St. Maarten – Little Bay Pond Causes Unsafe Swimming Conditions

Association
Par Association 24 Fév 2015 17:09

St. Maarten – Little Bay Pond Causes Unsafe Swimming Conditions

Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC) would like to warn beachgoers that recent water testing at Little Bay Pond Beach in Belair indicates that bacterial levels have exceeded safe levels for swimming.

Capture d’écran 2015-02-24 à 16.54.41Samples thus far show that contamination is concentrated at the outfall of Little Bay Pond. Fecal E. coli, Enterococcus, and total coliform were measured.

Water samples have been analyzed at this location twice a month since January of 2010 in cooperation with the American University of the Caribbean, which contributes staff and lab time. The recent upsurge in bacterial levels coincides with the dredging of a new channel out of the pond and into the sea. In the past, contaminants filtered through the soil and sand. However, it appears these contaminants are now flowing freely into the ocean.

Further study is needed to determine the factors causing this rise in ocean bacterial levels; factors may include rainfall, tides and currents, and the amount of pollution in Little Bay Pond.

The public is advised to avoid swimming at the outfall of Little Bay Pond until the situation is resolved. Water samples at locations further east along the bay have thus far shown acceptable bacterial levels.

EPIC strongly urges government to address this public and environmental health issue immediately by closing off the channel which now flows into Little Bay from the pond. Mangrove trees destroyed during excavation should also be replaced as they serve a vital function in filtering contaminants from the water.

Association
Par Association 24 Fév 2015 17:09

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