Plans have been submitted to renourish the tiny sandy beach at St Thomas Bay in Marsascala, replicating a similar project carried out at Balluta Bay last year.
The Balluta project, which failed to last the winter after the new beach was entirely swept away by successive storms, was now set to be repeated yearly at a cost of about €80,000, Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi told Times of Malta.
A proposal by the Malta Tourism Authority, to be formally published by the Planning Authority today, aims to dramatically increase the size of the sandy beach known as Il-Fajtata at St Thomas Bay.
The “pilot experimental project” will use sand found on the seabed within the same bay, the same approach as at Balluta, rather than importing new sand.
Dr Mizzi told Times of Malta on Tuesday the project was part of the MTA’s efforts to improve Malta’s tourism product and specifically to increase the leisure facilities in the south of the island, following similar efforts at Balluta in the north.
Asked whether he considered the project a success worth replicating, given its short lifespan, Dr Mizzi said the cost had been “worthwhile” for people to enjoy the beach during the summer months.
“The cost and the investment is not massive, so we will be replenishing it or topping it up on a yearly basis,” he said, adding that longer-term solutions were also being considered.
“Solutions include a reef or wave-breaker of sorts, which would ensure the sand remains but this would require further studies and careful environmental consideration,” he said.
“On balance, we decided providing a beach for Balluta made sense,” Dr Mizzi added.
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