Tue | Oct 17, 2017

Duncans Bay fight ain't over

Published:Wednesday | July 26, 2017 | 12:08 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I was shocked to read that approval for sand mining had been granted to Keith Russell, on appeal, with no public or environmental consultation. What on earth is the Government thinking?

This particular beach in Trelawny is pristine, with beautiful white sand, surrounded by wetlands, teeming with birds and wildlife. It is right in the community of Duncans Bay and only a few hundred yards from Jacob Taylor Beach, which is a working fisherman's beach with shops, bars and restaurants. It is also a documented breeding ground for Hawksbill turtles. Every year there are numerous turtle nests incubating throughout the area. Surviving nature alone is a major challenge for these beautiful creatures. Destroying their breeding ground should be unthinkable.

On the pro side, there are a few short-lived jobs for heavy-equipment operators and truck drivers created, a huge profit for one man or company, and that's about it. The con side is a very long list: destruction of a documented Hawksbill turtle nesting ground, disruption/destruction of the surrounding wetlands, erosion and far-reaching environmental damage to the coastal infrastructure, as well as marine life, mashing up of a rural road which has been access to two communities for the last 60 years or so and certainly not suited for commercial truck traffic.

Home and lot values in the community will go down and the whole quality of life in the area will be adversely affected. For what? There certainly isn't anything in it for the Jamaican people. On the contrary, this will set a precedent for others to apply to mine more of Jamaica's beaches. Easy money.

Jamaica's sand is an incredible finite resource belonging to all Jamaicans. It takes thousands of years to create from rock and shells and it fate should not be decided by politician's who's power is counted in, not centuries, not decades, but years.

If you do a Google search of 'sand mining on beaches', there will be 501,000 documents pop up. All of which are calling this practice a global crisis. A lot of them talk about the theft of sand from the worlds beaches. That's because you have to steal it, as most countries wouldn't dream of making it legal.

The second site listed on my search is http://coastalcare.org/sections/inform/sand-mining/. If you scroll down to the second article (there are 10 pages of articles from around the world), it's about Duncans Bay. What a shame! This post is recent and only the beginning of continued bad press on this subject.

I have recently signed a petition to reverse this approval and urge others to do the same. This affects ALL Jamaicans and it's time you stand up and say NO MORE. Jamaica's beaches are a gift from God. Email the prime minister's office and tell them you are against this destructive practice.

GLENN CLYDESDALE

Silver Sands Resident