UPDATE: US Marines help destroy Coral Reefs in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Kurt Cordice sre at caribsurf.com
Wed Jan 17 16:07:58 EST 2001

Hello everyone,

Many thanks for all the responses regarding this issue here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.  Things are still going ahead as planned here, and there seems that there may be little that can be done to stop it.  

I have found out some more infomation and must correct some that was sent in my previous email.  It has now been clarified that the Dredging is not going to be done by the US Millitary, and that the dredging and pilings will be done by a seperate contractor throught the SVG government.  The US is involved in the building of the actual base, and will be finishing the dock once the initial water work has been done (ie dredging and piling).  I do appologise for implicating the US Milliary directly in that specific action.   Please forward this email to anyone that you have fowarded the original email, so that this correction may be known to them.  

The fact that the US can "technically" was their hands of the actual damage to be done by the dredger, coupled with an Environmental Impact Assessment which has some disagreement as to its interpretation, means that there is little chance that the process will be stopped.    Further, it seems that finally approval for the project was given locally, though most of the players that should be involved in that process were unaware of this fact.  It sees that all the bases have been covered.  

With a situation like this, one can only wonder what we are all fighting for in conservation issues.  The push of late has been to record what is in the local environment, and to strengthen laws to support the protection based on that knowledge.  Here is a situation where we have a record of what is in the area and the law clearly states that it should be protected.  Further, most of the government departments involved have not recommended the project.  But the project goes through anyway.  We have no local entities which are strong enough to go after the situation legally.

And whats more, though it is now known that the US persons here are not directly involved in the actual dredging in the marine area, the very presense and support for the project still prevents many from speaking out against it, and still creates an air of support for what is happening.  It is quite clear that thier part in the project will not be stopped or delayed in any way unless they are asked to do so by the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.  

So at this point, though I'm sure the effort to work on things from a local direction will continue to the bitter end, it looks like we have lost another stand of reef area, and yet another blow to the legal strength of conservation law in the Country.
But I haven't completely given up hope yet, so If anyone does have any suggestions or ideas, please do let me know. 

Many thanks again for your interest,


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