Campaigners fighting to protect Seaforth Beach and surrounding mangroves from development are urging the public to attend a walk-through of the area this Sunday.
Participants will meet at 6am at the Valley Road entrance to the beach, just south of Little Creek Bridge, and are encouraged to attend in family or workplace ‘bubbles’ in line with Covid safety guidelines.
Public uproar broke out after plans to create the country’s second special economic zone were announced in October.
Developers plan to build homes, resorts, shops and a financial district, among other things, across 549 acres of countryside between Jennings and Five Islands.
Government has touted the scheme as a welcome economic injection for the country, tipped to create hundreds of jobs.
But critics say it encroaches on the country’s largest wetland – a haven for rare wildlife – and will destroy valuable mangroves.
The area has long been a favoured haunt for hikers, fishers, campers and birdwatchers. Part of it is cited as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) by global body BirdLife International, which means it’s deemed important for the conservation of bird populations worldwide.
Archaeologist Dr Reginald Murphy also suspects the site may be home to ancient Amerindian artefacts and is currently combing the area to search for them.
To date, more than 2,000 people have signed a petition calling for the development to be scaled back.
The petition’s initiator Raul Samuel appealed for the public to attend Sunday’s event aimed at familiarising more people with the special area.
They are invited to take photos for widespread online circulation in a bid to spread the message about its unique value and why it should be protected.
For updates, follow the ‘Save Seaforth Beach & Mangrove’ Facebook page.