COASTAL CARE "BEACH OF THE MONTH": A MODEL OF SMALL COMMUNITY, BEACH LOSS, WRONG RESPONSES

Published: Tuesday, 20 August 2019 Print Email

Beach of the month SANTA VERONICA BEACH

 The CCMS AC member Nelson Rangel-Buitrago is the main author of a recent study on Santa Veronica beach, Atlantico, Caribbean coast, Colombia, published in Coastal Care website, feature Beach of the Month.

Santa Veronica is one of numerous recreational beach developments along Colombia’s Caribbean Coast most sharing a similar history of shoreline retreat, perceived as shoreline erosion, and the attempt to hold the shoreline in place through the use of shore-hardening structures.

The region’s coast currently is an emerging tourist destination for both Colombians and international visitors. The attractive landscape, good weather conditions, and the increased capacity for the practice of adventure sports are major attractors for this area. The village beach a prime attraction for tourism development, but this development apparently has overlooked some other aspects of the environment and climate that offset the ‘paradise’ of Sand-Sea-Sun attractors.

Every year seasonal changes to the beach profile, although natural, are a severe problem to Santa Veronica inhabitants. Because there is no room to accommodate the shoreline advance, the kiosks and other buildings of the coastal squeeze are threatened by erosion or flooding. These seasonal and regular changes produce beach narrowing and inundation, deterioration of scenic quality, and loss financial investments resulting in seasonal construction of hard-protection structures that basically have little or no functionality, and ultimately contribute to both more beach loss and wasted finances. This squeeze of beach and the associated line of losing structures has become an obstacle hindering the economic growth of the village.

“The managed/planned retreat option seems an inevitable solution and probably the most appropriate solution for the human settlement at Santa Veronica as well as much of Colombia’s coast… ”

N.Rangel-Buitrago, A. Gracia & W. Neal

Access the full study here!

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