via Cayman News Service

CI - Structures Need Moving to Save Seven Mile Beach

The disappearance of chunks of Seven Mile Beach in the recent stormy weather has focused public attention on the erosion of the famous stretch of sand, and this slow moving problem is getting worse.

Experts here are warning that some tough decisions about shifting back buildings and other hard structures must be made to save Seven Mile Beach and the time to make them is now.

Department of Environment experts say the dramatic movement of sand following the recent storms is not necessarily “lost” sand because some of it has simply been redistributed. Shifting sand is nothing new, after all, but the problem is that climate change, rising sea levels and over development are now combining to cause shrinking sand.

The DoE has warned that, in the long run, saving the beach will require a “managed retreat”, in other words structures will have to be taken down and rebuilt much further back.

The department has recently completed a study on the long-term behaviour of Seven Mile Beach, which has been the subject of research here stretching back to the mid 1970s. As a result, the DoE experts know a great deal about the jewel in Grand Cayman’s crown.

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