Sand mining is continuing unabated in Barbuda, despite the fact that several studies undertaken by the Environmental Division concluded that the activity could negatively result in serious coastal erosion.
This is according to Marine Biologist John Mussington, who said that despite constant warnings by the division, sand mining continues to compromise the island’s coastlines, destroy some of Barbuda’s most unique and valuable biodiversity resources, and increase the island’s vulnerability to storms and the consequences of climate change.
“Barbuda is losing beach shoreline in the Palmetto Point area where there is severe erosion taking place. The biodiversity of the area has been severely compromised to the point of being nearly completely destroyed,” he said yesterday.
The area, he said, lies within the Codrington Lagoon National Park.
Mussington said that Antigua & Barbuda has signed onto the RAMSAR Convention and that the lagoon is the only RAMSAR site — sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance — for the twin island nation.
“By continuing to destroy the natural resources of the Palmeto Point, we are actually going against what we, as a nation, have agreed to in terms of managing those natural resources,” the marine biologist pointed out.
“The fact that sand mining continues up to this day means that the damage which the environmental division identified, has been continuing. Today we are that much worse off in terms of the consequences.”
Mussington said some of the consequences include the underground fresh water resources being contaminated and made unusable. Additionally, the mining of sand down to sea level creates a dangerous situation and makes the entire area vulnerable to flooding during storms and even during ground swells which occur in Antigua & Barbuda every year.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)