DESIGN OF COASTAL STRUCTURES FOR RECREATIONAL PURPOSES

G.H. O'Connell

Abstract


Although the major aspect of this paper deals with a specific part of the South African coast line it is believed that certain fundamental parameters which emerge are applicable to the greater part of the Southern African coast line of 2954 km. Typical of the African continent the nature of the Southern African coast line is regular and even with few bays or inlets and has long unprotected beaches subject to long- and off-shore current patterns. The absence of barrier islands as well as the few in number of protected lagoons and inlets, requires the creation of artificial tidal enclaves or the protection of selected sections of beach to ensure safe bathing conditions where further extensions of existing areas is indicated both by an increase in the population as well as changing socio-economic conditions which place access to the coastal recreation areas, as an increasing facility, to a steadily growing number of people. This need has been intensified in South Africa by the rapid urbanisation and socio-economic development of the rural population as well as the geographic dispersion of the population of which a high percentage lives at or near the coast. It is unfortunately so that the need to provide additional access to the beach areas exists in such areas where maximum exploitation of the beach frontage has already taken place and where new development must take place accordingly in less favourable conditions and subject to various constraints imposed by existing development in these areas. These constraints are inter alia the development of industrial areas right onto the beach front, urban area development on the beach front and sewage outfall works discharging raw sewage into the surf zone. The absence of an adequate inland area contiguous to the beach, forces planners to absorb an increasing part of the primary dune area to accommodate parking areas and other facilities required for the accommodation of the mass migration to the beaches.

Keywords


coastal structure; structure design; recreation

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