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New 'Beach Use Policy' on the horizon

- this will be followed by amendments to Climate Change Trust Fund Act to allow greater access to funding, according to Governor Jaspert
A high level of dangerous bacteria was found in water samples taken from the CGB Beach by the Environmental Health Unit of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour following the passage of Tropical Storm Karen on September 24, 2019. Following a brief closure, the beach was reopened on October 3, 2019. Photo: VINO/File
According to Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert, the new Beach Use Policy will be followed by amendments to the Climate Change Trust Fund Act, which will allow for greater access to funding that may become available to the Virgin Islands. Photo: GIS/File
According to Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert, the new Beach Use Policy will be followed by amendments to the Climate Change Trust Fund Act, which will allow for greater access to funding that may become available to the Virgin Islands. Photo: GIS/File
Tourists on Long Bay Beach, Beef Island on December 26, 2017. Photo: VINO/File
Tourists on Long Bay Beach, Beef Island on December 26, 2017. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Subject to challenges such as sewage overflows and the presence of dangerous bacteria in the waters, the world-renowned Cane Garden Bay Beach on Tortola has faced a number of issues, which were heightened by the devastation of hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.

Within the past year, the beach has had to be closed due to poor water quality which inevitably resulted in the loss of tourism dollars.

Protecting the Environment 

Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert in his November 14, 2019, 'Speech from the Throne', delivered at the First Sitting of the Second Session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA), said a new policy is now on the horizon to address such issues.

He said the government is committed to a blue economy and the green economy of the Virgin Islands through environmental management and protection of our natural resources to ensure economic growth and development. "It is for this reason that our Government is tackling Climate Change as one of its high priority areas. Our Government believes in a beautiful, clean, and healthy green environment."

"Along the lines of sustainable development and climate adaptation, the Beach Use Policy will be introduced and ratified in this Session to ensure environmental management and maintenance of beaches."

According to Mr Jaspert, with the new beach Policy will come amendments to the Climate Change Trust Fund Act, which will allow for greater access to funding that may become available to the Virgin Islands.

It is unclear what rules and regulations will be drafted in the policy; however, Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) reached out to Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) for a preview of what can be expected but no response was received up to publication time. 

Priority to Tourism Industry 

According to the Governor, "Our Government believes in its primary responsibility to preserve and protect the natural assets and environment of the Virgin Islands. Our Government remains committed to its further responsibility to ensure that the sea as an asset is used sustainably to provide benefits for the people of this territory."   

Outspoken citizen and clergyman John I. Cline aka ‘Bishop’ had challenged the government to give him $1M to have the issues at the CGB Beach permanently resolved.

12 Responses to “New 'Beach Use Policy' on the horizon ”

  • Sam (18/11/2019, 16:43) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Clap Clap VIP... NDP had this beach in a terrible state closing every single minute after so many years finally this is a good move.
  • And at the same time (18/11/2019, 18:12) Like (9) Dislike (4) Reply
    Structures are being built at long beach east and Savannah bay on VG. Why spoil beaches that are so beautiful without all the ugly man made structures like cgb
  • Observer (18/11/2019, 19:41) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    There's a certain restaurant at CGB Beach flowing their serwage into the beach, please look into it.
  • Outsider (18/11/2019, 20:00) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    Well your highness I aint see a thing blue / green WEST for a few weeks with that darm smoke and you know what, " I WANT BACK MY HONOURABLE WOTE. That lot is different but it's the same shite!!
    • Lord o (18/11/2019, 21:12) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Everything is just for some people. Control who you don't like. Let the rest do what they want. Sad. .let rules be rules for all...
  • NICK (18/11/2019, 20:17) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Monday 8.15 pm.big fire again at pockwood pond dump.i am really sorry for westend folks.this fire was not there this morning.
  • See (18/11/2019, 20:36) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Until we stop pumping raw deadly sewage into the sea by Slaney Pt and until the East end sewage plant is up and running this is all of little consequence . Will the govt have the resolve to make all the people who have illegally filled in salt ponds fix the ponds and make restitution to the law abiding citizens of the territory. Only then will know the law is a serious one
  • Hmmmm (18/11/2019, 21:11) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    This So call Dawson beach Beef Island. Is been a challenge for government for years. Lock gate. Big Rocks. National park place some nice seating benches I realized they are gone... Its a very secure safe kids and learn to swim beach.. I' can't swim that's my beach of choice. Shallow waters...I love the idea of seating benches ... Hope they can put them back...
  • E. Leonard (19/11/2019, 12:40) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    For the VI/BVI, it's residents and economy, the sea is vital asset that must be protected, preserved and maintained in a healthy state. In a recent commentary (Balancing Economic Growth and Development and Environmental Protection) on VI News on Line, some suggestions were offered to maintaining the Sea in a healthy state. For Tourism, 1/2 of VI economic twin pillars, the Sea is a major attraction. In addition to the beneficial use for tourism, the Sea is also a food source (fish, shells, conchs, lobster, crab, turtle), a mode of transportation, a means of employment and a potential source for developing a ’Blue Economy.” An existential threat to the health of the sea, especially along the coastline, is the discharge of raw sewage into it. Consequently, investment must be made, policies crafted, implemented and enforced to prevent and/or minimize the discharge of raw sewage into the sea. Discharging raw sewage into the sea pollutes and contaminates it, impacting itsbeneficial uses, contaminating sea food, and exposing swimmers and other users to a myriad of diseases, or, ecoli, diarrhea, gastrointestinal......etc.
  • ok (19/11/2019, 14:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    So why nobody studying brewers bay?
  • concern (19/11/2019, 17:57) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What about Josiah's bay ?
  • Ambassador (20/11/2019, 13:21) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I think sewage is main issue but what about boats and yachts with no holding tanks, just dumping straight into ocean. Not sure about cruise ship waste but thought they could dump sewage so many miles out to sea. Really? It will come back to haunt us.


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