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LIME commissions study on stabilising Hellshire Beach

Published:Thursday | June 23, 2011 | 12:00 AM

Coastal engineering firm Smith Warner International Ltd has been retained to conduct a comprehensive two-phase study of the Hellshire Beach, St Catherine, funded by telecommunications firm LIME.

The results of the study will be used to develop a solution that will facilitate the formation of an additional 10 to 15 metres of dry beach, stabilise the area and prevent further deterioration.

Speaking during a contract signing ceremony at Hellshire yesterday, LIME Regional Special Projects Manager Stephen Price said: "LIME has a vested interest in the continued development and sustainability of the Hellshire Beach area. Through this effort, we are helping to secure the safety and livelihood of thousands of persons who utilise the beach, including vendors, craftsmen and fishermen."

Hurricane activity

According to Jamel Banton, director at Smith Warner: "Over the past five years, erosion primarily caused by hurricane activity, which is expected to worsen with the effects of global warming, has resulted in a narrowing of the beach by up to 10 metres."

Banton also said that if the existing attrition was not reduced, the shoreline was expected to retreat further inland, thereby lessening the viability of the popular beach area for recreational and commercial activities.

He further urged members of the beach community to do their part in preserving the natural resource by reducing pollution and utilising receptacles for the disposal of solid waste.

The first phase of the study will include an extensive data-gathering exercise on the biological environment and the use of computer models to undertake preliminary engineering analyses.