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From The Archives: Beaches disappear


Marva Cossy

From The Archives: Beaches disappear

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BARBADOS IS NOW FACED with a multimillion dollar beach erosion problem.

And today a leading Caribbean beach morphologist is expected to arrive in the island to monitor the situation.

The problem is mainly confined to the East and South coasts where erosion has been described by local authorities as a threat to the country’s ecology.

At one of the affected areas, the beach near Sam Lord’s Castle, a large portion of land has now become an island to itself.

On this piece of land a fully grown casuarina (mile) tree has remained implanted intact.

Local officials are very concerned about the increasing erosion and said yesterday: “We are trying to cope with the problem but it would cost the government millions of dollars. So, we have had to apply to governments abroad for advice.”

It was added that although the problem is not island-wide it would have to be tackled on a national basis.

Beach morphologist Dr. Brian Bird has been brought in at Bellairs Institute to carry out a study into the problem.

Earlier this year a study was carried out on such erosion which had been evident for many years but was now reaching a severe state.

Local officials are now looking forward to the months of January and February with dread.

It is during that period that the worst erosion is likely to occur with two seasonal ocean movements expected which will bring extraordinarily high tides to the island.

A few weeks ago a number of coconut trees which graced the Worthing beach front disappeared completely when they were uprooted and washed out to sea by the tides.

Heavy rains recently have also contributed to the state of erosion. One of the areas affected as a result is Bathsheba where large areas of sand were washed out to sea by gullies which “came down like rivers”.

Consett Bay, St John is also seriously affected.

Meanwhile the aborted construction of a jetty at the Coast Guard Station in Christ Church has also been named as an added reason for erosion in that area.

The official added that it is an enormous subject which is under examination by several agencies in the Caribbean and outside.

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