St Barts Beach :: Bringing the Sand Back to St Jeans Beach

St Barts Beach :: St Jeans Beach Revitalization Project
Photo Courtesy of :: stjeanbay.blogspot.com

st jeans project

st jeans project beach

After two major hurricanes, Luis and Lenny, hit the St Barts Beaches, there is one side of St Jeans Beach that has never fully recovered.  The problem has been exasperated by hotel owners along the beach that have built stone walls along the shore; these are designed to retain the sand that is behind them, but it ends up accelerating the sand loss on the beach because when the waves crash in to them, the recede harder and faster, which carries more sand back to the water.  Even after an attempt in 2000 to add sand back to the beach, it remains less than desireable.

Now, the beach is finally getting some sand back.

A project launched in October by the hotel association in collaboration with the local government, who see it as the first step in a much larger plan to protect the bay of Saint Jean.  The plan requires that the volume of sand dredged could not be less than 30,000 cubic meters.  The goal of this new plan is to return the sand to the beach AND to remove excess sand from the coral reef.  The who operation should be completed by the end of this month.

If necessary, a second dredging operating may be planned for the spring, in order to bring in another 30,000 cubic meters of sand to the beach, as the total volume of the sand that is missing is estimaged to be between 60,000 and 80,000 cubic meters.

Although the governement is involved in this project, it did not receive public funding, so the hotel association is continuing to try and procure funding as the project goes along.  Each cubic meter of sand costs 9 Euros; bringing the total cost of the project to 270,000 euros.  If you want to check out a description of the project, along with photos, can be found here. Small disclaimer…..the site is in French.