Protecting the Marsaxlokk Nature Reserve in Malta

Infrastructure Malta is implementing a €2 million project to protect the Marsaxlokk Nature Reserve and the sandy beach and fishers’ marina next to it from coastal erosion.

The agency is piloting an infrastructural intervention to reduce the gradual erosion and lateral displacement of sand and other coastal sediments caused by waves, wind and currents along the Maghluq area of Marsaxlokk Harbour.

This stretch of coast includes the Nature Reserve’s protected saline marshland known as “Il-Ballut ta’ Marsaxlokk”, a very rare Maltese natural habitat and a Natura 2000 site. Next to this Reserve, there is a beach and a small marina for fishing vessels. 

The area is subject to longshore sediment drift, a current that transports sand along the shoreline.

Rough seas also cause overtopping, as large amounts of sand are deposited in the creek by wave action.

These movements alter the seabed depths, rendering parts of the fairway unsafe to mariners.

Shifted sand deposited in the marina reduces its accessibility as well. To further contain this overtopping, Infrastructure Malta is also building a low revetment wall along the outer part of the creek. 

Through this project, Infrastructure Malta is also raising parts of the marina’s quays, to improve their safety. 

Photo: infrastructuremalta.com