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Title: Environmental impact assessment : coastal protection at Paradise Island Resort, Kaafu Atoll, Maldives
Authors: Sandcays
Keywords: Coastal protection
Coastal infrastructure
Beach nourishment
Coral mining
Coastal environment
Marine environment
Mitigation measures
Environmental monitoring
Environmental impact assessments
Issue Date: 1-Aug-2010
Citation: Sandcays. (2010). Environmental impact assessment : coastal protection at Paradise Island Resort, Kaafu Atoll, Maldives. Male': Maldives
Abstract: This report addresses the environmental concerns of the proposed coastal protection at Paradise Island Resort located on Lankanfinolhu in North Malé Atoll. The primary objective of the project is to protect the coastal infrastructure of Paradise Island Resort and also enhance the natural environmental of Paradise and to improve the services offered to guests thereby minimizing operational and environmental costs. As such the project encompasses the replenishment of approximately 200m of beach at the arrival jetty and swimming pool area on the western side and about 300m of shoreline on the eastern side at the base of the water villas jetty. Paradise Island is surrounded by a large expanse of lagoon or reef flat on the eastern side and similar but not so great expanse of reef flat and lagoon on the western side. The western side beach is, therefore, much more prone to wave attack than the eastern side. The western side is exposed to wind generated waves during the southwest monsoon while the eastern side is exposed to wind generated waves during the northeast monsoon as well as swells during both monsoons. The eastern side reef flat has recently been subjected to anthropogenic changes during the construction of water villas which were destroyed by the tsunami of 2004 as a result of which the erosion of the eastern beaches at the foot of the water villa jetty has been severed. However, the western side beaches have been a victim of wave-induced erosion during the southwest monsoon for as long as the island existed. Therefore, regular beach nourishment by pumping sand from nearshore areas has helped to keep the beaches intact to some extent. Such frequent beach nourishment creates more sediment suspension and resuspension in the water column causing deterioration of the quality of the main product, which is the natural environment. Continuous beach nourishment would also provide little protection to these eroding areas without structural protection. Shore protection measures have, therefore, been evaluated and most practicable option(s) chosen to protect the eroding areas and minimize the frequency of beach nourishment. The proposed coastal protection structure is a breakwater that would be submerged at high tide. Such a breakwater is expected to provide adequate protection from wave induced erosion on both sides, which is the cause for concern at present. The overall environmental impacts of the project have been assessed using appropriate matrices and the results indicated that the proposed project has a net positive impact. That is, the project has no major adverse impacts on the environment as far as current knowledge is concerned. Given that the project has major socio-economic benefits and some environmental benefits, it is advisable to allow the project to proceed as proposed. It is also recommended to continue to monitor the impacts of the proposed project by regular monitoring of shorelines and nearshore currents for at least two years and communicate and feed the data into the EIA system in the country.
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