As defined by the Coast Conservation Act No 57 of 1981 , beach of Sri Lanka is a public property and anyone has right to access it freely. In order to ensure this right, the amended Coast Conservation and Coastal Resource Management Act has assigned the responsibility to Coast Conservation and Coastal Resource Management Department. The act says “A survey which would identify all the routes, paths and corridors which provide access to the public to the beach and the routes, paths and corridors which provide access to the Coastal Zone. Based on the findings of the survey he shall prepare a comprehensive report which should be submitted to the Coast Conservation Advisory Council“. This research project will support to prepare a Beach Access Atlas where GIS/Map preparation is considered as one of the important components of this purpose.
For the fulfilment of the requirement, The CC&CRMD advertised the project on preparation in Beach Access in Gampaha and Puttalam District in 2019/20 and Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Colombo District In 2021. Those two projects were conduct by the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. The objective of the assignment is to prepare beach access inventory and develop GIS based Base Map showing details of existing/proposed beach access including attributes, associated roads/features. These accesses and relevant information are used to gazette beach accesses under the section 22F of section III D of amended Coast Conservation and Coastal Resource Management Act 1981.
The second project (2021) was completed while facing Covid 19 pandemic situation in research area. However, the University has completed the project on time without any delay. The two projects were conducted by Prof. R.M.K Ratnayake as the team Leader and as a Consultant of GIS, Cartography and Environment at the Department of Geography, Faculty of Humanities and Socials Science’s, University of Sri Jayewardenepura. The following four atlas and eight reports submitted to CC & CRMD on 30th November 2021.
The project was supervised by Professor Shirantha Heenkenda the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and Mr. W.N.S.Rajatahne the Acting Director/ CC&CRMD under the advisory of Senior Professor Sudantha Liyanage the Vice- Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and Mr. Ranawaka (Director General/CC&CRMD). The symbolic presentation of the report took place on the 2nd December 2021 at the office of the Vice-Chancellor, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.