Adel Aldoukhli, Mohamed Ait Belaid and Lulwa Ali
Article publication date: 2012-12-01
Vol. 30 No. 4 (yearly), pp. 135-140.
128

Keywords

Carry Capacity, Beach, Assessment, Orthophoto, Kuwait.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the concept of Carrying Capacity (CC) as a tool for beach management in Kuwait through focusing on two public beaches (Al-Shuwaikh and Green Island beaches). A geodatabase has been built up and GIS maps were prepared for each single beach that included the land use map and density distribution of visitors produced by aerial photography (year 2004) and ground survey. Data on the environmental quality of the coastal water at these beaches as well as information on the perception of visitors through visitor’s interviews were collected and analyzed. The CC maps produced for both beaches revealed that visitors› distribution was not uniform across the beaches. High density zones were concentrated at the intertidal areas, the sports and children playgrounds and the greenery areas on the beaches and represented the highest pressure of use in comparison to the total area of the studied beaches. Moreover, results of visitor’s perception revealed the importance given by the beach users to both the occupancy area and the distance between each group of people when visiting the beach. Such factors are important when determining the CC of the beach and should be considered, in order to come up with a realistic CC and better management of these beaches. Comparison between the two studied beaches revealed some differences as related to their carrying capacity. It has been shown that the percentage of visitors to Al-Shuwaikh beach was greater than the Green Island beach and the visitors› distribution was different too. This was related to a number of reasons including the availability of more services and leisure activities on this beach and the relatively easier access to the sea through intertidal areas in addition to the proximity and convenience of Al-Shuwaikh beach to the residential area located to the north of Kuwait city.