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CARIBBEAN - conservation

Barbados Marine Trust


Friday 19, September-2003


THE BARBADOS MARINE TRUST and a group of concerned citizens are protesting against what they perceive as a threat and gradual erosion of a part of the Drill Hall Beach.


The protesters, including divers, surfers and swimmers met with the media yesterday at the beach and objected strongly to a groyne inadvertently created in an effort to anchor the beach front at the Savannah Hotel.

The groyne measuring about 150 feet has literally divided the beach in half, expanding one side and reducing the other to only a few steps from the water. As a result, the trees are tottering on the edge and some have already fallen.

Several of the protesters expressed dissatisfaction and called on the relevant authorities to enforce an order to stop the project as well as remove the groyne.

“We are demanding that it be removed because the problem is getting worse,” said Mike Webster of the trust.

“The main issue is that it is an illegal structure and they (the hotel) have been given a directive to remove it from the beach that people use and turtles nest.”

David Gill, chief executive officer of the trust, reinforced that concern.

“They have been issued an enforcement notice to remove the groyne, but it is still there and the damage it is causing is clearly evident. This is a major swimming area and now nobody can use it. All this is prime nestling ground for turtles.”

Environmentalist James Blades also called for the removal of the groyne.

“This is a playground for Barbadians, and the beach is severely being eroded. It is causing serious damage to turtles as well. We know that the hotel needs to have its beach front anchored. They don’t have to remove all. They can remove about three-quarters to still give the beach some anchor.”




 

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Denial


When contacted Peter Fraser, director of Group Operations, Gems of Barbados said the company was dealing with the issue.

“We are interested in sitting down with the Coastal Zone Management and the Town and Country Planning to find a resolution to the problem that may or may not exist.”

He denied that a directive had been given to remove the groyne. Instead, he said Government would be embarking on a major beach enhancement programme, that would benefit all the hotels on the South Coast, including Savannah Hotel.

“It does not make sense, therefore, to do or undo anything until we know what is coming exactly,” he added.

Compliments of the Nation News

 
 
 


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