Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fake Beach at Blue Lagoon Jamaica Destroys Vital Mangroves

Fake Beach created at Blue Lagoon Jamaica. Photo courtesy Diana McCaulay
Jamaica’s coasts and vital mangroves have been under assault for decades from shoreline over development. Negril has seen its mangroves decimated over the years to make way for yet more large tourism projects. Now word comes that precious little Blue Lagoon in Portland has also fallen victim to one man’s selfish need to create his own beach. It may look pretty in the picture, but know that much killing of important habitat for fish and birds was executed to get this fake beach. Blue Lagoon is Jamaica’s largest spring-fed lagoon and an important marine ecosystem in its own right. I echo the concerns of the Blue Lagoon Restoration Project re-posted from their blog as follows:

The Blue Lagoon Restoration Project is deeply concerned at the actions of a private citizen to clear mangroves in order to construct a private, artificially inseminated beach.

Removal of first generation mangroves, undergrowth and decaying vegetation is a huge mistake which Portland Parish Council, NEPA and people like us must not allow to be repeated. Coastal degradation is an environmental and social issue of national importance. It represents a terrible cost to Blue Lagoon and to Portland's sustainable development and individual dreams.

Mangrove roots are underwater filters and cleaning systems that fishes and marine organisms require - much as trees and plants create oxygen and filter the air we humans breathe. Without clean water, fish die. Without clean water and air, animals and humans die. Decaying plant and animal matter become the soil we need for planting food that our lives depend on.
• mangrove roots underwater systems hide young fish (hatchlings) because larger predator fish cannot maneuver mangrove root nurseries
• all tree root systems help prevent erosion of soil surrounding blue lagoon, removing trees/plants causes hillside soils to wash away
• mangrove canopies (leafy branches) are home, nesting places, rest stops and housing schemes for birds, much like human settlements
• roosting, bird droppings fertilize the soil beneath their canopy, droppings include seeds and other nutrients and natural fertilizers
• bush, plants and undergrowth are home and safe haven for smaller creatures and microcosms
• chopping down trees and plants signals degradation of Nature's support systems sustaining OUR earth
• trees filtering systems create oxygen, roots help stabilize the soil, decayed plant matter creates new soil
• plants take their nutrients from soil and water
• our nutrients come from plants and other species in natures food chain
• when we kill off plants and other species, we are killing our own habitat, and inevitably, our species
Community focus and involvement is the only solution. I ask everyone concerned to help make certain no further damage comes upon the waters and shores surrounding Blue Lagoon.

1 comment:

  1. Wow I didn't know that Jamaica was adding to their spectacular beaches. Doesn't seem right.