Safety First

Sunday, October 01, 2006

What Beach Erosion?

An interesting letter to the editor appeared in the Advocate recently commenting on the beach erosion "problem" in Barbados offering a perspective very similar to the one espoused here under the title "Dynamic Mullins Bay:"

Beach erosion not new to Barbados
Web Posted - Wed Sep 27 2006
I read with great interest the various news events impacting Barbados and if permitted I would like to comment on Allison Ramsay's article appearing in this newspaper of September 25, 2006, titled, "The problem of beach erosion."

Beach erosion is not new to Barbados, especially on the South Coast, because I remember as a child 60 years ago, because of it, brick walls had to be constructed to save the old Sandy Beach Guest House owned at that time by the late A.E. Taylor and other guest houses in the immediate area. I am told that a part of the old Sandy Beach brick wall is still there.

In addition, beach erosion also occurred at Accra beach when I lived next door to that facility, which back then was only a small guest house owned by the Brooks family. Take as another example the beaches and reefs at Cattlewash and Bathsheba, they change almost weekly and have done so for decades. There are many things involving the creator's work that we may never get answers to.

Beach erosion, however, were cyclical in nature and in my time no one paid any attention to it, knowing that as mysteriously as the erosion started it was but a temporary situation and would eventually correct itself. Today, our younger generation tend to read too much into these things because of information, much of which is unproven, about global warming, rising water levels etc., being blamed for everything under the sun, including "beach erosion."

In Canada and the USA right now a study is underway to try and determine what is causing water levels in some of the Great Lakes to be mysteriously and rapidly falling while in others the opposite is true. Nature is very complex and does not easily give up its secrets.

I suggest that the beach erosion in Barbados is as it was decades ago "benign" and when nature is ready, the situation will be corrected as mysteriously as it started. It always did!

T.D. Allamby
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