St Julian’s Balluta beach to be extended for summer months

A pilot project will recover over 4,000 cubic metres of sand from the seabed to create a 20m-wide beach totaling 900 square metres at Balluta Bay

The Malta Tourism Authority is planning a pilot project for a 20m-wide beach totaling 900 square metres at Balluta Bay, through the recovery of 4,200 cubic metres of sand from the bay’s seabed.

The project will be aimed at providing a temporary beach for the summer months.

The beach will be replenished by dredging sand from the beach itself, pumping out the sand onto the beach, and allowing it to settle while the beach is enlarged. The operations need to follow strict rules to avoid pumping out excessive amounts of sand that would lead to craters on the seabed.

The Environment and Resources Authority has exempted the project requiring an Environment Impact Assessment because no significant impacts are expected. The proposed re-nourishment involves only a small volume of sand which will be pumped from the seabed. Since the dredging will be diver-operated, seagrass beds present in the area will not be disturbed.

The extension will not last into the winter, because the beach would be under the action of waves and currents and rainwater run-off from land. It is only after the disappearance of the beach that the feasibility of undertaking the re-nourishment exercise on a regular basis will be evaluated.

Balluta Bay only retains a very small and restricted sandy beach, which fluctuates from year to year. In the past the beach used to replenish naturally through discharge from the Balluta and Wied Ghomor valleys.

But this process was interrupted by the construction of roads and other coastal infrastructure.

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