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Coastal Erosion Blamed on Bali's Airport

Experts Point to Changes in Natural Wave Patterns.

(2/18/2002) A reoccurring pattern of erosion damage along Kuta's coastline is being blamed on changes to the natural current and wave patterns caused by recent land reclamation at Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport.

The Head of Bali's Beach Restoration Project, Mr. Tjok Bagus Budiana reports that over 50% of Kuta Beach's 6.5 km beach long beach front has suffered erosive damage, accentuated by recent storms touching Bali. According to Budiana, the land reclamation that formed the platform for the airport's runway extension changed sea patterns and resulted in abrasion further down the beach, affecting one of Bali's main beach areas. Improper construction of seawalls by local hotels to protect their beaches and dynamiting by local fishermen have further exacerbated the situation.

Speaking to the national news service, Antara, Budiana said, "There is a desperate need to save the beach from further destruction." Adding, "this is important having in mind that Kuta Beach is one of Bali's greatest assets in the tourism sector."