Today’s Editorial: Save our beaches

POSTED: 04/27/11 11:49 AM

The front page story about the beach in Simpson Bay, where a local bar is apparently constructing at will, shows once again how valuable our environmental organizations are.

The Pride Foundation received several calls about the goings on at the beach where the Karakter Bar is located and it took the action it knows best: it took its information to the media.

Our beaches are part of our tourism product and it is not for nothing that they are protected under the rules established in a beach policy.

It is of course good to have such policies but it was even better if the rules they contained are enforced.

For the situation at hand, it is not too late to stop an unwanted development and to restore the beach to its original state.

The inspectorate ought to consider a name and shame policy whereby violators are not only fined, but whereby they are also mentioned in an announcement on the Government Information Page in the local newspapers.

This works well in the United States, especially California, where for instance food and safety inspections are routinely reported in the media. There are also follow-up reports when a business has rectified an unwanted situation.

In a community the scale of St. Maarten, publication could have an additional effect in the sense that it could make others think twice before breaking the same rules.


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