Bournemouth considers artificial reef

South coast resort ponders troubled surf reef project

Author: Pat
7th February 2012
 

The artificial surf reef created off Bournemouth is being re-evaluated by academics and local officials.

Costing £3.2million, the reef was constructed by ASR Ltd and opened in 2009 to great fanfare. It was designed to create waves for year-round surfing.

However, the structure was damaged in March 2011, forcing closure by the local council.

businesses believe the reef has benefited the area

Plymouth University academics have now been tasked with assessing the whole project and whether it has been a benefit or flawed from the start.

The uni’s Marine and Coastal Policy research group will ask local businesses, divers, fishermen, and surfers for their feedback.

Made up of 55 submerged sandbags, the reef is situated 225 metres out to sea. While it was open, surfers complained that it produced ‘the wrong sort of waves,’ with dangerous undercurrents.

Worse still upon inspection, it was found the sea has shifted many of the bags. There was concern that surfers and divers could be sucked into gaps between bags that had opened up.

Contractor ASR is scheduled to carry out repair work when the weather improves.

But despite these problems, the Plymouth University team will assess the overall impact on the region. Many businesses believe the surf reef has benefited Boscombe’s waterfront, with investment in new restaurants, shops and a pier entrance redevelopment.

 
 
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