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Plan to stop erosion of Negril's beaches revealed

  • 23-Aug-11 15:37
  • Negril
  • Jamaica Gleaner

Negril is renowned across the world for possessing large beautiful beaches; however, if urgent action is not taken immediately, due to erosion, they could be destroyed within ten years, badly damaging the Jamaica holidays industry.

Plan to stop erosion of Negril's beaches revealed

It is estimated that $25million will be required to save the Negril coastline from the erosion that is currently destroying the much-loved Jamaican beaches. Representatives from Smith Warner International Limited (a global environmental firm) have claimed that the erosion began to affect Negril beaches over twenty years ago and those familiar with the town of Negril have witnessed a receding coastline of roughly one to two metres each year for quite some time. Furthermore, they have reported that the actual quantity of sand being held by the beaches has drastically reduced. This has caused great fear to government, locals and especially the Negril hotels as without the renowned beaches Negril becomes far less of a tourist attraction. It will be of great loss to Jamaica’s tourism industry as those planning on Jamaica holidays will lack the main key incentive to travel to Negril. The state of the beaches will without a doubt affect holidays in Negril and with the resort Negril contributing roughly $500million per year to the Jamaican economy, the erosion of the beach is understandably worrisome.

However, the problems of the receding beach line are not the only environmental issue that are currently affecting Negril. The Negril Environmental Protection Trust has noted the costly effects of the drying up of the morass, which presents issues for the natural ecology of the area and also comes at a cost to the beaches themselves. This is because the sediment rocks and materials that would be deposited onto coral and sea grass have stopped. The depository would have provided a natural barrier to the incoming water and the erosion of the beach that ultimately follows.

Lee Issa an investor in Jamaica hotels has recommended that the government raise the money needed to save the beaches by using the revenues from the bed tax they enforce. As stated earlier the Jamaica holidays industry is a large source of income for the Caribbean country and the current plight of the beaches has prompted Smith Warner to suggest a four stage plan to prevent further erosion across other beaches.

The stages are designed to tackle the problems in both the short and the long term. The first stage will see nourishment being provided for the points at both Long bay and Bloody, with dredging being the technique used. In the second stage breakwaters will be placed south of Long Bay, which will be approximately 400 metres long. In the third and fourth stage of the programme the technique used will be reef extensions.

These four phases are aimed at tackling the eroding of Negril beach in the long run so that Jamaica’s beautiful beaches remain pristine in this popular seaside resort.

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