Tuesday, June 25, 2024

SPTC’s beach restoration project showing significant progress


Under the collaborative leadership of Mayor Gualberto ‘Wally’ Nuñez, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) is spearheading a nature-based beach restoration project. This initiative, aimed at addressing decades of man-made impacts on the beach, is a testament to the current administration’s commitment to protect the shoreline. With the invaluable guidance of science advisor Guadalupe “Valentine” Rosado and other experts, SPTC focuses on restoring native island plants to stabilize the beach and gain a deeper understanding of sediment movement along the shoreline. The project also emphasizes using smart and sustainable strategies for beach nourishment, reflecting the collective responsibility towards the environment.
In a recent interview, Rosado shed light on the positive changes the project is bringing. He explained that previous methods used to protect the shoreline were inadvertently causing more erosion. For instance, while a significant part of the tourism industry, coconut trees contributed to erosion by making the sand loose and outcompeting other native plants. “Our project, in addition to its environmental goals, is also focused on building partnerships with scientists and universities. This collaborative effort is not only improving the climate resilience of the island but also setting a positive example for neighboring islands, instilling a sense of hope and optimism in our local community.”
The project has involved extensive public consultation, and the public understands that dredging is not the best practice on the island. Additionally, the council has plans for artisanal mining, focusing on only using small plots for boat access and following low-impact guidelines. Sand mined from these sources will be placed on the beach and not sold or taken away by dredging companies.

The nature-based project began in December of 2022, establishing successful demonstration sites. The San Pedro Town Council’s top priority is safeguarding the nearshore seagrass shoals as the second line of defense against high-wave action, focusing on natural and safe strategies to improve the beach shoreline.
For further updates and details on this project, you can visit https://www.facebook.com/SPtowncouncil/.

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