NPR.org–An oil rig now floats offshore in one of Europe’s top winter beach destinations — Spain’s Canary Islands. For the first time, Spain has authorized offshore oil drilling there. It’s hoping to reduce its dependence on foreign oil. But the project has prompted massive protests by local residents and environmental groups like Greenpeace.
Julie Genicot is a French trekking guide who’s lived in Lanzarote, one of Spain’s Canary Islands, ever since her grandparents opened an ecolodge there when she was a child. “We have all the elements. It’s very windy, we have tides, the sun. It’s a very energetic place,” she says, looking out her windows across sand dunes in a protected natural park, backed by the Atlantic Ocean. “You have earth, the fire — we’re surrounded by volcanoes. And the wind, the sea — it’s very powerful.”
Every year, millions of tourists come to hike these volcanoes, ride the waves, or just bask in 360-plus days of sunshine. Genicot makes a living from taking tourists on hiking trips around the island’s natural treasures. The whole island is a UNESCO biosphere reserve.
Read more on NPR.org: Sun, Sand and Offshore Drilling in Spain’s Famed Canary Islands