In my last post, I wrote about the protests at Blue Lagoon in Portland today; the dust-laden chaos that prevails over the area due to road works; and most importantly, about the lack of information on the Blue Lagoon’s fate, since its closure last August. As it was declared a National Monument in 2018, this beautiful place, which is surrounded by privately owned land, has become the responsibility of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT). It is now guarded by private security guards (not, as the Mayor attested in a radio interview yesterday, paid for by the Portland Municipal Corporation).
Here is the JNHT’s press release, responding to the protests and the long press release that I shared in full in my previous post… Somehow, I think the JNHT is in a difficult position, partly of their government’s own making – and not in any way assisted by the attitude of the Portland Municipal Corporation. Meanwhile, lives and livelihoods are in limbo, and the “ordinary people” of Portland, who do not have the privilege of the few, are ignored.
P.S. Who are the “stakeholders under the joint partnership co-management agreement” mentioned below?
JNHT working towards reopening Blue Lagoon in shortest possible time
Kingston, 3rd March 2023 – The Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) and stakeholders under the joint partnership Co-Management Agreement, continue preservation and improvement activities towards reopening of the Blue Lagoon in Portland.
The Blue Lagoon was ordered closed in August 2022 for a number of reasons that threatened the viability of the national monument including the lack of sanitary and waste management facilities.
Since its temporary closure, the JNHT has continued dialogue with members of the Blue Lagoon Alliance and engaged them in lifeguard and tour guide training under the TPDCo’s Team Jamaica Programme; with training towards coxswain licensing due to begin shortly.
The initial plan for the resumption of activities at the Blue Lagoon was based on the utilization of the Parochial roadway, due to the fact that there is no land available for use by the JNHT. As such, a proposal and application were submitted to the Portland Municipal Corporation (PMC) for the erection of structures for safety and sanitization purposes, adjacent to properties that are privately owned. The PMC was not in support of the proposal because there is no designated parking area within the space. In addition, the PMC is not in support of the proposed guard house and the portable toilets being constructed/erected on the roadway.
The JNHT is exploring other options, which include possible access to privately-owned lands adjoining the Lagoon, and once concluded will resubmit to the PMC. Once these alternate plans are approved by the regulatory bodies, the process for construction will be undertaken.
The Blue Lagoon, otherwise known as the Blue Hole, was once thought to be bottomless but has been found to be 55m (180 feet) deep. One of the interesting features of the Blue Lagoon is its deep blue water, which changes throughout the day depending on the cloud cover. The waters of the lagoon are mixed with warm water from the sea and cold mineral springs of fresh water from underground. The mangrove which surrounds the outer boundaries of the lagoon protects it from silting and is also a sanctuary for birds and a nursery for marine life.
The Blue Lagoon was declared as a national monument for its aesthetic and scientific properties by the JNHT in August 2018.
We thank the members of the Blue Lagoon Alliance and the public for their patience as we undergo this necessary process to ensure public safety and the preservation of this national treasure. The JNHT commits to keeping stakeholders and the public updated going forward.
For more information contact: Mrs. Lorna Bailey, JP – Director of Public Education, Public Relation and Communication at the JNHT via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or 876-227-3310 (CUG) or
5 thoughts on “JNHT working towards reopening Blue Lagoon in shortest possible time”
Blue Lagoon is currently on public land and there is no charge to go swimming there (as it’s meant to be) is the delay in it being reopened anything to do with it becoming privatised? The people of Portland and the whole of Jamaica needs clear direction as to what the future holds for this national treasure. It must not and cannot be allowed to fall into the hands of some outside consortium who are just hell bent on making money.
Anjela, it’s a very troublesome situation. Well it is on public land but the surrounding land is privately owned. Someone is wanting to make lots of money out of it, I am pretty sure…
Great read. I’ve always thought the Blue Lagoon needed some order, but I can see how this will be a tricky one to solve. I hope it can be reopened soon
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I really hope so too! Yes, it certainly needed some order but I think it has been badly mishandled!
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Reblogged this on Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News.