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PRESS RELEASE – The Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) has implemented the first phase of a comprehensive coastal/beach rehabilitation exercise with the installation of a physical barrier on the eastern end of the Sandy Beach strip within the Pointe Sable Environmental Protection Area (PSEPA) in Vieux Fort.
The main purpose of installing the barrier is to restrict vehicular access to certain areas which have been targeted for rehabilitation to reduce excessive compacting of these areas. The SLNT assures the public that pedestrian access to the beach will not be affected by the barrier. According to Mr. Craig Henry, Conservation Programme Officer for the south, “The current works are to increase the resilience of the beach in light of increasing negative impacts from sand mining, compacting of beach surface and gradual loss of coastal vegetation.
This initiative will also protect vehicular encroachment on turtle nesting areas of the beach. The sandy beach strip is an important turtle nesting site in Saint Lucia, where hawksbill and the endangered leatherback turtles come to nest every year.”
The installation of the barriers will be complemented by coastal re-vegetation and sand dune rehabilitation exercises which together will improve coastal stabilization along the affected coastline. Coastal vegetation and sand dunes offer natural protection to adjacent communities which have become increasingly vulnerable to rising sea levels and storm events. Protecting the coastline is also an important measure to make the area more resilient to climate change and reduce flooding. Therefore, the SLNT seeks the continued cooperation of the general public and expresses its gratitude to all agencies and individuals who have made this critical endeavor possible.
For more information please contact Mr. Craig Henry, SLNT’s Conservation Programme Officer (south) at 454-5014 or email [email protected].