A beach nourishment project is underway to enhance the beauty of ‘de strip,’ located in the Frigate Bay area.
The land side of the revitalisation project at Frigate Bay.

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – A beach nourishment project to enhance the beauty of ‘de strip,’ located in the Frigate Bay area has been embarked upon by the Team Unity Government of St. Kitts and Nevis.

“The beach nourishment project is a project conducted by two local contractors, Rock and Dirt, which is doing the land side of the project, and St. Kitts Marine Works which is doing the seaside of the project,” said Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Lindsay Grant, during the Prime Minister’s Monthly Press Conference on January 14.

“We have actively engaged with Smith-Warner out of Jamaica for the last three years whereby they did the necessary groundwork in determining exactly what the beach nourishment project should be,” explained Hon. Grant. “After Smith-Warner finished their work in terms of the project, we then engaged the marine brothers who are two young marine engineers in St. Kitts to further the project.”

“The project is costing us in the region of $6 million, which involves putting in groynes and breakwaters at the Frigate Bay to make the beach enhanced,” he said.

A groyne is a relatively long and narrow coastal defence structure, orientated at approximately right angles to the shoreline. Groynes control the natural alongshore beach movement of material caused by wave’s action and tidal currents.

A breakwater, however, is defined as a large concrete or stone barrier built from the coast out into the sea to protect the beach or harbour from large waves.

“At this point, we are about three months away from completion,” said Grant. “We met up with a challenge. When we went to the bottom of the ocean there were some reef remains. We had to go back to the drawing board with the marine engineers to determine what to do.”

“Having sorted that out over the holiday period, both on the landside and the seaside contractors are now engaged,” he said. “One of the groynes has been completed and the other groin is expected to begin in the next two weeks. Then that happen we are going to pump sand from an area outside in the sea which we have found back into the Frigate Bay area.”

Eight thousand cubic meters of sand are expected to be pumped during this process.

“The effect with the groynes, the breakwaters and the sand coming in should ensure the beach sand is retained,” explained Grant. “We will have a much wider beach and much more appealing and pleasant. The goal is to see the economics of it returning to the strip owners and bar owners in the Frigate Bay area.

“We hope this will mean that the sand will not be removed again when there are heavy sea movements,” he concluded.

A barge dredges underwater sand.