26 November, 2008

Sand mining

Coastal and Marine Ecosystems and the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. That is the title of a new press release from the Department of the Environment concerning our coastal and marine environment. They are to be congratulated on listing some of the problems.

"But marine and coastal biodiversity is under threat: habitats are being destroyed to make way for buildings; water is being polluted by sewage seepage and dumping, sand is being mined, bays are being dredged, anchors are being dropped on corals; reefs and seagrass beds are being suffocated by excessive algal growth and sediment from land and beach erosion; fish stocks and other marine organisms are being over-exploited; and the health of the island all of its inhabitants are being compromised."

The article jumps around a lot, and doesn’t really reach any conclusion. I think what it says is that “greater awareness”, and the publication of an underwater guide, are going to stop the people who are destroying our environment. I am not sure.

Because sand mining was causing acute problems at many of our beaches, certain areas were designated as protected beaches. This, of course, left other beaches Unprotected, resulting in the total destruction of Sile Bay and Windward Point Beaches. The protected beaches are not even protected by prosecuting those who steal sand from them. We do not want to criminalise good God-fearing Anguillians. As a result, you can find trucks collecting sand from the beach and dune at Cove Bay almost every day, if you go early enough.

After our Revolutionary leaders wisely chose the dolphin as our national symbol, we allowed and encouraged a Mexican company to imprison and exploit them in Anguilla for profit.

There are some who believe that we need to pray for the sand miners to bring them to righteousness. Still others believe that greed can be stopped by education. When well we admit that these procedures have failed? We need to do things that are effective. We need to enforce our existing laws.


  1. Sand mining is an example of the dis-respect that most Anguillians have for the environment. Those that have lived elsewhere cherish the beauty of the Anguillian environment. There are others, however, that look at it with their greed showing. What is in Anguilla is put there solely to make them rich. Sand mining goes on all hours of the night. If you live near any beach, you can hear the trucks and bulldozers. It is rape of the land. But, to those who do it, it is their RIGHT and DUTY to enrich themselves as much as possible. Problem with that attitude is that, once they have spent the money on alcohol, drugs, and maybe a new ride, there is NOTHING left for the future generations.

  2. Sometimes I read that Anguilla has a weak government. Then I read about sand mining going on daily which is against the law. I read about the 'hole' being filled with debris that will result in a toxic water supply. I read about the violence and complete bedlam in the schools. I read about the ever increasing crime. I read about the many labor issues. I think Anguilla would be no worse off if there wasn't any government. They do NOTHING. They add no value. They enforce no laws. Chaos!

  3. Green is the new read, folks.

    The solution here is not to continue to nationalize resources, but to utterly privatize them.

    The "tragedy of the commons" is that no one *owns* the commons.

    When the government "owns" something, it means *nobody* takes care of it, much less makes something better out of it.

    The myth that "the people", or a nation-state, is some person, much less some responsible person, is one of the most poisonous fallacies of composition in modern politics, and may ultimately be seen to history as the death knell of western civilization.

  4. In many places, "the people" ARE responsible stewards and inhabitants, for the most part. Privatization isn't always the answer. What is needed is government by rule of law, without fear or favor.

    But how can that be accomplished on Anguilla? Is it too small for the rule of law? People will always know each other. Law cannot be carried out sometimes and not others without descent into chaos.

  5. Instead of criticize; I will help the Island with a clever solution for this Matter. Guyana has the best quality sand to replace the beaches and to supply the construction needs. This country has also good facilities built in 2009 with the local government support. My suggestion for the government of Anguilla is to take the sand of Guyana such as Trinidad, Barbados, St Lucia, St Vincent and other Islands are doing. The Guyana web Site is: www.guyanasandportinc.com


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