Something that has not happened in practice.


In fact, the entire northeastern region of the ​​Akrotiri peninsula, including the imposing mountain where Michael Cacogianni filmed "Zorbas the Greek", was put forward for inclusion in the NATURA 2000 network in the ‘90s.


But that is not all. Over the past few decades, the protected and vulnerable species of Caretta-Caretta sea turtles have been laying their eggs on beaches in the area. Which makes these beaches protected places as well.

It seems incredible that in December of 2022 the Municipal Water Supply and Sewerage Corporation of Chania (DEYACH) decided to build a sewage pumping station right on Pachia Ammos beach, only a few meters from the spot where the Caretta-Caretta turtles come to nest.


Pachia Ammos is one of the few clean and untouched beaches on the north of Chania, sporting some of the last remaining sand dunes in Crete. It is especially loved by local and foreign visitors. Besides being a nesting beach for sea turtles, it is a habitat for the endangered sea lilies (Pancratium maritimum) and lies within the flyway for migratory birds like cranes and herons on their way from Africa. Right next to this beach is a the path that leads to the archeological site of an ancient aeolianite quarry.

The residents of Stavros were never consulted on the building of this sewage pumping station. Which in itself violates a number of national and European laws. When they found out about the project by chance, they demanded to be shown the mandatory Environmental Impact Study (EIA) for the project. Without it, the work would be illegal.


Yet despite the absence of this study, the work on the pumping station started on December 19th of 2022.


Digging a huge 150 square meter pit of at least 6 meters depth, filling it with raw sewage to be pumped day and night with motorized pumps is a huge concern in itself. The noise, the stench, the pests (rats, cockroaches…) are enough to scare off tourists, local families, sea turtles and birds alike. But even worse is the real danger of power cuts, which are frequently observed here, leading to spillage of raw sewage onto the beach and into the sea. Raw sewage is a serious health hazard, which can lead to blindness in humans. The effect on the marine life and the surrounding flora would be devastating.


Even the city of Chania, serviced by the same sewage company (DEACH) has had sewage overflow into the streets several times, literally flooding the streets with sewer water. Power cuts and strong rains happen often in winter and the system is not secure.


Moreover, there has been intense erosion on these coastlines over the past 10 years. Which intensifies the concerns about the danger of building a sewage pumping station right on the edge of the beach. 


When the work on Pachia Ammos beach started, the Stavros Environmental Association (S.E.A.) was founded and through it we created a very strong protest movement both in Greece and abroad. We gathered over 70.000 signatures against the construction of the pumping station in this location. Our team of volunteers worked day and night, consulting with lawyers, scientists, and historians to find out that his project on a beach of rare natural beauty, violates countless environmental laws . Moreover, based on the location´s coordinates, the spot where the pumping station is being built is an archaeological site where all construction is prohibited. 


S.E.A. has appealed to the Chania municipality council and consequently to Council of State. The association has repeatedly asked the Mayor of Chania to examine the standing request to change the location of the sewage pumping station. Our aim is to determine a better location, based on an Environmental Impact Study (EIA). And this in consultation with the residents, as decreed by the Aarhus Convention.

Who we are


Pachia Ammos

Pachia Ammos beach in Stavros Akrotiri, is one of the rare, clean and untouched beaches on the north side of Chania. This beautiful nature reserve is not only a much-loved public beach open to all, but also a nesting area for the endangered Caretta-Caretta sea turtle. 

Sea Turtle


the petition to support our protest

All the latest developments

News, Announcements & Interviews


environmental laws are violated with the new construction


residents and visitors are trying to save Pachia Ammos


turtle nests are at risk

David Ben Ivgi
SAVE PACHIA AMMOS BEACH – home to the sea turtle (English version)
David Ben Ivgi

SAVE PACHIA AMMOS BEACH – home to the sea turtle (English version)

Pachia Ammos beach, Stavros, is one of the rare clean and untouched beaches on the north side of Chania. This beautiful natural haven is not only a much-loved public beach, open to all, but it is also a nesting ground for the endangered Carreta carreta sea turtle or loggerhead turtle. Every year, more and more eggs are found and protected on this beach. In the sand, white sea lilies Pancratium maritinum grow, another endangered species. At the north end, there is an archeological site with an ancient quarry, and a petrified forest where rare rhizomes were recently discovered. Now, the municipality of Chania has decided to build a sewage pumping station right on this beach (at point A44) with a surface of 150 sq.m and depth of min. 6 m. This is a serious threat with huge ecological consequences for the sea turtles and for other marine and plant life. And of course for the people living in Stavros and for the visitors coming to enjoy its natural beauty! In case of technical difficulties or power cuts, of which there are many, sewage will end up on the beach, destroying the animal and plant life. The sewage pump station will emit a nasty smell. And it will no longer be a safe spot for the many families who now enjoy the sandy beach and clear water. The plant will also block the walking trail to the archeological zone, an area of public interest. The Environmental Impact Study (EIA) that should be done before such a project has never been shown to the residents of the area and cannot be found. In 1973, the area of Stavros was characterized in as a landscape of exceptional natural beauty, which needs special state protection (Government Gazette 1242 / B / 1973), while the Ecological Initiative of Chania has submitted a request for the area of Stavros to receive candidate status for inclusion in the Natura 2000 Network. Furthermore, the residents of Stavros were never informed or consulted about this project. This is contrary to the Greek legislation of Art. 86 law 3852/2010, and to E.U. laws on information and consultation with the right to exchange views or even objections by institutions and citizens. According to Article 24 of the Constitution, the protection of the natural and cultural environment is an obligation of the State and a right of everyone. The residents and friends of Pachia Ammos believe in the need for a new sewage plant in the area. But they think that this is not the right location for the A44 pumping station. It will destroy a sensitive area of ecological, cultural and social importance. Please sign this petition in support of the protest. And help us save this beautiful and important bay for future generations!
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