It’s now 2016 and yet nothing has been done to address the problem of Beach erosion as pointed out by the UNEP study (Matthews, 2010, March 17) in 2010.
According to that study, titled “Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Methodology Development Project (RiVAMP) — The Case of Jamaica”, beaches in Negril have been receding at a rate of 0.5m to 1 meter per year.
So says the Head of the Early Warning Unit, UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme)/Division of Early Warning and Assessment/GRID-Europe, Pascal Peduzzi. At that rates, all beaches in Jamaica would disappear by 2025, give or take five (5) years!
So what exactly does the Study say?
RiVAMP – The Case of Jamaican Beach Erosion
The study, done over a 40 year period, also suggest that the same level of Beach erosion may be occurring at other beaches around the island, such as Hellshire Beach (Wilson, 2015, July 19) and Treasure Beach (Shields, 2016, January 11).
According to the UNEP, human activity was the main cause of beach erosion, particularly:
- Bad environmental Practices
- Bad building practices
- Illegal dumping of pollutants in the sea
- Death of sea grass due to pollution
- Bleaching of Coral reefs
The bad building practices include the removal of sand (McCaulay, 2016, January 19) from the beaches, often done by unscrupulous hoteliers seeking to avoid paying for sand elsewhere.
Illegal dumping of pollutants in the sea is killing sea grass and causing the bleaching of Coral (Deer, 2016, June 11), now said to be undergoing the largest Global Coral Bleaching event that started in August 2016.
The destruction of the mangroves to burn coal and pollution death of the seagrass is already displacing Crabs (Deer, 2016, June 14), which have now begun to run further inland to mate, frightening the residents of Rocky Point Beach on the South Coast of Clarendon as well as Milk River.
What’s worse, this may become a more common place event, as the crabs have nowhere else to spawn. Parrotfish, necessary for the buildup of Sand on the beach as well as the maintenance of the Coral Reef (Deer, 2014, July 12) are being eaten by Lionfish and humans, thus making it harder to reverse Beach erosion in the long term.
With Rainforest Seafoods refusing to sell Parrotfish and collaborating with the UWI AHML (University of the West Indies Alligator Head Marine Lab) to breed more Parrotfish as part of conservation efforts (Deer, 2016, July 17), this is the closest thing to an outright ban (Deer, 2016, May 12) on eating Parrotfish.
Breakwater Project Dead – Beach Erosion means shoreline to disappear by 2025
As for methods of stopping the erosion of the beaches via using a breakwater (Banton, Smith, 2016, March 29), things have taken a turn for the worst.
That JA$1 billion project first proposed by the PIOJ (Planning Institute of Jamaica) and NEPA (National Environment and Planning Agency) (The Jamaica Gleaner, 2016, August 9) and long promised by Government Ministers such as Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation Daryl Vaz (The Jamaica Observer, 2016, March 24), has been scrapped (Barrett, 2016, July 13).
So with the beaches continuing to erode, even if the public eventually gets access to them (Deer, 2016, February 3), they’ll be little left of them to enjoy. Fishermen, already seeing the end, have already begun to seek to get out of fishing (Cooke, 2015, September 6) as the end of life at the Beach is coming by 2025.
- Matthews, K. (2010, March 17). Jamaica’s beaches in danger, says UN expert. Retrieved from http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Beach-erosion-danger_7485263
- Deer, L. (2014, July 12). How Parrotfish and Sea Urchins ban saves Coral Reef, Beaches and US$3 billion Jamaican Tourism. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2014/07/saving-us3-billion-jamaican-tourism.html
- Wilson, N. (2015, July 19). Beach blues! – Hellshire operators hunting millions as shoreline inches closer to cookshops. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20150719/beach-blues-hellshire-operators-hunting-millions-shoreline-inches
- Cooke, M. (2015, September 6). Fisherman Pushes For Transferable Skills – Pollution, Beach Erosion Threaten Livelihood. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20150906/fisherman-pushes-transferable-skills-pollution-beach-erosion-threaten
- Shields, A. (2016, January 11). Tales of erosion at Treasure Beach. Retrieved from http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Tales-of-erosion-at-Treasure-Beach_48336
- McCaulay, D. (2016, January 19). Diana McCaulay: Why Moving Sand From Negril Matters. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/commentary/20160119/diana-mccaulay-why-moving-sand-negril-matters
- Deer, L. (2016, February 3). JA$250 million TPDCO’s Beach Upgrade Programme sees Lyssons Beach and Marking Stone become Public Beaches. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/ja250-million-tpdcos-beach-upgrade-programme-sees-lyssons-beach-and-marking-stone-become-public-beaches/
- The Jamaica Observer. (2016, March 24). Vaz: Negril breakwater issue a priority for Gov’t. Retrieved from http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Vaz–Negril-breakwater-issue-a-priority-for-Gov-t_55505
- Banton, J., Smith, D. (2016, March 29). The Negril Breakwater Controversy. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/commentary/20160329/negril-breakwater-controversy
- Deer, L. (2016, May 12). How a Parrotfish Ban with Lionfish replacement will save Coral Reefs. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2016/05/Parrotfish-Ban-Lionfish-Coral-Reefs.html
- Deer, L. (2016, June 11). Why NOAA Caribbean Coral Reef Watch prediction of Coral Reef Bleaching requires ParrotFish Ban. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2016/06/NOAA-Caribbean-Coral-Reef-Watch-coral-bleaching-2016.html
- Deer, L. (2016, June 14). Crab Invasion in Rocky Point, Clarendon connected to Dying Mangroves and Coral Reefs. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/crab-invasion-2016/
- Barrett, L. (2016, July 13). Scrapped – Gov’t Pulls Plug On Controversial $1-Billion Negril Breakwater Project. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20160713/scrapped-govt-pulls-plug-controversial-1-billion-negril-breakwater
- Deer, L. (2016, July 17). How $1.25 million Rainforest Seafoods and UWI AHML FAD’s will protect ParrotFish, Coral Reef and Tourism. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2016/07/Rainforest-Seafoods-UWI-AHML-FAD-ParrotFish.html
- The Jamaica Gleaner. (2016, August 9). Negril Breakwater Alternatives Seminar Organisers Disappointed With Gov’t Agencies. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20160809/negril-breakwater-alternatives-seminar-organisers-disappointed-govt-agencies