Coastal con­struc­tions blamed for al­tered wave dy­nam­ics at Bal­luta Bay

The Malta Business Weekly - - NEWS -

The Malta Tourism Au­thor­ity and the Min­istry for Tourism have been ob­serv­ing the ex­pected changes hap­pen­ing at the newly em­bel­lished Bal­luta Bay.

As both en­ti­ties have ex­plained from the very start of this pro­ject, the var­i­ous coastal con­struc­tions present in the bay’s vicini­ties have over the years al­tered wave dy­nam­ics. The beach nour­ish­ment pro­ject is ex­per­i­men­tal and was pur­posely de­signed in or­der to gain un­der­stand­ing on the way such tem­po­rar­ily nour­ished beaches would re­act dur­ing sum­mer and un­der spe­cific storm con­di­tions. The main aim of the pro­ject is to test the fea­si­bil­ity of dredg­ing sand from the same bay, rather than im­port­ing alien sand ma­te­rial from abroad. A sec­ond aim is to test the sta­bil­ity of the nour­ished beach over sum­mer. Thirdly, the sta­bil­ity of the beach over time is ob­served, once the stormy sea­son starts.

The beach has been mon­i­tored on a quasi-daily ba­sis and this will con­tinue over the fol­low­ing weeks and months, so as to ac­quire the nec­es­sary knowl­edge to as­sess the pro­ject in its to­tal­ity. In the com­ing days, the ex­pected storm dam­age will be mon­i­tored and ex­perts will as­sess whether the sand has been de­posited at the bot­tom of the beach slope or lost fur­ther out into the bay. They will also look into the even­tu­al­ity of some of the lost sand be­ing nat­u­rally de­posited once again onto the beach by waves.

Con­sid­er­ing that the swim­ming sea­son is not over yet, the sand will likely be re­lo­cated over the next days so as to fill in the chan­nels formed by the run­ning wa­ter. De­spite the dis­place­ment of sand there is still am­ple sand on the beach. This ver­i­fies the ef­fec­tive­ness of the pro­ject, which has pro­vided an en­larged sandy beach in this highly touris­tic lo­cal­ity.

The bay has been tem­po­rar­ily closed.

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