The Champalimaud family has a legacy of concern and know-how for protecting the rich, native environment and very sensitive ecosystem of Quinta da Marinha.
From the beginning, it was decided to submit to an environmental certification program. Much of the planning of the golf course involved protection of endangered plant species, maintenance of wildlife habitat (and their migration routes), nesting sites and food sources. Therefore, nearly half of the property remains in undeveloped natural areas, with golf holes connected by green corridors for movement of wildlife through the three dominant plant communities: wooded, open, and sand dune areas. Because of its proximity to open dune areas, vegetated valleys, and the Atlantic coast, the Oitavos property plays an important role in the overall biological integrity of the local ecosystem. A major focus of habitat management for the site was to remove invasive plants, such as Acacia and iceplant, and revegetate with native vegetation primarily grown onsite or moved from disturbed areas. Verbascum litigisum and Armenia welwitschii, endangered species of plants, have been used to revegetate the sand dunes.
As a result, shortly after it opened, Oitavos Dunes was named a Certified Gold Audubon Signature Sanctuary, the highest designation awarded by Audubon International's Signature Sanctuary Program, golf's strictest and most prestigious environmental management program.
Oitavos Dunes became the first course in Europe and second in the world to boast Gold Signature Sanctuary status.
View our original certification letter achnowledging Audubon International's Certified Gold Signature Sanctuary certification, as well as a 2007 follow up relative to the use of buggies at Oitavos Dunes.
Throughout the golf course we have placed sixteen educational boards explaining Audubon’s Internationals’ ongoing work at Oitavos Dunes.