Here's the innovative way South Korea is rescuing its dying beaches
The famous Haeundae white-sand beach in Busan, South Korea is considered one of the greatest natural wonders in the country, but it has experienced serious erosion since the 1970s. The South Korean government has decided to spend almost 41 million dollars to rescue the beach, and you wouldn't believe how they plan to do it.
The Haeundae beach is known for its glittering white sand that stretches over a mile long. Tens of thousands of visitors come to the beach every year. Unfortunately, since the 1970s, the beach has shrunk from over 70 meters wide to 30 meters wide today. (That's a loss of over 100 feet.) The government tried adding sand as a countermeasure in the 1980s but the effort failed.
The new plan to save the famous white sand beach actually started three years ago with the exciting late-night read Mitigation Measures for Beach Erosion and Rip Current. The study cites strong wave-induced currents and rip currents as the primary destructive causes for the erosion, but also says regional development has lead to rapid erosion since the 1970s. Innovative methods were recommended in the report:
"Laboratory experiment results indicate the countermeasure plan with beach nourishment and submerged breakwaters improved in protecting the beach from erosion. Also rip currents were reduced with a countermeasure. Groin-type submerged breakwaters at both sides efficiently block longshore currents reducing the chance of rip currents occurrence. Therefore, installation of groin-type submerged breakwaters at the sides of the beach in accompanied with large-scale beach nourishments would minimize the rip channel, minimizing the swinging wave induced currents and the rip currents."
South Korea has now embarked on a 43.6 billion won (or 41-million US dollars) project to build structures in the ocean that change tidal waves and currents, channeling them away from attacking the beach.
This Herculean effort reminds me of an ancient Chinese saying, "Human willpower can overcome nature."
Hopefully they will succeed in saving the beautiful beach.
By the way, the beautiful beach was used in the 2008 drama Star's Lover, starring Choi Ji Woo and Yoo Ji Tae.