Tag Archives: Barbados Coastal Erosion

Taking Denis Lowe’s Cruise? Ask the Environment Minister about Mullins Bay.

Mullins Bay Barbados Cruise

Minister Lowe’s Cruise Vessel Usually Turns At Mullins Bay!

When we last heard from our friends at Mullins Bay Blog, Environment Minister Denis Lowe hadn’t shown his face at the site of the infamous 3 groynes that are destroying beaches in the area. The issue is that well-connected and well-financed developers were given permission by government officials to build three rock groynes (fingers into the ocean) to capture sand so their beach would be fabulous at the expense of everyone else along the coast. The sand has to come from somewhere and that is why nearby beaches are disappearing.

Dr. Lowe doesn’t want to hear about this issue and doesn’t want to deal with it because the people in question are also DLP campaign donors – and like the BLP before them, the DLP has no hesitation about trading the public good for money in the party’s bank account.

But it just so happens that the vessel chosen for Dr. Lowe’s End of Summer Cruise is the M.V. Harbour Master, and in the normal cruises the vessel usually turns in the vicinity of Mullins Bay!

That means that everyone on the Environment Minister’s cruise will be able to see the groynes and ask Dr. Lowe about his government’s inaction on the matter. Passengers will also be able to ask Minister Lowe about the rumours of a fourth groyne being planned by the developers. Here is what we see at Barbados Travel Advisor

“I now have it on good account that the Kings Beach Hotel has been sold. The proud new owner, as was suspected, is the same party responsible for the infamous groynes (groins – American English) and developers of the neighboring condos – St. Peter’s Bay Villas (Scandinavian-Bajan developer, Bjorn Bierkam, and frontman for The Villages and other foreign investors). Rumor has it that “they” got it for the firesale sum of BDS $14M at a “silent bid” auction at the end of last June.

So, again as was suspected, the orange paint on Kings Beach’s wall noted above was indicative of something serious happening in the area. Look for more condos as the property already has Town Planning approval for a six-storey/50-unit condo block; so there will be condos from Leamington in the north all the way to The Great House to the south.

Even more foreboding is that surveyors were spotted on the beach last week and the suspicion (no announcements so people can only do the Math) is that they (Bierkam & company) are getting ready to put in another groyne to try to repair the damage done to the beach in front of Kings Beach by the already infamous previous three groynes. The surveyors were spotted as far south as The Pink House in Road View/Mullins.”

So if you are going on Dr. Lowe’s cruise, you can have a look at the groynes yourself… unless, of course, the cruise vessel doesn’t take its usual trip for some strange reason.

Mullins Bay Destruction Not Just An Environmental Issue

The destruction of the beaches at Mullins Bay and nearby is not just an environmental issue. The story of Mullins Bay and the disappearing Barbados West Coast beaches is not a disagreement over environmental science by well-meaning people who all have the public good in mind. No sir.

The rape of our West Coast is all about corporations with money that have been allowed to do as they please by two successive governments. The St. Peter’s Bay condo developers were allowed by government to build groynes to enhance their own beach — never mind the disastrous impact upon the neighboring beaches and coastline.

Further Reading

Mullins Bay Blog: Let’s go to the beach

BFP: Beaches Disappearing Near Mullins Bay Barbados – Why Does Government Allow The St. Peter’s Bay Condo Project To Destroy The Coast?

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Nature, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Real Estate, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

Lesson for Barbados – Mexican Hotel Builds Groyne To Steal Beach Sand: Government Sends In Navy, Police, Environmental Enforcement Agents!

Armed Mexican troops seize hotel beach created with stolen sand and illegally-built groin (rocks in background).

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME SCENE! Armed Mexican troops seize hotel beach created with stolen sand and illegally-built groyne (rocks in background).

Unlike Barbados, the Government of Mexico is obviously serious about protecting fragile coastline and beaches from corporations and developers that think they can do whatever they want to enhance their own beachfront at the expense of the environment and others people’s property and enjoyment.

“…some property owners build breakwaters in a bid to retain sand. The practice often merely shifts sand loss to beaches below the breakwaters.”

“Today we made the decision to close this stretch of ill-gotten, illegally accumulated sand,”

…Patricio Patron, Mexico’s attorney-general for environmental protection.  (Mexico sends navy to shut Cancun beach; says hotel’s sand stolen.)

Mr. Patron said he regretted any inconvenience for tourists, but said the government is planning projects to restore beaches throughout Cancun in an orderly, environmentally responsible way.  “I apologize to the tourists for this problem, but it is a question of enforcing the law,” Mr. Patron said.

Of course, Mexico has environmental laws to enforce. Barbados has no environmental protection laws. Really… as strange as that sounds, it is true. Barbados has no environmental protection legislation on the books. Successive Barbados governments have promised such legislation – but they also promised anti-drunk driving legislation, integrity legislation, freedom of information legislation etc etc etc.

Contrast Mexico’s Protection of Beaches With Barbados…

Barbado Environment Denis Lowe (left) remains silent on the Mullins Beach fiasco since his election.

Barbado Environment Denis Lowe (left) remains silent on the Mullins Beach fiasco since his election.

