Collectivité reacts as Sargassum weed returns with a vengeance


MARIGOT–The current invasion of Sargassum weed on the north eastern coast of the island prompted an emergency meeting on Tuesday, July 18, with representatives of the Collectivité and Préfecture, and included the presence of Préféte Déléguée Anne Laubies and Territorial Councillor in charge of the Environment Commission, Pascale Laborde, to address the problem.

President Daniel Gibbs and his majority are working closely with the Prefecture services to ameliorate a situation that is difficult to control and for which there is still no real solution.

In a rewind to 2015, the main concern is the negative impact the phenomenon has on tourism and businesses on affected beaches. Already the Pinel Island ferry service has been impacted due to vast swathes of Sargassum extending out beyond the dock.

Since 2015, a “green brigade” of 20 young people from the insertion association Centre Symphorien d’ Insertion from French Quarter are charged with collecting and stacking the weed with rakes, shovels and wheel barrows. Backhoes are also being used for more efficiency and to collect weed that is in the shallow water. The weed which gives off a toxic gas has to be dried on land before it can be taken to the eco-site in Grand Cayes where it is turned into compost.

The Collectivité has decided to increase the manual collection method and to make more tools available. A new appeal to collect the seaweed and clean the public domain will be launched shortly. It was noted two companies are already working with backhoes in Cul-de-Sac Bay and at Le Galion.

According to a resident in Cul-de- Sac strong winds on Tuesday had improved the situation a little, the wind preventing more weed from coming in.

Source: The Daily Herald