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NEPA urges caution in removal of seaweed from beaches

Published:Friday | September 15, 2017 | 12:00 AM


The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is reminding stakeholders in the hotel and hospitality sector, other sectors and the general public that the use of heavy-duty construction equipment such as tractors and front-end loaders for the removal of sargassum (seaweed) and other accumulated debris from beaches is prohibited without prior approval from NEPA.

Stakeholders are being urged to notify NEPA of plans to remove sargassum and other beach debris using heavy equipment.

"This is to allow the agency to plan and respond to the events and provide appropriate guidance on best practice and procedures," advised Anthony McKenzie, director, Environmental and Conservation Division.

Stakeholders who choose to adopt manual methods in the removal of the sargassum without heavy equipment are reminded that the material can be stockpiled with rotation to allow for quick drying and the reaping of the sand for return to the beach. Alternatively, the sargassum may also be buried on the beach.

The occurrence of sargassum on the beaches across Jamaica is a natural phenomenon and poses no major threat to the environment or human life.

The NEPA encourages stakeholders to join in the effort to preserve Jamaica's beaches.