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Coast company to perform climate action work in remote Pacific Island nation

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A Sunshine Coast company has been appointed to deliver a 1.81km coastal protection system in the Pacific Islands.

Buderim-based dredging, civil and marine construction company Hall Contracting will mobilise to the Republic of the Marshall Islands in early 2025 to construct a new seawall on behalf of the remote nation’s Ministry of Public Works, Infrastructure and Utilities.

The Marshall Islands are located about halfway between Australia and Hawaii.

Hall Contracting CEO and director Cameron Hall said with the majority of land in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) situated less than two metres above sea level, the new infrastructure would help to protect residents from rising sea levels and wave overtopping.

“As one of the world’s smallest and lowest-lying nations, RMI is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and severe weather events,” Mr Hall said.

“Climate projection modelling indicates that the global median sea level could rise between 0.43 metres and 0.84 metres by 2100, bringing more frequent and intense coastal flooding, severe coastal erosion, and permanent submergence of some areas of the Marshall Islands.

The Marshall Islands have a population of about 41,000 people spread across more than 20 atolls.

“The new seawall will be constructed on the Ebeye atoll, using approximately 65,000 tonnes of armour rock to minimise erosion and greatly reduce inundation from storm surges.”

Mr Hall said Hall Contracting was well-versed in undertaking coastal protection works, having delivered various seawalls, groynes and beach renourishment projects on the Sunshine Coast and as far afield as the Pacific Island nation of Tuvalu.

“Our team has recently completed climate change adaptation works across three atolls in Tuvalu as part of the Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project, including construction of a 7.8-hectare foreshore reclamation area and breakwater at Funafuti; a 665-metre-long berm top barrier at Nanumanga; and a seawall, berm-top barrier and seven reef-top barriers at Nanumea.

“The works have provided new, elevated land for the Tuvaluan people and will help to safeguard community members and infrastructure against wave overtopping events for many years to come.

“We’re proud to be playing a role in helping protect communities against the impacts of climate change, and we look forward to starting work on our first project in RMI.”

The works are being funded by the World Bank and Green Climate Fund.

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