Nature Foundation Finds Significantly Elevated Levels of Pollution Recorded in the Cole Bay Section

Primarily Fecal and Heavy Metal Pollution Recorded

During the past week the St. Maarten Nature Foundation has been recording significantly elevated levels of pollution in the Cole Bay section of the Simpson Bay Lagoon. Although that particular area of the Lagoon is known to have poor water quality, recent research and test results show that there is a higher than usual level of fecal pollution as a result of human waste, and heavy metal pollution present.


The Nature Foundation received complaints from a diver who was doing work in the Simpson Bay Lagoon that he started to get ill after spending some time in the water. The Nature Foundation tested the water quality and found elevated levels at four locations surrounding the Cole Bay section of the Lagoon. "We have no real idea why the quality has been so bad lately and are continuously doing follow up tests in order to determine what the cause is. We have also done dives using specialized equipment to see if we could determine a source but we have not yet been able to do so. In the meantime we encourage the community to avoid contact with the water in the Cole Bay section of the Lagoon until we have found that the situation has stabilized," read a statement from the Nature Foundation.

The Foundation found elevated levels of Nitrates, Phosphates, Heavy Metals and Coli-form bacteria at all testing locations. Testing will continue indefinitely until the source of the pollution is found or until the situation has stabilized.