Malta Independent

Plans to re-nourish third beach, in Birżebbuġa

- ■ Kevin Schembri Orland

The Malta Tourism Authority has applied for a permit to conduct a pilot experiment­al project to renourish a sandy beach at St George’s Bay, Birżebbuġa, using sand found on the seabed within the same bay.

The applicant is Gavin Gulia, who is the Malta Tourism Authority’s executive chairman. The proposed beach extension is for 637 square metres.

It is unclear at this stage whether the exact same method employed at Balluta Bay will be employed here; however, the general idea seems to be the same. The Balluta project only saw shortterm success, however, given that the sand was slowly dragged out to sea by winter storms. As part of the Balluta Bay extension project, the MTA had decided to collect sand already on the sea bed, rather than import it.

Recently, the Times of Malta reported that Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi had described the cost of the Balluta project as worthwhile, given that people enjoyed the beach in the summer months. He is also reported as having said that the cost and investment was not massive and that the government would be replenishi­ng the bay on a yearly basis, with longer-term solutions being considered. The report also stated that the cost is €80,000 a year.

In addition to these two projects, a third is also planned for St Thomas Bay in Marsascala.

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