This post was seriously delayed because I had to make sure I clearly and coherently expressed my views without going on an unstoppable chaotic rant.
Maracas Bay is one of Trinidad’s most famous beaches not only for its beauty but also for Richard’s bake and shark (D best on the beach). Imagine my surprise when I recently visited the beach and saw this.
What a complete an utter disaster !!!!!!!
What for ……
Development in the name of tourism?
What tourist would willingly want to stop and bathe here?
- The construction of the diverted north coast road and service road
- The upgraded drainage and car park facilities
- The construction of the two utility corridors
I, however, feel like we need to restore whatever it is that is currently taking place on the beach I refuse to call it development, it looks more like destruction.
Let’s start from the beginning in 2006 the Tourism Development Company applied for a certificate of environmental clearance ( CEC) for the construction of a central vending facility, new sewage treatment plant, re-alignment of the existing north coast road, placement of sand retention mechanisms and renovation of structures at Maracas Bay. The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) determined that there may be significant environmental impacts from this activity as such an environmental impact assessment is needed to properly identify, assess and mitigate potential impacts of the proposed development.
In 2007 the application was withdrawn and in 2008 a new application was made and the EMA determined that no environmental impact assessment was needed and the certificate of environmental clearance was granted.
1+1 must be equal 5, is either that or something clearly not adding up
Did the environmental threats go poof??
Can someone please explain this to me because I really don’t understand.
I smell a rat and money but that could just be me.
This project encompasses a total area of 11 ha and an area of approximately 2.1 ha of land will be cleared in order to facilitate the realignment of the north coast road, the expansion of the car park and the construction of a new sewage plant but no impact assessment is needed. One was needed in 2006 but not in 2008 ….. ok cool!
The Tourism Development Company stated that the development will not adversely alter the aesthetics of the area, as buildings will be designed to harmonize with the surrounding and derelict structures will be removed.
HUHHHHH???????? if this is what harmonizing with the environment looks like I would hate for things to be in disrepair.
We are all aware of the many problems at Maracas Beach such as
- traffic congestion
- poor water quality
- sand loss
- poor facilities
Whilst the project aims to tackle these issues we cannot ignore the environmental impacts and as a result of no impact assessment, there is no obligation to prevent and mitigate any environmental impacts.
The Tourism Development Company wants to create a beach facility that is of international standards, achieving safe, hygienic, aesthetically pleasing modern environment. They are clearly on route to achieving this goal. Clearly !!!!
The displeasure with the works at the beach has been expressed by many locals and tourists as they have stated that :
- They have completely wrecked the beach
- How does one go around all of this?
- Do we need all of this?
- This site is awful
- I prefer to bathe at Las Cuevas, that beach is unspoiled by man
- This is horrible
This is definitely not a good representation for not only our flagship beach but the jewel crown of Trinidad’s beaches.
I am in no way against the development of the beach and an upgrade, however, we cannot neglect the environment for the sake of the dollar.
No matter the nature of the project given its close proximity to the beach, the surrounding ecosystems and the extent of the project an environmental impact assessment should be conducted. Despite the talks that there have been alterations of the project whereby the road is presently being widened and not redirected the fact still remains that the environment cannot be neglected and solid evidence of these talks are yet to be identified.
When would we realise that we need the earth more than it needs us?
When would we start to development in conjunction with nature? 11 ha will be lost and not a tree would be replanted, not a green area or green concept incorporated into the development. We cannot be serious.
Wetlands have significant ecology and physical benefits that we are blatantly ignoring all in the name of tourism. When a public survey was conducted on this development 69% of the participants expressed great concern for the loss of wetlands and many proposed new routes for the road, however, this was ignored.
The beach honestly just looks like one big blob of unplanned construction with no clear goal or vision. We are witnessing package 1, and it needed to be broken down into phases, everything is taking place at once, moving slowly and it is not working in their favour.
I would love for an entertainment centre, a broadwalk, upgraded facilities etc but I would also love for the natural aesthetic of the beach to upheld as well as an environmental impact assessment to be conducted.
This beach is beautiful but I am not sure if this is a redesign and restoration project or a demolition of the natural environment all for the sake of tourism. I am disappointed in the Tourism Development Company, in the Ministry of Works and Transportation and in the Environmental Management Authority.
This is not what international standards look like.
Let me reiterate I am not against the development of the beach, I am against the blatant disregard for the environment! We can do both and we need to start doing both because we need the earth more than it needs us!