Secretary of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment Kwesi Des Vignes said his division is seeking to help the island become climate change resilient.
At Wednesday’s post Executive Council media briefing held virtually, DesVignes said coastal zone management is one of the main areas of concern.
“We are significantly inundated with rising sea levels – it has significantly impacted our coastline.”He said the Coastal Zone Management Unit continues to work assiduously, “even throughout the raging pandemic to ensure that we can address some of the pressing issues that we are facing today.”
He said the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) has been partnering with international agencies as well as the Coastal Protection Unit of the Ministry of Works.
He said the division is currently engaged in coastal work at the Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort, where a lot of effort is being put to protect the infrastructure there.
He said an arrangement with from the Latin American Bank, CAF, is also being looked at to specifically tackle the Parlatuvier and Little Tobago jetties.
“The reality is: while our tourism sector is not yet as buoyant as we want it to be, we are putting in the investment to ensure we protect our tourism assets...We’ve seen where although breakwater systems have been installed at Magdalena, you’ve seen where there has been increased coastal activity in that area and as such we are in the process of protecting the main pool area and other areas along that coastline, to ensure that the coastline and the assets there can resist the relentless action of the waves.”
He said the first phase of the work will take approximately 45 weekdays, which ends by the third week in September.
“This is, of course, weather permitting, and with just over 30 days gone the first phase of the project stands at 90 per cent complete and we’re actually ahead of schedule.”
With materials being used from the Studley Park Quarry, he said the benefits of optimising the quarry are being seen to ensure that the coastline can be protected.
“So far, we’ve installed over 3,000 tonnes of andesite rocks – the boulders to protect the coastline in previously affected areas within the main pool and the grill house. We’re also installing 500 tonnes of granular aggregate to establish penultimate levels below the main pool deck and the grill house frontages.
"Really and truly, we’re trying to make it as aesthetically pleasing as possible, although we’re using these hard or what they might term as grey interventions.”
He said, to complete the work, his division will instal a splash apron.
"So if you’re at the pool you won’t be experiencing the waves or the water coming in onto you.”