Why are the works necessary?
Eastbourne is no different to the rest of the English Channel coast in having to deal with rising sea levels, increased storminess and naturally eroding beaches. Shingle is no longer being brought ashore by the sea in sufficient quantity to naturally sustain the beach, and flint released from eroding chalk cliffs to the west is equally inadequate. In common with many other parts of the country, the level of protection afforded to Eastbourne is only maintained by directly adding shingle to the beach to replace material that is lost as it drifts eastward along the coast.
As part of the approved 5
Year Beach Management Strategy, works will take place in March to replenish
shingle beaches along Eastbourne’s seafront.
The works operation will
be carried out by Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd. (PCDL) as part of the Coast
Protection Maintenance Contract. The
total estimated replenishment volume required is 9,750 cubic metres.
If this shingle was
delivered by road it would involve around 700 lorry movements and take several
weeks to complete. In order to try to
reduce this impact a more environmentally friendly option was looked into. It was decided that an operation whereby beaches
are re-nourished using an offshore vessel which pumps shingle directly onto
beaches would be a suitable alternative for Eastbourne.
Shingle will sucked from
the sea bed of a licensed area of the Owers Bank near the Isle of Wight by the dredger “Sospan Dau”, taken back to Eastbourne and delivered to the beach over high tide. The dredger will come very close to the beach
and discharge a mixture of sediment and water using a technique known as
'rainbowing' that creates a mound of material high on the foreshore. Discharge will take about two hours and the
vessel will return to the dredge area for the next load with the intention of
being back on the beach for the next high tide.
Once replenishment has started, the operation is continuous until the
required volumes have been delivered.
Only adverse weather conditions in either discharge or dredging areas
will temporarily delay the operation.
The beaches that will be
recharged are in front on the WishTower, at the Bandstand and either side of the Pier.
All being well the works
are programmed to start on Friday 23rd March and should take around
a week to complete.
For more information please contact;
The Council’s Engineering Manager on; firstname.lastname@example.org or 01323 415235