PRESS RELEASE – The Saint Lucia National Trust would like to inform the public of a new boat landing structure to improve the management of Dennery Island for nature.
In 2012, Dennery residents cooperated in the removal of goats and sheep from the island, to halt soil erosion and help the vegetation to recover. There are already good signs of improvement, with many new tree seedlings appearing on the island.
The National Trust is the organization with direct responsibility for Dennery Island. They and the Saint Lucia Forestry Department, collaborating with two overseas conservation organizations (the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and Fauna & Flora International),
now need to improve safe access to the island.
The National Trust and partners have commissioned the construction of a boat landing stage to be installed at the western tip of the island. This will allow conservation workers safe access, year-round, for important ecosystem restoration activities on the island. Tasks include: keeping predatory rats off the island; removing invasive cane toads; stabilizing eroding slopes, and monitoring vegetation recovery. All these measure are intended to revitalise this offshore island’s biodiversity and restore its former natural beauty.
Construction of the pre-fabricated boat landing stage, by Complete Marine Services Limited, is nearing completion, after which it will be transported to Dennery Fishing Complex for painting with marine paint. Following this, the structure will be floated across to Dennery Island and installed. The National Trust would like to emphasize that there are no plans for any other built structures or construction on Dennery Island.
The boat landing stage has been funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund and the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund.Although the new boat landing stage will also improve access to Dennery Island for other visitors this will necessarily be regulated. Dennery Island is a very fragile site and the National Trust is seeking the community’s support for its preservation.
Local residents are welcome to visit Dennery Island for the foreseeable future, but must remember its sensitivity and fragility and therefore certain activities are not permissible. These includes, igniting fires, cutting of vegetation or digging of soil. Livestock or any other animals, such as dogs, cannot be taken onto the island; and all food and garbage must be removed – not discarded, burnt or buried – upon leaving the island. The Trust will soon be seeking Cabinet approval for by-laws to this effect under the National Trust
Act of 1975 and subsequent to which signs listing these by-laws will be prominently posted.
Dennery Island can be seen from almost all corners of the community of Dennery. The Trust and its partners are seeking to restore and maintain the natural beauty of this site as a landmark which could serve as a source of pride for the community Members, as
partners themselves, are urged to respect the fragility of this site and to report any activity which could be damaging to the island.
Reports can be made to Dennery South Constituency Council on 453-4010 or Mr. Craig Henry, Saint Lucia National Trust Southern Office, on 454-5014, or Mr Alfred Prospere, Saint Lucia Forestry Department on 724-7687.
The new boat landing stage is designed to improve access to Dennery Island for conservation workers. The National Trust, however, wishes to emphasize that any persons using the landing stage or visiting the island, do so entirely at their own risk.