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Sep 6, 2023

Using Sargassum to Restore Beaches

We discovered today that, ironically, the same sargassum that is responsible for so much of the erosion that occurs along shorelines can be used to also restore those affected beachfronts. News Five took a tour of a portion of a beach restoration project that the San Pedro Town Council has introduced to restore the area to a beautiful walkway where people once chose to relax. As San Pedro Mayor, Wally Nunez and Biodiversity Scientist, Valentine Rosado explained to us today, trial and error proved successful for the San Pedro Town Council, and some consultation with the wider community. Now the hope is that more people would adopt the idea to restore their beachfronts.


Wally Nunez

Wally Nunez, Mayor, San Pedro

“We’re doing some testing of how the beach berm is created and putting some different vegetation in the area that would hold the sand and help it with the erosion and it has proven that it has worked. And we have that area and we have another area here by Fido’s where it is also working. We want to fast-track a little bit on how we want to build the beaches. We have also contacted some of the NGOs here so that they’re aware of what we are planning to do and not bring in large dredge and just dredge the area and pump sand to the beach, but come up with a proper plan, so that when we put sand on the beach and we restore the area, it is not easily washed away. We’re coming with a plan and we’re coming as more nature based solutions.”


Valentine Rosado

Valentine Rosado, Biodiversity Scientist

“We were able to identify no-impact sand. This is not sand that was dredged from anywhere. This is sand where you had buildings already at this location, they were excavated to rebuild, and we were able to access this sand that matches the grade of this beach, right? And we put it high up above the berm. And important, the sand is going to wash away. When the storms come, that’s the way a beach functions, right? But it was important to introduce some of these island native plants that help to stabilize this sand. So, since November of last year, they have been serving that function. And we’re trying to use some of the good Sargasso that are highly calcareous and have a lot of sand in it. We’re putting it way high up above and below, and we’re using some of the beach sand to cover it up and introduce some of those plants. The plants that we’re using here, at first glance, they might just look like grass. But we’re very specific about the species that we’re using. These are native species that have a function in stabilizing the beach. We are also introducing several of them that have some pretty flowers because it needs to add to the aesthetics, if not, it just looks like bush. It also needs to be trimmed and hedged and we need signage as well. A lot of the people that live in this area are already understanding because they’re seeing how it’s functioning. They’re seeing how it’s benefiting the beach, right? So there’s been a lot of awareness that had to be done as well.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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