Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Letter of the day: We're ruining our beaches

Published:Saturday | January 9, 2016 | 1:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Over the last few years, erosion of our coastline has fuelled concerns about the destruction of our beaches and the related consequences.

On a recent visit to Hellshire, I was shocked and angry at the destruction of the beach. But this problem did not appear overnight. It began in the early 1960s with the destruction of the sand dunes and the construction of food shacks within a few yards of the beach. Cars were allowed to drive over the dunes, thus levelling the beach area. Hurricanes slowly completed the destruction.

We care little about our environment. We cover our wetlands (swamps) with concrete and approve construction within yards of the waterline.

Our beaches in Negril are under stress from the reckless building of hotels on the sand dunes and the wetlands. Short-term planning compounded the crisis. The beaches and environment of Negril, Hellshire and others may now be beyond repair.

Our incompetent environmental authorities are numb to the environmental disaster waiting around the bend, and the looming consequences of their neglect. The tourist industry will eventually collapse as a result of degradation of our beaches and the careless construction in our mountains and watersheds. Crime will surely escalate when jobs dependent on tourism disappear.

R. OSCAR LOFTERS

lofters1@aol.com

Kingston 8