Can Our Beaches Recover from Heavy Erosion? - Caye Caulker just got its new beach and people are loving it, but while San Pedro, Ambergris Caye has benefited from beach reclamation from dredging projects in the past, erosion still proves to be an ongoing problem as development removes protective mangroves and adds unsightly seawalls. Evidence of long standing beach erosion is clear on most of the beaches in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye Belize.
And its these seawalls that Ms. Carianne Johnson from the Pan American Development Fund (PADF) indicates are major culprits of further erosion of our beaches. She, along with Mr. Keith Nichols from the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (CCCCC) arrived on the island on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 to conduct a visual assessment of the erosion that is highly affecting our beaches. They were accompanied by Deputy Mayor Gary Greif who gave them a tour of the island.
Currently, the San Pedro Town Council is looking into investing in a beach reclamation project that would extend the beach up to a possible 15 to 20 feet from the existing shoreline; however, the Town Council believes that the necessary investigations and studies need to be done in order to avoid the further damage of the beach.
Although dredging is a quick fix to the problem and instantly adds esthetics to the beach areas, the San Pedro Town Council is looking into further projects that will slow down the process of beach erosion and the long term goal of naturally building the beach back.
A further study will be carried out to identify the various causes and possible solutions to the problem and how the Town Council along with the community can contribute to help alleviate this situation.
Mr. Nichols and Ms. Johnson mentioned that global warming is a major factor that is increasing the risk of erosion in many countries. An observation that Mr. Nichols pointed out was that the vehicles that are trafficking the beach are causing damage to the existing beach and contributing to the erosion.
Deputy Mayor Gary Greif joins Carianne Johnson of Pan American Develpment Fund and Keith Nichols of Caribbean Communiyt Climate Change Center in assessing beach erosion conditions on Ambergris Caye