See full statement from the Ministry of Public Works:
Clarification of Condition of No.59-61 Villages Sea Defences
The Ministry of Public Works has noted that concerns regarding the condition of sea defence structures between No. 59 and No. 61 Villages along the Corentyne shoreline have been published in recent media articles and circulated on social media platforms.
It has been reported that a section of rock armour revetment at the No. 61 Village Beach Access was partially breached due to shoreline erosion, and an imminent flood threat has been created for adjacent lands.
The Ministry wishes to notify members of the public that measures are being implemented to address the localised erosion that has occurred at the No. 61 Village Beach Access.
It must be clarified that this area was not protected by a rock revetment as was reported in recent media articles. The affected area was an unprotected sand ramp which was retained in this state to be utilised as vehicular access to the No.63 Beach.
The recent media reports, and comments from a known community representative, which purport that there was a failure of a recently constructed sea defence structure are therefore misleading.
The erosion of the beach access ramp was primarily due to progressive erosion during high tides. An adjacent 30-metre section of shoreline where temporary flood protection works were executed was also eroded due to displacement of the boulders by wave action.
The permanent rock revetment structure which was constructed between No. 59 to 61 Villages was assessed to be stable and continues to function as an adequate flood barrier.
Recently Executed Flood Protection Measures Historically, a natural, stable flood protection system comprising elevated sand banks and light nearshore vegetation has provided adequate flood protection along the section of the 2 Corentyne shoreline between No. 50 to 63 Villages. These conditions allowed the area to be used as a recreational beach and minimized the need for the construction of hard flood defences.
In 2020, a pattern of progressive erosion of the foreshore was observed which created the potential for complete loss of the natural sand ridge along the No.59-63 shoreline.
To prevent a breach of the sand bank and underlying clay embankment, the Ministry of Public Works – Sea and River Defence Department initiated the first phase of rock armour revetment construction along a critical section of shoreline between No. 59 and 61 Village.
A total of 1000 meters of revetment structure was constructed, under two contracts totaling G$439,922,500, that remains functional and climate-resilient.
The eastern section of the works transitioned into the sand ramp beach access at the No.61 Village location and a temporary rock armour slope, covering a 30m section of shoreline was also constructed adjacent to the beach access ramp.
Future Programmed Measures The Sea and River Defence Department will undertake interim reinstatement and erosion protection works at the beach access with a climate resilient design in the immediate future.
Additionally, a programme of interventions has been developed for the phased execution of permanent flood protection works which will extend the rock armour revetment to adjacent sections of foreshore currently impacted by erosion.
To ensure that the recreational use of the beach is preserved, a groyne field will be constructed to aid in sediment retention. These works will be initiated following the appropriation of the requisite funding in the 2024 Budget. In the short term (2024 – 2027), a holistic sustainable flood protection scheme will be developed for No.63 Beach which will provide climate-resilient sea defences, thereby reducing flood risk.
These works were executed by the Ministry of Public Works – Sea and River Defence Department as the first phase (1000 metres) of climate-resilient sea defence works along the No.63 Beach Shoreline.