In Jamaica, beaches are primarily recognized for the significant role they play in our social, cultural, environmental and economic wellbeing. They are a national asset providing public recreational spaces for people of all ages. Beaches support the local economy through tourism, fishing, vending and several means of livelihoods that are directly and indirectly linked to their existence. The Jamaica Beach Guide is designed to easily allow Jamaicans and visitors alike to locate public bathing beaches across the island so they are able to access and enjoy the beauty of the Jamaican seascape.
To find information on our beaches, you may choose between two options:
If there is a beach that you do not see on the Guide that you wish to have listed, you are welcome to submit the information to the Agency. This information will then be verified and added to our database as we endeavour to document all public bathing beaches on the island.
Boston Bay Beach is located in the parish of Portland on the north-eastern coast of the island. The beach is situated close to the communities of Boston and Fairy Hill.
The Boston Bay beach is divided into 2 sections by a small bluff. The beach is approximately 14 metres (45 feet) wide and 152 metres (500 feet) long. The hinterland of the beach is well vegetated with trees, both small and large, as well as bushes. The bluffs surrounding the beach are rocky and vegetated.
Salem Beach is located in community of Salem, St. Ann. The beach is quite long and stretches for approximately 300 metres (1,000 feet) with its variable width yielding an average of 15 metres (48 feet) which results in a usable area of roughly 4,500 square metres or just little over an acre. The beach is bordered by private properties and the Northcoast highway.
The natural sediment consists of fine grain brown sand, which is very light and oftentimes remaining suspended in the water causing it to look brown.
Annotto Bay Beach is located in the small community of Iter Boreale in the parish of St. Mary on the north-eastern coast of the island. The beach is situated close to the town of Annotto Bay.
The Annotto Bay beach stretches for approximately 91 m (300 ft.) in length and 14 m (45 ft.) in width. The usable area of the beach is approximately 1,350 m2 (one-third of an acre). There are several trees, mostly coconut, as well as grasses along the shoreline of the beach.
The chief legislation that speaks to the management of beaches by way of a licensing regime is the Beach Control Act (BCA). 1956. The Beach Control (Licensing) Regulations, 1999 outlines specific categories of Licences that for which Licences are required. The Act was developed to ensure that the public had access to beaches via the acquisition of beach properties by the Government to ensure that provisions for public access is secured and maintained. At that time it was the responsibility of the Beach Control Authority to carry out the legislative requirements under the BCA. In 2001, The National Environment and Planning Agency, an Executive Agency, comprising of the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA), the Town Planning Department and the Land Development and Utilization Commission was established. With the enactment of the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA) Act, the provisions of the Beach Control Act were assigned to the NRCA and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) as the technical arm of the Authority.
Any commercial entity that wishes to develop a beach for commercial and recreational use is therefore required to obtain a Beach Licence to use of the foreshore and floor of the sea from the NRCA. The Authority therefore functions to: