Tourist office and environmental groups erecting environmental awareness signsPOSTED: 06/26/12 12:08 PM
A typical St. Maarten beach scene where environmental awareness signs are to be placed. (DCOMM Photo)
GREAT BAY – The St. Maarten Tourism Bureau collaborates with Love the Lagoon and Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (Epic) to place environmental awareness signs at Great Bay beach by the end of June. The initiative is part of the Tourist Office’s environmental awareness program. It also has the government’s full backing and fits with the partnership with Epic that began in 2008. The collaboration focuses on enhancing and increasing the local community’s and visitors’ awareness of environmental protection methods and keeping our beaches and lagoon clean.
The signs will provide practical environmental guidelines to beach users. More beaches are expected to follow suit i.e. Mullet Bay, Simpson Bay, Kim Sha beach. In October 2011, Divi Little Bay Beach and Isle de Sol Marina were awarded the Blue Flag, making St. Maarten the first country in the Dutch Caribbean to have Blue Flag locations. The Blue Flag is awarded to beaches or marinas that meet a specific set of criteria concerning environmental information and education, water quality, safety, services and environmental management.
The program is designed to raise environmental awareness and increase sound environmental practices among residents, tourists, marina-, beach- or resort management and staff. The eco-label has become an international symbol of quality recognized by governments, Non- Governmental Organizations and tour operators, and is used for the promotion of the awarded beach, marina or destination.