Marine biologist joins the fight to save Seaforth wetlands

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Veteran marine biologist, John Mussington. (File photo)
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An expert marine biologist has publicly put his support behind the campaign to stop harmful development in the Seaforth Beach area.

This after a resident, Raul Samuel, organised and launched a petition to prevent what he believes will be further environmental destruction by the Western Imperial Special Economic Zone, which proposes “to attract a large number of investors, both for building residences and offshore businesses … and other kinds of entrepreneurial undertakings like financial institutions”.

However, Marine biologist, John Mussington said that based on decades of experience in the field, Samuel is spot on with those concerns about Seaforth.

“The vast majority, I would say over 80 percent, have been destroyed or severely impacted, and specifically the wetlands on the western side of the island. For example, those wetlands that were damaged or destroyed or replaced when the Jolly Harbour development was being done, that has had a severe impact on the marine ecosystem on the west and south-west sections of Antigua,” Mussington said during an interview.

Mussington has been part of countless impact assessments which paved the way for many of the country’s major development projects, and noted that any assessment carried out in the Seaforth area would reveal the kind of damage that could occur.

“As far as I know in terms of plans for development, it’s going to require the building of marinas, an anchorage, ocean side properties, and that kind of thing. Those will again interfere with the wetlands in terms of clearing the material stirred up which the wetlands would naturally filter before they get out and protect the environment. All of those services will be lost,” he added.

Mussington also claimed there is no worthwhile example of their success anywhere in the region.

“What they do, essentially, is use the resources, extract wealth but at the end of the day they deteriorate the environment.”

People interested in supporting the campaign to protect the Seaforth Beach area can contact campaigner, Raul Samuel, at [email protected] or at 775-7420.

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