Update: Dredging of Coral Reef for Coast Guard base in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Kurt Cordice sre at caribsurf.com
Sun Feb 18 21:22:25 EST 2001

Hi Dave,

Many thanks for your email and for your offer of support regarding the problem here in SVG.  

I think as a potential tourist of SVG, voicing your opinion regarding this matter will  have some impact.  Also, coral reefs are not only a local heritage for the youth here, but a global heritage for the children of the world.  Loss of reef areas, especially under the circumstances of this situation, affects us all.  I will include a fax number for the Ministers below.

However, please consider the following:

Support is welcome, but please refrain from crossing out SVG as a potential destination (as a tourist or otherwise).  The publicity here regarding this issue has raised environmental and heritage awareness to a high, quite possibly higher than it has been in a long time.  And this high might quite possibly result in some very positive changes here if the cards are played right.  Supportive messages from international persons will help this positive movement, just as many emails from list members have helped me keep a postive tone throughout.  

However, I think the reason this situation has captured the attention of the local community has been because of its positive nature.  Negativity or threats of a tourism boycott from international sources could taint the positive energy that is being fostered here, and will most likely be used by individuals to cloud the real issue.  

It is also important to realize that your tourism might actually save and/or prolong the live of reefs in this country.  SVG is in a unique position in that it does not yet have a fully developed tourism market.  How that tourism market develops will depend on you and people like you.  We need tourists who will be aware of our environment and culture, and will look to enjoy and respect both during your stay.  We need tourists who will go out of their way to spend money at local establishments rather than foreign based resorts.  These tourists  are compatable with the kind of tourism that fosters preservation/protection.  If we begin to loose that kind of tourism, the door will be wide open to mass tourism development, bringing with it further destructive practices.

So, if you do wish to write to the "powers that be" here in SVG, it would be a great help.  But please keep it positive so that we can keep the ball rolling on this end, and hopefully make some good things happen.  

Also, please consider writing and/or contacting the US military (navy) to make sure they are aware of our current situation...that the appeal process regarding the Planning Board decision for the project has been denied by the local Government, and that further evidence of the reef's health has been ignored.  It is understood that they are not doing the dredging, but as part of the overall project, they should be aware of that fact.  

Names and number for St. Vincent:

Mr. A. Eustace, Prime Minister
Sir J. Mitchell, Senior Minister
Prime Minister's Office
Financial Complex
Kingstown, St. Vincent
West Indies
Fax: 784-457-2152
(sorry, no email)

Once again, many thanks for your support in this matter, it means a lot.



  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: dallison 
  To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov ; caribwa at egroups.com ; Kurt Cordice 
  Sent: Monday, February 19, 2001 4:37 PM
  Subject: RE: Update: Dredging of Coral Reef for Coast Guard base in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

  Perhaps it would be of some value for folks who, like me and some of my friends, visit and vacation in the Caribbean a couple of times each year to send a note to the minister to let him know that we will not be including SVG in our vacation plans if they persist in their efforts to dredge the coral reefs in the area.  I would be happy to deliver such a note if I had the address and or email or fax numbers and the name of the Prime Minister and Senior Minister.
  Dave Allison
  Allison Associates

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