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Title: Addendum to environmental impact assessment for the proposed upgrading and redevelopment in Athuruga Resort, South Ari Atoll, Maldives
Authors: Water Solutions
Keywords: Breakwaters
Groyne fields
Coastal protection
Redevelopment projects
Environmental impact assessments
Issue Date: 1-Dec-2009
Citation: Water Solutions. (2009). Addendum to environmental impact assessment for the proposed upgrading and redevelopment in Athuruga Resort, South Ari Atoll, Maldives. Male': Maldives
Abstract: This is an addendum to the EIA submitted in May 2009 for the redevelopment of Athuruga resort in South Ari Atoll. This Addendum highlights the different modification to the initial redevelopment project that was proposed in the EIA report. These includes, deepening the existing entrance channel, undertaking the coastal protection component including construction of the groynes, nourishment of eroded beach and construction of breakwaters, reuse of corals from demolition wastes as an effective waste management strategy and the relocation of the proposed overwater restaurant from the northern side of the walkway jetty to the southern side. The other changes that had been brought to the redevelopment project includes reducing the number of over water bungalows from 25 to 23, reduce the number of house‐keeping huts on the walkway jetty from 3 to 2, not developing the over‐water spa in the southern side of the walkway jetty and changing the reception at the centre of the northern walkway jetty to a bar. The new changes that had been brought to the master plan of the development would decrease the development foot print on the marine environment. The new component that had been included in the redevelopment project is the coastal protection component that was not initially proposed in the original project. Groynes had been built in Athuruga for many years. This has helped to retain the beach and prevent severe erosion of the island. However, since the re‐development project was initially proposed without the coastal protection component, this component has been proposed in this addendum in order to undertake the works as without coastal protection, it would be very challenging to manage erosion. The coastal protection component was not included in the redevelopment project, as the groynes existed on the island and these structures, which were made out of corals and coral rubbles, were moved around depending on the monsoon. Hence, it is proposed to build these groynes field around the island. Since Athuruga has lost large amount of beach, replenishment of sand is required to prevent further erosion and sustainably manage the coastline. The proposed project includes pumping of 6,900 m³ sand to the beach on the western, northern and eastern side of the island. Part of the materials for the beach replenishment would be obtained from the excavated spoil from the channel deepening component of the project. It is also proposed to build a submerged breakwater at the northern and western side of the island. This has been proposed as a additional defence to prevent the continuous erosion that the island endures. The project also proposes to deepen the existing entrance channel which is located on north western side of the island. The channel has become very shallow, causing difficulty for the boats to access the island during low tides. The project is proposed to deepen the existing channel to a depth of 3 meters at low tide. Since coral rubbles on a sandy sea floor is the main benthic substrate found in the existing channel, the channel deepening operations with an excavator is not expected to have a significant impact on the marine environment. The concept of redevelopment is to capture the architectural signature that was originally created at the island. Therefore, with this intention, the new buildings which are constructed with building blocks is being planned to be decorated with a layer of corals that have been recovered in the demolition waste stream. In the original EIA, this issue was not extensively elaborated. Hence, this addendum has included a section which deals with the reuse of the corals in the demolition waste stream. The proposed changes appears justified from an environmental point of view as there are no additional moderate to major impacts on the environment due to the proposed changes.
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