In the case of Mullins Bay, Barbados, a large condo developer has been allowed to build three massive groynes that trap sand in front of the condo to the detriment of other property owners and nearby beaches.

Minister of the Environment Denis Lowe didn’t even bother to show up for a long-planned Coastal Management beach walk a few weeks ago. According to our friends over at Mullins Bay blog, Minister Lowe promised to visit the area but hasn’t done so since he was elected. Hey… it must be tough for Doctor Lowe to tear himself away from the luncheon buffet at the government-owned Hilton Hotel.

Maybe someone should do up a Mullins Bay video presentation and play it over the sweets table at the hotel!

Mullins Bay Destruction Not Just An Environmental Issue

As we have said before, the destruction of the beaches at Mullins Bay and nearby is not just an environmental issue. The story of Mullins Bay and the disappearing West Coast beaches is not a disagreement over environmental science by well-meaning people who all have the public good in mind. No sir.

The rape of our West Coast is all about corporations with money that have been allowed to do as they please by two successive governments. The St. Peter’s Bay condo developers were allowed by government to build groynes to enhance their own beach — never mind the disastrous impact upon the neighboring beaches and coastline.

How much money did the condo developers provide in “campaign donations” to our two major political parties? Don’t ask! With no campaign financing laws, integrity legislation or conflict of interest laws — Barbados citizens are effectively kept in the dark.

In Mexico – crooked old Mexico where you can hardly run a roadside water stand without paying off some public official – they have enough sense to know that the rule of law must be enforced to protect the beaches… because when those beaches are gone Mexico can kiss the tourists goodbye.

In Barbados, our government officials allow certain developers to enhance their own properties while destroying area beaches.

Somebody in Barbados must be getting a pay off. That can be the only excuse. I hope the Barbados government officials who allowed the groynes are being paid off.

You have to understand Bajans: we accept that our government officials might be crooks. We just hope they aren’t stupid enough to destroy the beaches for free without filling their own pockets!

Doctor Lowe… quit stuffing your face and get rid of those groynes that are destroying Mullins Beach. For the love of Barbados, do something to save the West Coast beaches… Or, are you now on the take too?

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Environment, Nature, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Tourism, Traveling and Tourism, Wildlife

Who Is In Charge Of Environmental Damage On The Barbados Coast… Coastal Zone Management Unit or Town Planning?

Barbados Beach Walk

“The high point for this blogger was the chance meeting for the first time with Dr. Leo Brewster, the Director of the Coastal Zone Management Unit, on Ground Zero and an opportunity for an impromptu and brief interview, and – totally unplanned – in the presence of a section of the print media.  He was gracious but clearly uneasy with the line of questioning. Consequently, his answers were at best evasive…”

Mullins Bay Blog Reports First Person As Dr. Leo Brewster Ducks The Issue

Our friends at Mullins Bay Blog were there for the Tourism Environmental Awareness walk at Mullins Beach yesterday, and their interview with the Director of the Coastal Zone Management Unit highlights exactly what we all know to be true. The destruction of our West Coast beaches is not so much an environmental problem as a political one.

A blind man on a fast horse can see that the choices made by government favour big time developers rather than preserving the environment, universal beach access and protection of the entire coast. In the case of Mullins Beach, a large condo developer has been allowed to build three massive groins that trap sand in front of the condo to the detriment of other property owners and nearby beaches.

What does the Director of Coastal Zone Management Unit have to say when specific questions are put to him in a public forum?

Perhaps diehard DLP supporters will discover much to their own chagrin, as Jack Nicholson once screamed in one of his brilliant performances: “You can’t handle the truth.”

But if you can handle the truth – head over to Mullins Bay Blog and discover right from the mouth of the Director of the Barbados Coastal Management Unit exactly what the government plans to do to save the West Coast beaches: which is nothing.

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Filed under Barbados, Environment

Beaches Disappearing Near Mullins Bay Barbados – Why Does Government Allow The St. Peter’s Bay Condo Project To Destroy The Coast?

Mullins Beach: Going, Going...

Mullins Beach: Going, Going...

Our friends over at Mullins Bay Blog have been chiding us lately for not paying enough attention to the destruction occurring on the West Coast, and after some thought we have to plead guilty. Sometimes one gets caught up in life to the point where you forget about the basics. I think it’s called “the tyranny of the urgent over the important.”

Anyway, our thanks for the gentle reminder and we promise to pay more attention to the serious situation happening at Mullins Bay. We also promise to up the environmental stories content at BFP as we’ve let that slip lately too. In our defense, we point out that Barbados Free Press has been hammering integrity and accountability issues recently because the Barbados government’s refusal to enact and truly embrace ITAL (Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation) has in large measure been responsible for the continuing CLICO debacle. (Our predictions about CLICO… You ain’t seen nothin’ yet, folks!)

Environmental Stories

We’ve been primarily focused upon two environmental stories from the South Coast: the Shell Oil leaky pipeline that contaminated soil and wells in the area, and the government’s changing of the law to allow their developer friends to build upon the Graeme Hall watershed – upon land that had been protected for the previous 30 years.

