Case Study

Natural Durability Index for Beaches

An index has been developed by MGIBlue for rating the natural durability of Jamaica’s beaches to withstanding erosion. Each coastal community was given a score for their beach durability based on physical and morphological characteristics, terrestrial and marine sediment supply, wave action and the presence of protective agents such as seagrass, coral reefs and mangroves. From scores developed around the island, shorelines were classified into high, medium and low natural durability. Beaches low in durability (examples include Negril, Bluefields – Westmoreland, Annotto Bay – St Mary, Rose Hall Beach – St James and San San Beach – Portland) are considered particularly exposed and unprotected – lacking natural sources of physical and environmental shoreline protection from degradation. These beaches are expected to require a mixed approach to maintaining their shoreline that incorporates both hard and soft engineering methods for protection.


Natural Durability Index Score for Jamaican shorelines (High:Green, Medium:Yellow, Low:Red)