Jamaica to Receive State of the Art Coastal Erosion Monitoring Tower

Well, it’s probably far too late for our beloved and once popular Hellshire Beach, but the Sandy Shorelines of the Caribbean Project is a welcome development for the region. Coastal erosion, especially on the south coast of Jamaica, remains a huge problem. There are several factors, including rising sea levels, and more storms, due to climate change. In the case of Hellshire, a cluster of human activity-related factors have also contributed to the disappearance of the beach. The coral reef I remember seeing in the 1980s when I used to visit it is now completely gone. I need to obtain more information about the Government’s “ongoing efforts to monitor and rehabilitate the Hellshire Community.”

A footnote: This is not only a problem for the Caribbean. A very recent global study of the world’s beaches by NASA and published in Nature magazine concludes that 24 percent of Earth’s sandy shorelines are eroding, including many in marine protected areas. However, some beaches are increasing slightly. For your information, Africa has the largest percentage of sandy beaches (66 percent).

Here is the press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade: 

A recent photograph of Hellshire Beach, which actually no longer exists, courtesy of Loop Jamaica.


August 15, 2018

The Association of Caribbean States (ACS), the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), and the Korean Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) are working with Jamaica for the second phase of evaluation for the implementation of the “Impact Assessment of Climate Change on the Sandy Shorelines of the Caribbean Project.”

The project was discussed during the visit of a  joint delegation of the three entities from 7th to 10th August 2018. The project, which is an initiative of the ACS, is valued at US$4 million and is being funded by the Republic of Korea, through the KOICA, with specialized technical assistance from the Government of Cuba.

The objective is to establish a regional network for coastal erosion monitoring, geared towards understanding how climate change affects our region’s beaches. Detailed erosion monitoring is particularly important to climate change adaptation, and is necessary for sustainable long-term coastal protection solutions. Without such data, proposed engineering solutions sometimes exacerbate existing erosion problems. The data and models produced by this project will also help to build the case for the provision of climate finance to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as Jamaica.

The project will, among other things, see the erection of an erosion monitoring tower for the Hellshire Beach in Portmore, given the dire state of coastal erosion in that area. This is historic, as Jamaica will be the first in the region to receive such a monitoring tower.

Other countries receiving support include Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago.

The Government of Jamaica, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and the High Commission of Jamaica in Port of Spain accredited to the ACS, has expressed full commitment to this project which is expected to provide significant capacity building support in terms of shoreline monitoring. It will also complement the Government’s ongoing efforts to monitor and rehabilitate the Hellshire Community, and other parts of the island in need of shoreline replenishment.

The Sandy Shorelines project will be implemented through the Climate Change Division of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation (MEGJC), the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA), and the Urban Development Commission (UDC).

 Contact: The Public Relations & Media Affairs Unit at Tel: 926-3740 ext 3420-3421.

Many sandy beaches, like this one in the Mariana Islands, Guam, are undergoing change, and scientists are using satellites to track global trends of growth and erosion.
Photo credits: NOAA/David Burdick



6 thoughts on “Jamaica to Receive State of the Art Coastal Erosion Monitoring Tower

  1. welll it took long enough for me to get back to this post, but it’s been on the screen since you posted it! this raises awareness, and it would be great if all coastal regions could implement something like this.. if for no other reason than to acknowledge, ‘what’s been lost.’

    i’m looking at the news about the hurricane approaching hawaii and wish to have more time online to see what the world climate is doing this week..


    1. Well, I have rather mixed feelings about it. But certainly we need to record more accurate data. We have a dearth of data in Jamaica, and that’s probably true of many developing countries. It doesn’t help us plan for things like climate change… (Poor Hawaii!)


      1. I am just now back online, and have ‘refreshed’ the weather/hawaii page to see what’s happened in my two days’ absence.
        While at home, I read and then saved your book review post.. goodness me, what an amazing summary — if no one else appreciated it, i did! i’ve read a lot of the books on your list, but there are many that i now look forward to reading. thank you – if i’m unable to get to that post to comment, i will soon!


      2. Thank you so much, Lisa! Your comments always cheer me up. I am glad you are enjoying my book reviews. I love doing them. Still have more to post…plus another film review, hopefully today! Do take care. (I think Hawaii just got tons of rain…)


      3. ha.. i’ve been bogged down with emails and have not checked the news yet.. nicaragua news via email made me cry … thanks for the sneak peek on the hawaii news.
        honestly, i marveled at how much work you put into each review – and the work to put it in the post – not to mention all the other things you juggle! whew, you get a zillion gold stars!


      4. Why thank you! I am starry-eyed now!! Haha. Thanks so much for your kind comments. Nicaragua news is so sad, but people don’t seem to care… It’s awful.


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