Tamarindo’s coastline has changed quite a bit these past few months. The Tamarindo estuary has started reclaiming some of the beach, returning to a path that it took 30 years ago. Heavy rainfall and extremely high tides have also helped to further this beach erosion. As a result, Tamarindo’s main surfing peak and swimming area has shifted about 200 meters south from it’s previous location.
This erosion and repositioning of beach sand forced ADI to disassemble the Tamarindo lifeguard tower on September 3rd, 2016. About a week after the tower was disassembled, the ocean took the sand beneath the tower’s footings, causing them to fall. The tower materials (wall panels, floor panel, roof structure) were placed on the green zone in front of the El Vaquero bar, ready to be reassembled in a new location. It was decided that we would wait until this month’s ultra-high tide (10.51 feet on September 20th) to try and determine the best new location for the tower.
As of now, we have determined that the new best location for the lifeguard tower is in the center of the Tamarindo beach parking lot, as far west as possible, to give the lifeguards the best view of the beach to the north and south while also preserving as much distance as possible between the lifeguard tower and the current high tide line. Since the majority of Tamarindo’s swimmers and surfers are now utilizing the beach area in front of this location, once the lifeguard tower is rebuilt the Tamarindo lifeguards will be positioned closest to where the majority of beach emergencies will occur.
Our plan is to relocate, repair, and reuse the original concrete tower footings in the new location. Doing this seems to be the most cost-effective and sustainable method of rebuilding the tower. We are hoping to move these materials over the next few days, once the high tides are less severe. After this, we will repair the footings and then begin rebuilding the lifeguard tower. The expected completion date for this project is October 16th.
The El Vaquero Bar is providing electricity to the new lifeguard tower and their security guards will continue to monitor the tower during closed hours (6pm – 9am). ADI is requesting to Coopeguanacaste that they install 2 street lights in the beach parking lot area, which will help keep the parking lot area safer at night and make it easier to keep the lifeguard tower secure.
OCTOBER 3, 2016 UPDATE
We have decided to wait until this month’s ultra high tide (10.75ft on October 18) to see how the high tide affects the public parking area. Since this blog was first posted, the beach erosion has been minimal. We want to wait to see if this next ultra high tide will flood the parking lot area and continue to remove more sand from the future lifeguard tower location. It is our hopes that, as the rainy season ends and the seasons change, the estuary will return to it’s previous path and the beach erosion will stop. Once we are confident that we are not losing any more sand we will continue with the reconstruction of the lifeguard tower. Regardless, our lifeguards are working every day 9am-6pm under a temporary tent shelter located at the Tamarindo beach parking lot.
Since it’s inception in 2014, the Tamarindo Lifeguard Program has saved dozens of lives and provided assistance in hundreds of emergency situations here in Tamarindo. This program is one of the many services provided by ADIT, and these services are only made possible because we receive donations from local residents, business owners, and tourists. You can make your donation by clicking here. Thank you for your support, together we are building a stronger community in Tamarindo.