Unauthorised access to Maria Islands threatens local biodiversity

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Unauthorised access to Maria Islands threatens local biodiversity
Maria Islands
Maria Islands

The Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) said it has received complaints of people anchoring near or venturing onto Maria Islands without first seeking the approval of the Trust.

In a statement issued by the SLNT today (June 25), it said the unauthorised access to Maria Islands threatens the country’s unique biodiversity.

“These unsanctioned visits pose a threat as the Trust cannot guarantee that the proper bio-safety protocols are being observed,” the statement said.

Further, the SLNT said if anyone is found on the islets under these circumstances, this would be deemed an illegal act and thus liable to consequences under the law. The SLNT is therefore seeking the public’s assistance and cooperation in ensuring that the Maria Islands Nature Reserve remain a national treasure that all citizens could enjoy and be proud of.

“These islands have been vested in the Trust to protect their rich biodiversity and to oversee a regime that facilitates managed access to this wildlife reserve. This means that visits to the islands are coordinated by the Trust. Due to strict bio-security controls which are in effect, anyone wishing to visit should first contact the trust to be screened to ensure that no alien species are accidentally introduced onto the islets,” the release added.

The SLNT said it is appreciative of the public interest in the area, and under the appropriate conditions, can facilitate visits to the islands, which are essential in maintaining this country’s unique biodiversity.

Persons who may wish to visit the islands can contact the SLNT on 758-452-5005.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. While I believe that the SLNT is doing a poor job in managing the country's heritage I certainly do not know why the previous writers to this forum and anyone else in St Lucia does not know this. We do not pay particular interest in our country's heritage. I remember the schools having tours to places like this as it is a big part of St Lucia history and heritage. The SLNT in it's mismanagement and lack of national pride allowed the mini museum at Vieux-Fort, Pointe Sabre to deteriorate until it is no more. We are one of the only places in the world without a National Museum. How can our children learn about our country?

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    • After all your point you expect everyone to know they require permission to visit the islet? SMH

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  2. The culprits were most likely unaware that permission was needed to explore the islet like most of us. There should be some sort of notice on the islet and on the mainland to alert inhabitants. Hope no illegal drug activities taking place there. Foreigners seeking illegal entry usually take refuge in those places. All citizens should remain vigilant.

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  3. Very interesting didnt realize you first had to reach out to SLNT. Thanks for letting us know

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