La Réserve naturelle de Saint-Martin est une aire marine protégée de 30km2 située au nord-est de l’île de Saint-Martin. Créé en 1998, cet espace préserve les cinq principaux écosystèmes de l’île : récifs coralliens, mangroves, herbiers de phanérogames, étangs et forêt sèche littorale. La Réserve gère également les 14 étangs du Conservatoire du littoral et ses 11 km de rivages terrestres naturels.

Further pollution in the Grand Etang

Pollution récurrente sur le Grand étang Recurrent pollution in the Grand Etang © Christophe Joe
Pollution récurrente sur le Grand étang Recurrent pollution in the Grand Etang © Christophe Joe

In November 2013, there was once again a situation involving pollution at the Grand Etang, and once again, it was in the same spot on the road where La Samanna Hotel faces the salt pond. Local residents notified the Reserve and the Conservatoire of the profuse amount of untreated sewage pollution that was overflowing onto the road, instead of pouring into the public sewer system. A flushing was conducted and has stopped the problem on a short-term basis, but more substantial work to upgrade the system is vital. On two occasions, in February 2012 and February 2013, the Saint-Martin Water and Sanitation Division (EEASM) presented the hotel with formal notices to proceed with the upgrading of their system; both were unsuccessful in getting any results. The work required consists of installing a waste water pretreatment unit, as the hotel’s waste water contains fibers from the laundry service and fat from the restaurant, which are both perfect for clogging a drainage system and causing this recurrent overflowing. The Nature Reserve, on its side, has drawn up two official statements against the hotel, both in 2009 and in 2013. Several meetings with all the key players have also failed to put an end to this ongoing situation, to the detriment of the salt pond and also the health and safety of the public. The local residents, who are deeply involved in this affair, deplore this pollution that is dragging on. Let us remember that the 14 salt ponds, protected by the Conservatoire du Littoral, managed by the Nature Reserve since 2007, have been designated Wetlands of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention.

Etang Guichard’s story…

The Grand Etang is not the only one to have recurrent cases of pollution. In Friar’s Bay, the Etang Guichard was privy to another episode of pollution at the beginning of December, originating from the private sewage treatment plant of the residence «palmeraie baie», located on its banks. This facility has experienced repetitive failures that pollute the environment, despite several formal notices from the Conservatoire du Littoral and a report from the Nature Reserve. The Reserve is appealing to anyone who witnesses such form of pollution on the salt ponds to call them immediately on 05 90 29 09 72.

 

All articles from: Newsletter-19

Restoration Of Degraded Areas And Populations

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