“Coastal squeeze is now defined as ‘the loss of natural habitats or deterioration of their quality arising from anthropogenic structures or actions, preventing the landward transgression of those habitats that would otherwise naturally occur in response to sea-level rise in conjunction with other coastal processes. Coastal squeeze affects habitat on the seaward side of existing structures.’”
(CMR) Cayman's world-renowned Seven Mile Beach is in jeopardy of being lost forever due to coastal erosion. The disappearing Seven Mile Beach (SMB) has caused a furry on social media this weekend after a viral video taken from Robert Baraud has clearly demonstrated how bad the situation has gotten. Many parts of the beach now have no actual beach remaining and can only be traversed by boat or watercraft.
Some areas of SMB including those closest to Royal Palms have now disappeared entirely. Property lines for beachfront condos are literally in the ocean – leaving many to wonder what next.
Local residents have been taken aback by the deterioration of the coastal areas and are left wondering what solutions are in place for recovery and prevention of future loss. One local resident shared her theory on “coastal squeeze” and noted that this footage is not entirely surprising because Cayman has “ignored decades-old guidance not to build closer to the sea than the storm ridge and rising sea levels.”
She further noted that Cayman has engaged in the self-destructive theory of tourism described in the 1998 text by J.S. Holder.
Many are left wondering about the viability of Cayman's ongoing tourism product if one of the few tourist attractions we have remaining disappears for good. The PACT government leader, Premier Wayne Panton ran on a platform of sustainability and putting the environment at the forefront of his leadership mandate.
CMR will host a series of stories on this topic and how Cayman hopes to recover its illustrious Seven Mile Beach. We welcome all experts to participate in the discussion by contacting us via email.