Press Release:- Although Earth Day was officially observed globally on April 22nd, the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) will be continuing efforts to raise awareness about the need to protect the island’s animal and plant life with a series of events from April 27th to April 28th in Vieux Fort, Gros Islet and Soufriere.
Considering the 2019 Earth Day theme ‘Protect Our Species’, the SLNT’s Southern Office will be teaming up with the Rising Stars Police Youth Club on Saturday, April 27th to improve coastal habitat protection measures that have been in place on Sandy Beach.
The activity will involve the restoration and rehabilitation of a physical barrier that was put in place to reduce the negative impacts of vehicular traffic on the surface of Sandy Beach as well as to reduce sand mining which is a major issue along that stretch of beach.
According to Craig Henry, SLNT’s Conservation Officer, South, “Sand mining and beach surface compacting have negative consequences such as loss of habitat for coastal species like marine turtles, since it’s a turtle nesting site.
There is also a gradual loss of coastal vegetation due to the hardening of the soil, increasing the area’s vulnerability to flooding and coastal erosion. Coastal erosion, in turn, can lead to sedimentation within the nearshore coastal area, thereby smothering seagrass beds and coral reefs which provide habitat for marine species.
We will also be undertaking a beach clean-up and a small scale but critical revegetation exercise to secure that coastal area.” The meeting point will be at the SLNT’s Southern Office on Sandy Beach at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 27th.
Earth Day activities are slated to continue on April 28th with Sὸlèy Lévé at 5:30 a.m. at Morne Pavillon, a site in Cap Estate owned by the Trust. That activity will take the form of a walkabout of the area with a bird and plant specialist.
Transportation leaves the bus stop opposite the Gros Islet Police Station at 5:15 a.m. for those requiring that service. Thereafter, interested persons are asked to meet at the Gros Islet bus stop at 6:45 a.m. for a clean-up activity which will culminate at the Pigeon Island National Landmark.
“Sadly all sorts of garbage can be seen strewn along that area in the north. While we appreciate that a clean-up is not a permanent solution, it is a temporary fix with a huge impact as garbage, which are an eye-sore and can be hazardous to birds and other species would have been removed from the area. Additionally, this action would prevent the garbage from being washed into nearby coastal areas where they would pose a threat to marine species. We hope that the public will come out in large numbers to support thesetimely initiative,” said Karetta Crooks Charles, Communications and Advocacy Officer at the Saint Lucia National Trust.
The Trust’s activities continue in Soufriere with an exciting Sὸlèy Kouché Earth Day event on Sunday April 28th from 4:30 p.m. at the Soufriere Waterfront.
The SLNT is thrilled that Massy Stores (Saint Lucia) will be providing $2000 from the Environmental Fund (Plastic Bag Charge) to support our Earth Day Activities. The Landings Resort and Spa, Peace Corps Eastern Caribbean and Greening the Caribbean are also providing in-kind support critical in making these events successful.
The Trust kicked off Earth Day Activities on April 6th and 20th with a Beekeeping and Sea moss Farming Introductory Session in Vieux Fort in an effort to provide hands-on experience to members and non-members about the how to sustainably utilize our natural resources, and measures that can be taken to ensure their protection.