A number of boardwalk sites and revetments on both the south and west coasts were recently inspected by Minister of the Environment and National Beautification, Adrian Forde, and officials from the Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU).
The west coast areas visited included Holetown; Discovery Bay; Folkestone and Sand Street, while the southern spots included the Richard Haynes Boardwalk; Rendezvous and Oistins.
During the tour, officials from the CZMU provided the Minister with a comprehensive overview of the project work done by the Unit, and gave an indication of what would be implemented in the next phase of their coastal conservation programme with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Minister Forde, who is also responsible for the Blue Economy, said he was impressed by the role revetments play in reducing and combatting beach erosion. However, he noted that he was saddened by the amount of garbage that ended up on the groynes and reefs.
“I was unfortunately exposed to it during this tour. Visitors came to me with garbage in a bag they carried. They are at their wits’ end as to how an island that does so much to protect its maritime borders and its environment, yet have Barbadians who can bedevil this effort with illegal dumping.”
Minister Forde said brakes must be firmly applied to this practice and warned that he would not be tolerating it.
He lamented that apart from poor sanitary habits, this sends the wrong message for attracting the best tourism product for the country, and could “hurt” the progress made in developing the Blue Economy.
Director of the CZMU, Dr. Leo Brewster, noted that approximately $40 million was disbursed under the partnership between the IDB and Barbados, for numerous projects, including the Boardwalk since 2002.
He also noted impending 2024 and 2025 projects involving Sand Street and Oistins. “The real intention is to bring the Minister up to speed on the engineering aspect of stabilising the shoreline as well as to ensure he understands the necessary work required to continue to protect the shoreline, given the challenges of climate change,” Dr. Brewster said.
Those in attendance included Permanent Secretary, responsible for the Blue Economy, Sonia Foster, and other officials from the CZMU.