Home The Big Stories Press Release:ILLEGAL SAND MINING ON THE INCREASE IN ANTIGUA

Press Release:ILLEGAL SAND MINING ON THE INCREASE IN ANTIGUA

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Since the announcement of Governments’ plans to suspend sand mining from Barbuda by December 2017 the Department of the Environment (DoE) has noted a marked increase in reports of persons taking sand from several beaches in Antigua. The removal of sand from beaches in Antigua is illegal and punishable by imprisonment of a term up to 1 year, a fine of $1000, as well as seizure of the vehicle by the state.
Persons in the construction sector should verify that sand purchased in Antigua has been obtained from a legal source. These legal sources include sand from Guyana and Montserrat, which are presently available on the local market, as confirmed by the DoE. It is therefore imperative that all purchases are made through legal sources to refrain from breaking the laws of the State and to protect our coastline.
The constant removal of sand from beaches increases the risk of coastal erosion, making the beaches narrower while ruining the aesthetics of the coast. Maintaining sand on our beaches is most critical now in Antigua and Barbuda in light of climate change, particularly as we consider the impacts of associated sea level rise, and the increased need for buffers from storm energy from more frequent and stronger tropical storms. Removing sand from our beaches, therefore, increases our national vulnerability and impacts the lives and livelihoods of all persons.
Therefore, all incidences of sand mining will be investigated and persons will be held accountable in accordance with the law.

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