Informacion economica sobre Cuba

More than 400 Cuban beaches affected by erosion

Published August 27, 2012


A total of 413 Cuban beaches show some signs of erosion, with the

coastline retreating at an estimated rate of 1.2 meters (3 feet 11

inches) per year, according to a recent scientific study released Monday

by official media.

Scientists from more than a dozen institutions took part in a long-term

study of potential coastal vulnerability with a view toward the years

2050 and 2100, which forecast the situation at beaches including those

at the Varadero resort, the most famous on the Caribbean island, an

article in the Communist Party daily Granma said.

The head of the Coastal Processes Department of the Oceanology

Institute, Jose Luis Juanes, said that in many cases the determining

cause of erosion may be described as unhelpful human activities.

Erosion is seen today at around 84 percent of the beaches from one end

of Cuba to the other.

Among the types of human intervention that cause erosion, the researcher

noted the removal of sand for different uses, the incorrect location of

docks and breakwaters at the entrance to canals, as well as construction

on areas of natural sand dunes.

Another factor contributing to this eating away of beaches is the impact

of storm surges during extreme weather events.

In that sense he noted that the studies carried out show how, during

powerful hurricanes, coastal flooding begins to swallow up the dunes at

several points.

He said that this process causes sand to be shifted to interior lagoons

and as a result leaves the coastline with significant structural changes.

The article also said that solutions applied to protect the coastline

include the replacement of sand, and as an example cited the case of

Varadero, where since 1987 some 2.9 million cubic meters (102 million

cubic feet) of sand have been deposited on different stretches along its

20 kilometers (12 miles) of beaches. EFE

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