THE damage which is being done to the ecosystem along Sandy Beach, a part of the Pointe Sable Environmental Protection Area in Vieux Fort is of grave concern to the St. Lucia National Trust.
Programme Officer of the Trust, Craig Henry told The VOICE that the problem is caused by a lot of vehicular traffic on the beach front.
“We are very concerned about Sandy Beach…We have observed that there is enormous traffic on the beach front and it is creating an issue for us, by causing a lot of compartments on its surface. This affects the roots of the trees, the scenic beauty of the area and turtle nesting on the beach,” Henry said.
He added that the vegetation on the beach front is very useful to beach users by providing them with shade.
Sandy Beach where several business houses are located, is also the venue for a variety of social activities.
According to Henry, recently there has been some cleaning at the beach front, but while this is being done, more vehicles are encroaching onto the area which is being protected for the environment.
“The problem it will create is that it causes more tracks at the beach front, hence exacerbates the problem. It will not only destroy the vegetation, but also leads to coastal erosion,” he said.
Henry said the problem can be solved by beach users parking their vehicles in other areas and walking to the beach.
According to him, the Trust has had discussions with the Vieux Fort South Constituency Council and the National Conservative Authority (NCA) on the matter, and is hoping that they will be able to come up with a solution. He added that in the meantime the Trust would not like the problem to exacerbate and reach a point where it will be more costly to address.
He called on the Vieux Fort South Constituency Council not to open any spaces at the beach front while cleaning the area, so drivers will not be encouraged to drive into it and create more problems for the Trust.
“We have already seen such effects on other parts of the beach,” he lamented.
He said there is a plan for the zoning of the Sandy Beach area, which will assist in dealing with the problem.
“We have had some consultations and some schematic proposals were made in terms on how the zoning should be done. We have to put that plan in place so we can save Sandy Beach, not only for us, but for future generations,” Henry said.
He said the issue may be one which requires the intervention of the police, since there should not be vehicular traffic on the beach.
The maintenance of the beach is a collaborative effort between the Vieux Fort South Constituency Council, the National Conservative Authority, the forestry department and the NICE project.
Why is only now that the national trust, and the N C A are showing they concern for this area?
Where was the national trust when in 1997 the Prime Minister Dr. Kenny, Mr. P. Pierre , Mr. Henry Charles, Mr. Leo’ Paul, Mr. Monty Maxwell with Mr. Joseph Antoine as supervisor of works, saw the need to develop the sea front for the used of the general public. This sea front was a den of thief, the bush and trees was the suitable hideout for the mugging of the visitors from the near by hotel, also there was a safe heaven for sand mining.. Mr. Henry you are just singing the chorus of those two (God forbid that i should describe their sexual)? woman at the Reef restaurant who do not like the competition from the other business places in the same area. Those two woman have taken it upon themselves to table that same complains and coming up with this same bullshit about having the police to order the traffic parking outside by the high-way. (the reef and the national trust was already establish in the area before 1997)
Mr. Henry i remember there was a time when a manager of the trust had over six (6) TREES CUT DOWN so he can have a better-look at Maria Island. (he say the trees was obstructing his view).
Mr. Henry try to get the true history of how the sandy-beach sea-front was beautify and how the hard work and Foresight.of Mr. Joseph Antoine with his love for Mother Nature and his talent as a Landscape artist give us this Masterpiece seafront that the whole of St. Lucia Love.
Mr. Antoine will tell you all about Mr. Monty Maxwell’s idea for the whole of the Sandy beach area.
Build a parking lot.
Sandy Beach is a true beach park. It is well maintained and cleaned by Vieux Fort South Constituency Council. It would be easy to close the road in front of the business houses, and make people park either end, but I see little evidence of it being destroyed, far from it, I find people like the shade…the kids pick the sea grapes…people meet up there…fish there…watersport there…
The bigger concern is the rise in sea level, the beach seems to be disappearing. I used to be able to easily walk along the shoreline…now the water level is high and there is little sand.