Bay Path, Fort Oranje cliffs closed off for safety reasons

Electrified fencing at the lower half of the Bay Path.

ST. EUSTATIUS–Central Government Commissioner Marcolino “Mike” Franco has decided to close off the Bay Path and cliffs surrounding historic Fort Oranje effective immediately for pedestrians as well as loose roaming livestock, in connection with ongoing works to secure the cliffs from further erosion and deterioration.

The top- and bottom entrances to the Bay Path are closed off with an electric fence. These give a light shock so that loose, roaming livestock will not trespass on the mentioned areas. This is of no danger to livestock or human beings.

The footpath next to The Old Gin House hotel that leads to the Bay Path can no longer be used to walk up to Oranjestad as the top of the path is completely blocked off by electric fencing.

For several years the cliffs surrounding Fort Oranje and the Bay Path have been gradually eroding, mainly due to roaming cattle in this area.

The passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017 have stripped the cliff walls of most vegetation compounding the situation further, which causes more loose debris to fall off the cliffs daily.

Immediately following the hurricanes, a limited access policy to Fort Oranje, the Bay Path and surrounding cliffs had been implemented to maintain public safety and reduce the danger to persons, property and buildings including the national monuments Fort Oranje and the Bay Path.

“In the interest of public safety, the cooperation of all stakeholders is very important. I rely on the full cooperation of the Statia community as work continues to secure the cliffs, monuments and those pedestrians who frequently made use of these areas,” Commissioner Franco said.

The Government Commissioner will continue to update stakeholders and the Statia community as the project advances.

Source: The Daily Herald