Beach erosion continues to cause concern

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Senior Department of Marine and Coastal Resources officials state that erosion of local beaches has accelerated, as shown here at the Dusit curve in North Pattaya.  More studies are being done, when many feel it is time for action instead of words.

Chonburi officials ponder beach erosion problems

Shocked by erosion rates that have doubled over the past few years, Chonburi Department of Marine and Coastal Resources officials, working under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, are drafting new plans to protect the province’s coastline.

Senior Department of Marine and Coastal Resources officials state that erosion of local beaches has accelerated, as shown here at the Dusit curve in North Pattaya.  More studies are being done, when many feel it is time for action instead of words.Senior Department of Marine and Coastal Resources officials state that erosion of local beaches has accelerated, as shown here at the Dusit curve in North Pattaya.  More studies are being done, when many feel it is time for action instead of words.

At a Nov. 5 hearing at the Sun Beach Hotel in Najomtien, DMCR Senior Director Suthilak Rawiwan said 24 of Chonburi’s 171 kilometers of coastline have suffered erosion, with normal rates of 800 meters per year. However, since 2006, erosion has accelerated to 1.6 kilometers per year.

DMCR Senior Director Suthilak Rawiwan. DMCR Senior Director Suthilak Rawiwan.

“Therefore, Chonburi has decided to rush to solve the problem by opting for integrated management of the coast by having an agreement signed by the relevant private and public agencies to draft a strategy to solve the issue together,” Suthilak said.

Pattaya representative Anuwat Laothongkhum said the city has seen severe erosion of its main tourist attraction, noting beaches that previously were 35 meters wide have shrunk to just 7.8 meters (at high tide). Left unabated, erosion will wipe out the Pattaya’s beaches within five years, he said.

Anuwat explained the city has joined with the provincial Marine Department to hire consultants from Chulalongkorn University to draft a beach-restoration plan. Work on that plan, however, ground to a halt when Rayong Province barred Pattaya’s contractor from taking any more replacement sand from a river there.