Beach cleanup contractor causes pollution Orient Bay, St. MartinPOSTED: 05/28/12 2:24 PM
MOUNT VERNON, St. Martin – The Réserve Naturelle is looking for witnesses to establish who opened the channel from the Etang de Chevrise to the open sea in Orient Bay and caused polluted water to flow through it. However, last Monday the contractor who is cleaning the Orient Bay Beach from the former Hotel Mont Vernon towards Boo Boo Jam was seen digging up the sand that blocks the channel. It will therefore only be a matter of time before the Réserve Naturelle will be able to identify the culprit.
The channel was opened without authorization, most likely to lower the water level in the pond. The outflow of the water created a large brown patch in the sea at Orient beach, a popular spot for cruise tourists and other beach lovers. The Collectivité did however not issue a ban on swimming in the bay as it did when the salt pond in Le Galion overflowed recently.
The channel has been closed up again in the meantime and the polluted water has dispersed. When the Réserve Naturelle got notice that the channel had been opened, manager Romain Renoux immediately informed the Collectivité so that it could measures to protect beach goers; none were taken.
The Etang de Chevrise is notoriously polluted by sewage from housing projects located in the vicinity of the pond.