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The problem of coastal erosion along the Long and Bloody Bay areas of Negril has received much media exposure over the past 10-15 years. To some degree, this erosion problem has been exacerbated over the past decade by a series of damaging hurricanes and severe swell events. However, there are believed to be several other factors that have contributed to the severity of the problem, such as the construction of seawalls and tourism-based infrastructure close to, or at, the waters edge; the degradation of seagrass and coral reef health and others.
Preliminary engineering investigations into the Negril Beach erosion problem were carried out in 2007 by Smith Warner for the Negril Coral Reef Preservation Society. The work recommended an integrated solution to the problem, which included a first stage of beach nourishment followed by, or in tandem with, the implementation of nine coastal protection structures to provide a sustainable long-term solution.
Wave, hydrodynamic and morphological modeling was carried out to investigate the existing and proposed shoreline response during a swell period of approximately three days. This represents the erosion portion of the beach cycle, and does not include the natural beach rebuilding process. The model results helped in determining the critical spots in the design where scouring and/or deposition could be expected, and investigated the likely impact of the proposed breakwaters on the shoreline of Long Bay.