Black Sand and Brackish Water
Black sand beaches are common on volcanic islands; black sand forms from degradation of black lava rock, when carried away to the shores by ocean currents, black sand beaches appear seasonally at some shores and establish permanently at other locations like in Hawaii. On the Big Island of Hawaii, there are several black sand beaches since the entire island is made up of lava rock. Punaluu black sand beach on southeast corner of Big Island is the best one for spectacular scenes. On any given day, one can watch large sea turtles resting on the shore though the water is too cool to swim even in the summer.
Kovalum beach in southern India in one of the rare beaches where black sand appears seasonally on the shores depending on the ocean currents. Kovalum beach is also famous for colorful sunsets and coconut groves all around. It is the most picturesque beaches in the country. At Kovalum, many hotels and vacation homes were built on terraces on hillside surrounded by dense coconut groves. The narrow and winding downhill road to the beach from the hotels on the top was treacherous and unpaved at some locations. Vehicular traffic was a danger to pedestrians along the steep road to the beach at the bottom of the hill.
The bay is protected from surrounding hills creating favorable conditions for shallow waves ideal for swimming and relaxation. This attracts scores of tourists all over the world. Opposite to the beach were numerous restaurants offering a wide choice of sea food. Sadly, the downside was the waste water from dishwashing and other activities at the restaurants was directly flows on to the black sand beach. The visitors to the beach have to either walk through or jump over the small streams of brackish water to reach the beach. The brackish water gives a black eye to black sand beach at Kovalum. The tourist board and public health authorities have to step in to bring all the restaurants and other businesses on the beach under compliance with respect the discharge of wastewater from their operations. Kovalum beach is a beautiful and fun place to visit but shouldn’t be a health risk to the visitors.
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