The Spit has been breached 4 times since early in April. The SFPO NPC has been monitoring the Spit over the past year, as we did expect it to eventually breach during these winter storms. We assisted the Municipality with developing an Emergency Plan a year ago in anticipation of the Spit breaching. The Municipality agreed to action the emergency plan. This includes building an emergency revetment along the Spit from the Aldabarra revetment to a point in the vicinity of the Pump House. The Riparians have during this time concentrated on dredging sand onto the northern end of the Spit, while the SFPO NPC focused on completing the EIA submission and preparing for the implementation of the long term coastal protection solution, entailing placing sand on the beach and building groynes.
Breaches of the Spit
The latest breach occurred at the northern end of the emergency revetment that is still under construction. The Municipality will finish the emergency revetment. The first groyne will be placed in the vicinity of the Pump House.
It is important that the Municipality’s contractor closes this breach as quickly as possible, given the high tides we are experiencing around the Equinox (22 September) as it is affecting the properties near the Pump House. The Municipality has reacted quickly to each of these breaches, and have been built some 420 metres of this revetment to-date, with a further 200 metres to complete the revetment.
Long Term Solution : Groyne Field and Sand Nourishment
The long term solution is designed to push back the sea by some 40 metres along its entire length of 2.7 kilometres, and restore our beach as a public amenity. It will provide improved protection to the many beachfront properties that have had to repair and strengthen their revetments over the past couple of years. The long term solution is designed to:
- Restore the beach by pushing the sea back some 40 metres through moving some 1 million cubic metres of sand onto the beach
- Building up and keeping the sand on our beach with the use of groynes. Groynes are not a defence structure but rather a sand retention structure
- Change the role of the revetments from acting as the primary defence, to relying on them as a last line of defence
We will start construction of the long term solution once we have received environmental approval and we have built up sufficient funds to do so.