Heritage Resorts - Stories 2018 - Issue 2 - Page 69

In Mauritius, the beach is a way of
life. It evokes serenity, relaxation,
a radiant glow and the promise of
pleasure. And yet, as in many other
parts of the world, several Mauritian
beaches are under threat. In recent
years, land developments and
climate change have eroded the
island’s coasts. Predictions revealed
the disappearance of our sublime
beaches under water by 2030.
In this light, the management
of the hotels situated on the
Bel Ombre coastline came together
to find alternative solutions that
would safeguard this coastal gem.
Heritage Resorts, Outrigger and
LUX* set up a programme with
marine experts and the communities
concerned. In early 2017, a team of
scientists assessed the Bel Ombre
beach and its lagoon. “Every site is
different,” says Iain Watt, the marine
ecologist who led the research. “It
is essential to carefully study a site
to identify its specific needs and
then, using those findings, develop
targeted actions.”
To stabilise the beach, a basalt
groyne that merges with the
landscape was built at the mouth
of the Citronniers River. Eight
breakwaters were constructed in the
lagoon to reduce the impact of the
waves on the beach, thus reducing
the risk of erosion. A beach recharge
was also carried out to help restore
equilibrium on the beach.
Using one-of-a-kind technology
in Mauritius, this project can’t be
replicated using the exact same
techniques on another site. But
its innovative methodology is an
excellent example of what can be
done to combat erosion.


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