The town of Georgetown, located on the east (windward) coast of St Vincent, is completely exposed to the Atlantic Ocean and is vulnerable to the impact of wave action and storm/sea surges associated with the passage of tropical storms, hurricanes and winter swells. Over the past several decades, Georgetown’s shoreline has been severely impacted by waves from these events, resulting in significant beach erosion.
The Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (GSVG) purchased lands adjacent to the sea and wished to have a government complex built there. Before the complex was built, GSVG wanted to stabilize the shoreline along this area to mitigate further loss of coastal lands and to protect and prepare the area for additional commercial development and investments.
SWIL was engaged to unertake coastal process investigation and analysis of historical erosion rates along the Georgetown beach front in order to: (i) identify the most critically affected sections of the shoreline; (ii) identify the possible causes of erosion, and (iii) identify and prioritize the efforts that will be required to remedy the situation.
The study included:
• Collection of the necessary coastal data (e.g. water quality, bathymetric data, deep water and nearshore wave climate information, wind information, currents, sediment sample characteristics, beach profiles, etc.);
• Coastal process modeling (wave and storm surge modeling, hydrodynamic modeling, sediment transport modeling); and
• Environmental assessment of the project area in the context of coastal erosion and the proposed solutions (demographics, governance, land use and economic facilities, marineecology, coastal vegetation, etc.)