[Press Release] The Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) wishes to inform the public that the restoration of sand dunes within the Sandy Beach area continues during the course of this week. Sand dunes are mounts, hills or ridges of sand that lie behind the part of the beach affected by tides. Sand dunes and beach systems interact and are constantly undergoing small adjustments in response to changes in wind and wave climate or sea level. As such, dunes are able to supply sediment to the beach when it is needed in times of erosion, or store it when it is not.
Natural sand dunes are an effective defense against coastal flooding and erosion. However, the problem of sand dunes degradation arises in wide, sandy beaches such as those located in the Pointe Sable Environmental Protection Area (PSEPA). As such, natural sand dunes are in decline due to increased coastal erosion caused by sea level rise, coastal development high energetic wave events, and human impacts including sand mining, removal of vegetative cover and compaction of sand by vehicles.
Noting the importance of sand dunes as a coastal protection measure the SLNT was able to secure funding to implement some remedial measures determined to contribute to maintaining the vital ecosystem function of this natural feature. The construction and rehabilitation of sand dunes on Sandy Beach is at an advanced stage. Sand sediment (in this case from dredged sources off the beach) have been deposited at strategic points along the beach and reshaped into dune like structures which should ‘catch’ more sand and naturally extend over time. The next step will be to vegetate these dunes which add an extra layer of fortification. The restoration of sand dunes within the Sandy Beach area is also preparatory work for the revegetation phase of the project.
The rehabilitation exercise which commenced on May 5th has the strong backing of the Vieux Fort Town Council and is part of a comprehensive coastal stabilization project to address coastal degradation within PSEPA. This project is being implemented by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and funded by the German Development Bank (KfW) under a Local Adaptation Measures (LAMS) Grant Scheme.