Sand beach protection starts in Pattaya

Sand beach protection starts in Pattaya

Pattaya beach is under repair and will be a model for efforts to deal with coastal erosion nationwide. (Photo by Nattapol Lovakij)
Pattaya beach is under repair and will be a model for efforts to deal with coastal erosion nationwide. (Photo by Nattapol Lovakij)

Environment officials have begun discussions on ways to prevent the country from losing many of its most popular beaches to erosion over the next decade and have started the fight against Mother Nature with Pattaya.

Officials responsible for coastal protection met at the Transport Ministry in Bangkok on Wednesday to discuss the issue.

Deputy Transport Minister Ormsin Chivapruck said beach erosion was occurring nationwide and without a solution the country would lose its beaches in ten years.

Conservation efforts have started along Pattaya beach, which has shrank from 35 metres wide to just a few metres, he said.

The present solution was to dump sand along beaches in the manner that would not have an environmental impact, Mr Ormsin said.

Marine Joint Venture Co was hired for 429 million baht to reclaim Pattaya beach over a distance of 2.8 kilometres from North Pattaya to South Pattaya. The work is set to finish next year.

The reclamation covers 100-metre-long sections at a time to prevent any impacts on tourism and the environment.

The work along Pattaya beach was a model for similar efforts at other beaches, Mr Ormsin said.

A similar project costing 300 million baht was occurring at Chalatas beach in Songkhla province to reclaim a few kilometres of the coast. The mission was set to be completed in two years.

Sorasak Saensombat, director-general of the Marine Department, said beach reclamation in Pattaya would stretch 35 metres from coastal buildings towards the sea, and sand addition should recur every five years afterwards.

Thailand's coasts stretch for about 3,000 kilometres in 23 provinces, comprising 2,000km in the Gulf of Thailand and 1,000km facing the Andaman Sea.

About 670km is being eroded severely by five metres annually. Buildings were constructed to protect 147km of the coasts.

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