Last Mangrove stands to be destroyed for Marina development.

Population should file objections

“The area where the eastern side of the planned bridge [Causeway] connects to the island is characterized by one of the few remaining mangrove stands dominated by the “black mangrove” in the Simpson Bay Lagoon.” “Black mangroves stabilize the shoreline, provide buffers from storm surges, trap debris and detritus and provide feeding, breeding and nursery grounds for a great variety of fish, shellfish, birds and other wildlife. The uniqueness of this area was already noticed in 1995 (Aidenvironment/EcoVision, 1995).” “Fish abundance in this area is the highest of all areas surveyed [in the Simpson Bay Lagoon]. In addition to numerous fish species, this area provides a habitat for various species that were otherwise rarely observed inside the lagoon.” “The area still seems to function as a “nursery habitat” for various reef fish species as evidenced by the high abundance of their juveniles.” “Combined, the features described above characterize this area as a relatively unique location within the wider Simpson Bay Lagoon area where similar habitats have already been destroyed by near shore development.” “Areas where relatively healthy stands of mangroves still exist at present are the Cole Bay area, the Cupecoy area, Little Key and Mullet Pond. Combined, these areas cover less than 10% of the Simpson Bay Lagoon”.
During the draft Simpson Bay Zoning plan meetings held in March and September of 2012 the Ministry of VROMI’s proposals indicated that the aforementioned area would be zoned for conservation purposes based on its ecological value. To Sint Maarten Pride Foundation’s surprise VROMI’s Draft Simpson Bay Development plan, which is currently on public review, now proposes to zone this and a number of other ecologically valuable areas for the construction of “significant” marinas. Sint Maarten Pride Foundation believes that the draft Simpson Bay Zoning Plans in the format currently on public review at the Ministry of VROMI will facilitate the further destruction of the Simpson Bay Lagoon if left unaltered. Considering that the plans do not seem to represent the wishes of the majority of the attendees of the various draft Simpson Bay Lagoon Zoning Plan meetings held in Simpson Bay, Pride is calling on the population at large to file objections to the plans at the Ministry of VROMI and the Government building on or before June 3rd, 2014. Sint Maarten Pride Foundation furthermore believes Minster Maurice Lake of Environmental Affairs (VROMI) should do the honorable thing and have the plans altered to reflect the wishes of the people and the principles of sustainable development. For more information visit