Nature Foundation Report on Activities Post Rain Event November 7 and 8 2014

This report briefly summarizes the activities of the Nature Foundation post significant rain event and subsequent flooding on the 7th and 8th of November 2014.

As soon as the all clear was given the St. Maarten Nature Foundation responded to various items as part of its post rainfall event management protocols.

Water Quality Tests were conducted at Great Bay, Little Bay and Simpson Bay Beaches in the vicinity of Kim-sha beach in order to determine the levels of Water Quality. Whenever there is a large rain event such as the one experienced on the 7th and 8th of November there is significant runoff and overflow of the Great and Fresh Ponds which can result in poor water quality at the aforementioned beaches. Based on the results of the water quality tests the St. Maarten Nature Foundation recommends that people avoid swimming or bathing at the beaches of Great Bay, Divi Little Bay/ Belair Beach and Kim-Sha Beach until follow-up tests can be conducted by the St. Maarten Nature Foundation or other relevant authorities. Tests have shown that water quality is of a reduced level, which may cause negative reactions in swimmers including swimmers ear and ear infections and irritated skin.

The Nature Foundation was also made aware of numerous residents complaining about live tilapia in flooded homes. The Foundation assisted in the removal of some of the live invasive species but recommends that no one consumes this or any other fish species as they may pose a public health risk and are unfit for consumption.

The Nature Foundation will continue to follow-up with continued tests and monitoring and will report accordingly.