The last dune is down; fresh concerns raised about sand mining in Barbuda

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Marine Biologist John Mussington is expressing renewed concern about the mining of sand in Barbuda as he indicates that the last sand ridge in Palmetto Point – which offered some coastal protection – was removed in recent days.
He said this has happened contrary to statements from government officials in recent times, who said the mining has been halted.
In a release to the media last month, the government further said, “The Cabinet agreed that Barbuda sand will no longer be exported to other Caribbean countries, and that export to Antigua is henceforth severely restricted.”
But Mussington is insisting that sand mining is still “continuing full fledge and they don’t have any intention of stopping” and it doesn’t appear severely restricted.
He said he has been there on the ground in Barbuda, observing what is being done.
The environmentalist explains, “Palmetto Point is located on the southwest corner of Barbuda, Coco Point is on the southeast, Cedar Tree Point is on the northwest and Two Foot Bay is on the East Coast. Now, the significance of Palmetto Point and to a lesser extent Cedar Tree Point is that in the event of a direct hit from a hurricane as we got with Hurricane Luis, Palmetto Point area will be the most significant path the storm winds will come from.”
He said this means “that with the sand dunes no longer in place there, we are going to be exceedingly vulnerable to those stronger paths of the hurricane force winds in the event of a direct hit.”
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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