Both of these stories are, on the surface, all about environmental concerns – but if you look closer, you’ll find politics and money are always a big part of environmental controversies.

You know how it is folks… money changes everything.

Mullins Bay Destruction Not Just An Environmental Issue

And so you will find that the destruction of the beaches at Mullins Bay and nearby is not just an environmental issue. The story of Mullins Bay and the disappearing West Coast beaches is not a disagreement over environmental science by well-meaning people who all have the public good in mind. No sir.

The rape of our West Coast is all about corporations with money that have been allowed to do as they please by two successive governments. The St. Peter’s Bay condo developers were allowed by government to build groins to enhance their own beach — never mind the disastrous impact upon the neighboring beaches and coastline.

How much money did the condo developers provide in “campaign donations” to our two major political parties? Don’t ask! With no campaign financing laws, integrity legislation or conflict of interest laws — Barbados citizens are effectively kept in the dark.

Did the St. Peter’s Bay condo developers ever provide gifts or consulting contracts to personnel with the Coastal Zone Management Unit or the Town Planning Department? How about gifts or consulting contracts to government family members? Don’t ask! Barbados has no integrity and conflict of interest laws that prohibit government workers or elected representatives from accepting gifts from developers.

At Mullins Bay blog, the authors cannot ask such questions openly. They can and do ask why the Barbados government has allowed one developer to cause so much damage. They ask why the Minister of the Environment, Denis Lowe, hasn’t shown his face in the area. They ask why two successive governments have cared so little about the disappearing West Coast beaches.

At Barbados Free Press we say, “Follow the Money”

The story of the environmental rape at Mullins Bay and elsewhere on the West Coast is not just an environmental issue. It is also about fat cats in government failing to protect the public interest. It is about a Prime Minister and an Environment Minister who were concerned about environmental issues like Mullins Bay, the Graeme Hall wetlands and Shell Oil spills — only until they were elected.

How much did the St. Peters Bay condo developers donate to the DLP campaign.. and how has that impacted the government decisions at Mullins Bay? How much did Shell Oil donate to the DLP campaign… and how has that impacted the government decision not to side with the farmers? How much did CLICO donate to the DLP campaign… and how has that impacted the government decision to change the laws to allow development on the Graeme Hall watershed?

Yes my friends, there is much more to environmental issues than appears at first glance.

mullins bay damage

Educate Yourself On The Mullins Bay Area Issues

(Adapted from Mullins Bay Blog story – link here)

It is important that concerned locals and visitors to the area know precisely what is going on vis-a-vis beach erosion in the area so that they can articulate the issues intelligently and are not confused by the nonsense and non-science being put out by St. Peter’s Bay and sanctioned by people who should know better from the Coastal Zone Management Unit and the Town Planning Department, as if St. Peter’s Bay is in its own little vacuum.

Over the last three years this blogger has watched and chronicled here the systematic destruction of the beach and private property from the time the groins were installed. If you look at the area map supplied here yesterday,  you will notice that the devastated downdrift  areas start at Kings Beach Hotel which adjoins the southernmost of the three groins.  As this blog reported and documented with photos here, rows of coconut trees, guard walls, etc., were flattened at Kings Beach and the natural headland there was completely eroded particularly during storm events by powerful currents forced off the groins smashing the walls of the mouth of the canalized storm drain on the beach in the process, which drain was once several yards from the water’s edge.   Once the headland was eroded it was open season on the sandy beaches further south culminating in the damage reported in the Sunday Sun article two weeks ago.

“Any coastal structure designed to trap or hold sand in one location will, without question, deprive another area of that sand.  In simple terms, any structure (including terminal groins) that traps sand will cause erosion elsewhere.”

“Groins can impact nearshore circulation by directing currents offshore, especially during storms.”

Armouring the beach with rocks and boulders, while necessary as an emergency measure to prevent further loss and/or damage to private property, ultimately in and of itself does not bring back a sandy beach which is the best protection for the shoreline, as clearly reiterated in the above video.  As one New Zealand coastal engineer who learned of our plight via the Internet “tweeted” recently – “if the beach is eroding in the long term. placing rocks will most likely consign your sandy beach into history.”   A long term solution would therefore require: (1) the immediate removal of the offending groins at St. Peter’s Bay to give the beach a chance to recover and undo some of the damage already done; and, (2) a beach nourishment program implemented such as the one this blog suggested three years ago before we saw all of the accerated destruction in the area.

With all the ongoing erosion on the west coast, some of it no doubt probably related to climate change, government should have never given approval for three groins at St. Peter’s Bay. To put it mildly – it was a monumental environmental mistake (if indeed it was a mistake and nothing even more sinsiter). To continue to ignore the problem (where is the Minister of the Environment who promised to visit the area two weeks ago) will in the very short term mean kissing goodbye to Mullins Beach itself and tourism in the area – not to mention the total devastation and havoc it would visit on the local and adjoining communities.

Save Mullins Bay
Road View, St. Peter
Barbados
246-244-1885
savemullinsbay@gmail.com
http://twitter.com/savemullinsbay

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Nature, Real Estate, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism