BEACH EROSION

The 2015 Environmental Impact Assessment conducted by Baird for the proposed cruise berthing and cargo enhancement project stated that there would be no impact to Seven Mile Beach. 

In 2000, a study was conducted for the Cayman Islands Department of Environment by Dr Richard Seymour PhD, Head of Ocean Engineering Research Group for Scripps Institution of Oceanography, to research the formation and sand budget of Seven Mile Beach from sand movement around Grand Cayman island. The study showed there was no apparent sediment transport link between George Town Harbour and Seven Mile Beach. 

The Environmental Assessment Board reviewed these findings and agreed with the conclusion that the proposed project would not impact Seven Mile Beach. 

Dr Seymour found that the sand on Seven Mile Beach is supplied from around the northwest corner of the island, where the sand comes from the nearshore reefs along this shoreline. Sand moves around this corner and travels south, where it no longer experiences the driving force of the Northeast Trade winds, and can settle. During the winter, Northwesters drive more sand south toward George Town Harbour, a natural process that replenishes Seven Mile Beach.

Sediments from the southern side of the island travel towards the west but do not turn north to supply beaches on the west coast of the island, but rather, this sediment falls off the edge of the continental shelf and down a vertical slope to the ocean floor.

Coastlines are naturally shifting environments, and this is true for Seven Mile Beach. Historically, Seven Mile Beach has experienced variations in beach width due to natural processes from seasonal and varied wave action.