Time to clear lagoon of shipwrecks, Epic says

POSTED: 09/18/12 1:28 PM

St. Maarten – Although the causeway project over the Simpson Bay Lagoon has been rejected by the majority of Simpson Bay residents as was evident at a town hall meeting earlier this year, environmentalists are hoping that some good may be able to come out of all the evil, surrounding the infrastructural project.

The Epic Love the Lagoon Project is now advocating for government to use the opportunity to clean up the lagoon since heavy equipment is used daily in the area.
Project manager Rueben Thompson has suggested that shipwrecks be removed from the area.
“With the destruction of the Simpson Bay Lagoon for the causeway, all of this heavy equipment and large cranes are in the lagoon. It is a prime opportunity to make use of this equipment for some good. We call on them to make use of the equipment to remove the dozens of shipwrecks that are still in the Simpson Bay Lagoon now,” Thompson said.

The protection of Little Key, an island in the lagoon is also paramount and cleaning up of the shoreline of this wetland area should be given priority, the organization believes.
“Let us clean up the lagoon while we have all this material at hand,” Thompson reiterated.
While doing her Master’s thesis, with assistance from Epic, here in 2008, University of Wisconsin-Madison student Sue Evelyn Wang made a case for having the wrecks removed from the lagoon.
“Wrecked ships can also be found in the Simpson Bay Lagoon. After Hurricane Luis in 1995, 1,462 shipwrecks were found in the lagoon, and more sank in the 1999 Hurricane Lenny. Although most were salvaged, many submerged and beached wrecks can still be found in the lagoon. A few wrecks on the lagoon www.honeytraveler.com/buy-synthroid/ floor have created habitat for some animals, but the wrecks pose a hazard to marine life in general. They contain objects or parts that expel unnatural elements into the environment, particularly if they contain oil. These contaminants could potentially enter the food chain or get trapped in high concentrations in the sediment. They can also harm the vegetation and organisms when they are moved around by lagoon currents and wind,” Wang wrote.

On the French side of the lagoon, 25 wrecks have been identified.
Traffic congestion, a lack of space for pedestrians, cyclists and joggers, and water on the road were a few of the issues which former Minister of VROMI, Theo Heyliger said prompted his decision to fulfill a campaign promise to build the causeway. But the causeway is part of the larger road network plan.
Contractor Volker Stevin is building the bridge that falls under the Harbor Group of Companies. The Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority signed the contract for the construction of the causeway which is expected to be completed in less than two years. Daily construction work moves apace near the Port-de-Plaisance area and in the Simpson Bay Lagoon.

Ecovision’s environmental impact study that was published two years ago in April 2010, notes that on the eastern side of the lagoon (where the causeway will connect to Union road next to Port-de-Plaisance, the project will cause damage to the still existing black mangrove stands.
Environmentalists remain unconvinced that the causeway will be the answer to the island’s infrastructural and traffic woes stating that it would only serve to further affect the island’s biodiversity.

Did you like this? Share it:
Time to clear lagoon of shipwrecks, Epic says by

Comments are closed.