JET Is Concerned At Sand Mining Approval on Turtle Nesting Beach Near Dolphin Head, Trelawny

In its recent Big Up Wi Beach campaign, JET (and students participating in the program) have found sand mining – whether legal or illegal – to be a factor in the deterioration of some of our beaches. So why has the Minister approved a permit (originally turned down by the NRCA) for sand mining on a turtle nesting beach? Is this for another tourism development elsewhere? I think we need answers on this. 

Please find below JET’s press release:

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Kingston, Jamaica:  The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) has been working with the Duncan’s Bay Citizens Association to improve management and protection of local beaches.  There have been problems regarding legal and illegal sand mining, garbage pollution and clearance of beach vegetation, and JET has been in frequent contact with the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) regarding these issues over the past two years.

There was an advertisement in the print media on Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 for a public meeting regarding a new sand mining operation by Duncan Bay Development Company to take place on the same day, although some leaflets and other methods of communication were used locally. Once more, JET objects to the lack of notice to interested parties who do not live in the immediate vicinity of such developments.

JET understands that this sand mining application was turned down by the Board of the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA) but was allowed on appeal to the Minister. The Duncan’s Bay Citizens’ Association has provided the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) with considerable evidence that this area is used by nesting sea turtles, which are protected under Jamaican law. JET cannot therefore understand why the developer’s appeal was successful.

The Prime Minister of Jamaica, the most Hon. Andrew Holness, ON, MP, is the portfolio minister for the environment. JET therefore respectfully requests the Prime Minister to advise whether:-

–          he was adequately briefed on the risks of sand mining to the coastal environment, particularly in the context of global climate change;

–          he was aware of the local community’s opposition to any further sand mining; and

–          he was aware that the beach in question is a documented turtle nesting beach.

JET reiterates its objection to the removal of sand from Jamaican beaches to other beaches in different parts of the island, due to the risks this poses to the marine environment and coastal infrastructure.

Contact: Diana McCaulay, CEO, JET   469-1315

Silver Sands, Duncan’s Bay, Trelawny. (Photo: Brian Bush)





2 thoughts on “JET Is Concerned At Sand Mining Approval on Turtle Nesting Beach Near Dolphin Head, Trelawny

  1. My experience with sand mining has been going on for as long as I can remember. There were so many beautiful beaches but by 1990 everything changed. The building of multiple Sandals and the introduction of Spain and the building of 2 RIU mega resorts with 25 for concrete walls surrounding them. In Negril the built 2 RIU right next to east other. We had stopped going to Negril for the most part but 3 days before we would leave for home we stayed at a little treasure resort called Sea Splash by Tree House. We had stayed in the property next to where it went up just 2 stories and because we were acquainted with them and good friends with the man who made it a beautiful Garden setting. His name was Ozzy and always had a smile on his face and a kiss on the cheek when we arrived. We got a special rate so had to go there most times before we left the Island we loved. The sand was a real problem there on 7 Mile beach because they destroyed the natural Sea Grape and Mangroves with its deep roots that protected the sand .Hurricanes had strange lapses and then for several years they would really get it so without the protection of the brush it did a major job on that section of the beach and washed away everything and all they could do is watch. The Tree House had a “sand recovery machine out in the water about 25 yards but it barely kept the beach bar from washing away. Yin 1988 Hurricane Gilbert did a real number on the northeast coast and destroyed a very “trendy” resort called “Trident” and several others along the east coast. In Port Antonio the beach along the road washed out and it takes time to fix the roads in Jamaica!!! I remember catching kids in Great Bay digging up Sea Turtle nest so I went to the schools and gave each age group to 4th grade a bit of a scolding about what they were doing. I had some fun giveaway stuff to make them know I was just trying to make them understand why they shouldn’t do it. How can they stop sand mining when they are up against politician who make money on that permit. The people get nothing.


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