A beach nourishment project along a 3km stretch in Pattaya is expected to begin next month after a delay of almost 18 months, according to a senior marine official.
Ekkarat Khantharo, director of the 6th Marine Region Office, Pattaya, said the 429-million-baht beach restoration scheme had been on hold due to a scarcity of new sand sources.
The beach filling project was originally scheduled to begin in late September 2016 and completed in March 2017.
Any change to the sand must be approved by a provincial environment protection committee for evaluation, he said.
About 360,000 cubic metres of sand are required for the 2.8km project, which ranges from the Dusit Thani Hotel in North Pattaya to Walking Street at the southern end of the city.
The project, which will increase the beach width to 50 metres, is aimed at combating natural erosion, he said, adding that without restoration and maintenance Pattaya beach is at risk of disappearing.
Mr Ekkarat said concerned parties have located an appropriate sand source near Koh Rangkwian, which is about 10km from Koh Lan, also in Chon Buri.
The new source has been approved by the provincial environment protection committee and the next step is to revise the beach nourishment contract and recalculate the costs, he said.
The project is good to go as soon as it is approved by the Marine Department.
“It will restore the beach to its original width. The shoreline has suffered erosion and the beach could disappear if it is not renourished in the next 10-15 years,” he said.
According to Mr Ekkarat, Marine Construction Co, which is contracted to undertake the project, has begun deploying dredging and transport barges at the sand source site.
Machines and equipment will soon be brought on to Pattaya beach for the nourishment programme, he said.
The work will be divided into small sections of about 300 metres, and the scheme is likely to be completed in October, said Mr Ekkarat.
Pattaya is among 10 beaches likely to be lost within a decade without drastic measures to solve chronic erosion, according to an official survey in 2016.
Some sections of the shoreline of the famous Pattaya Beach have receded to only 2-3 metres, compared with 35 metres in the past.
Thailand has 23 seaside provinces with a coastline stretching 2,000km along the Gulf of Thailand and 1,000km along the Andaman Sea.
Of this total, some 670km of shoreline is losing 5 five metres a year, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. – Bangkok Post
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