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.

Police Activity

Débordement récurrent au niveau de ce regard (photo d’archives)
Recurring overflow of gray water (archival photo)

When conciliation doesn’t work…

In accord with the Conservatoire du Littoral and after an unfruitful attempt tentative at conciliation, the Réserve Naturelle decided to enforce a stricter strategy to ensure that commercial operations at Galion respect the regulations. As a result of controls by the agents of the Réserve last November, three out of four companies - The Butterfly Farm, the GM Education dog training center, and the PawSitive refuge - were not respecting the law and cited for two different infractions: first for occupying land that belongs to the Conservatoire du Littoral without authorization; and secondly for non-authorized activities within the Réserve Naturelle. Only the Bay Side Equestrian Center, which follows the law to the letter and was included in the creation of the Réserve, can provide this type of activity.

A third offense for recurring pollution

On Monday, November 24, the Réserve Naturelle filed a third report against the hotel, La Samanna, for runoff of gray water into the Grand Étang at Terres Basses, and this came after two requests that the hotel do the necessary work to avoid the pollution. In 2012, a meeting was held with the Réserve, the management of the hotel, and the “Establishment For Water And Sanitation” (EEASM), owner of the pipes and the pumping station that La Samanna claims were not functioning properly. Yet is seems that some of the gray water coming from the laundry of the hotel has not been properly filtered and the residue from textiles causes clogging, while at the same time, the grease traps are too small, and all of the gray water from the hotel is released into the system without any sort of treatment. The report was sent to the assistant prosecutor and the case will be judged in Saint Martin.

Man fined for illegal kite-surfing

The official regulation prohibiting kite-surfing in Galion bay is sadly not always respected—and often misunderstood - but the agents of the Réserve Naturelle are willing to discuss this with those who like this sport, and until November 21 had not been obliged to fine for infractions. But on that day, a kite surfer who had been warned several times was eventually fined for the practice of an activity that is not allowed within the Réserve.

The Butterfly Farm fined by the ONCFS

The ONCFS (French National Office For Hunting and Wildlife) does not have a branch in Saint Martin, but regularly sends agents from Guadeloupe on assignment. Present on the island from November 17-21, two ONCFS agents controlled The Butterfly Farm and noted that the operator was working without authorization from the Réserve or the Prefecture, in spite of numerous reminders that he had neither the insurance or authorization to possess wildlife. A violation was issued and sent to the pubic prosecutor’s office.

All articles from: Newsletter-22

Managing The Impact Of Human Activities In Protected Areas

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