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Response to article: Government and DSH committed to preservation
OK, to the writer (Office of the Prime Minister) of the article to which I am responding, please forgive me for nit-picking. However, allow me to point out that there is no hyphen in “ECOSYSTEM”. Now that this is out of the way, for fear of being labelled a “party hack” or “anti-flambeau”, allow me to go on record as having voted for the UWP in last year’s general elections.
I only have a few comments and questions based on the bullet points of the article from our government which was published only a few days ago (https://www.stlucianewsonline.com/govt-and-dsh-committed-to-preservation-and-conservation-of-maria-islands/).
a) Quote from article: “there will be a waterway separating Maria Islands from the Causeway”
The fact that the causeway will not connect the mainland to the Marias still neglects the effects to our fisheries. Savannes Bay and the wider Vieux Fort area is our most valuable fisheries region. What happens when our reefs and seagrass beds are buried under tonnes of rock and sand? What happens when this causeway changes the flow of currents? Shouldn’t food security be a consideration here? Having we considered our fisheries?
How wide will this waterway be? A few meters between the end of this causeway and the islands will lead to the same disastrous result: the extinction of our uniquely St. Lucian wildlife on these fragile landmasses. Mongooses and rats can swim. We have been fortunate thus far that 900 meters of ocean and the prevailing currents have kept these introduced predators off the Marias.
b) Quotes from article: “Studies: Several feasibility studies and tests will be done with renowned reclamation and environmental experts. Detailed Research on Existing Wildlife and Marine Life: The Government and the developer will work with various agencies to do detailed research on all the existing wildlife and marine life around and on the islands”.
We have local environmental experts as well as local and international agencies who have and are continuing to do research on the wildlife of the Maria Islands. We have local marine and terrestrial biologists. Yet, they seem to have not been consulted and are now up in arms about this development. Who will conduct this detailed research and when will this research be conducted? Do the voices of our local experts carry no weight?
c) Quote from article: “The Government has been open and remains open to receiving concerns”.
Seems to me that any persons who express concerns are labelled as “naysayers, liars, mouthpieces of…”, etc. What does it mean to be open to receiving concerns?
d) Quote from article: “Access & Participation: Part of the Causeway will belong to Saint Lucians”.
Which part and how much of the causeway?
e) Quote from article: “Based on the developer’s well-respected track record”
Could you share this record with us please?
There’s an old idiom which says that “The devil is in the details”. So my beloved government, could we the people who elected you, be made aware of the details, less we be devoured unexpectedly by the devil therein.