Safety First

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday Sun Revisits Mullins Bay/Road View


For the third time in two weeks The Nation has revisited the environmental, ecological, economic and social disaster which has been visited upon the people of Road View/Mullins, and the rest of the country since beaches in Barbados are public property, by the recklessness and greed of one developer.  We really salute and thank The Nation for championing our case and keeping this issue in the public eye.  When the history of this episode is written it will be remembered that when others were seemingly comfortably asleep, particularly those in the so-called new media,

it was The Nation Newspaper - living up to the true meaning of the calling of the Fourth Estate that provided the catalyst which broke the yoke of the oppressor.

This blog encourages its readers to share today’s coverage in the Sunday Sun with friends and neighbors and to soliciting their help and support in the “Save Mullins Bay” effort to reverse  and redress the damage done at Road View/Mullins.

Save Mullins Bay
Road View, St. Peter

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  1. Greetings all -

    Been looking at the images and links related to this story and I'm afraid to say that it does read like an case study from a coastal zone managment text book - but Mullins Bay is unfortunately very typical of much of the world's coastal resorts. Firstly lets be clear about the fact that the existing development is too close to the sea. No blame attached to those who put it there historically but that is the reality.

    Secondly, it seems very clear from the google earth images that the natural sediment flow along the coast in the area in from the north to the south (sand accumulates on the northern side of groynes). Therefore groynes placed in such a system will starve areas to the south. However, I'm not convinced that the groynes just north of Mullins Bay are the only culprits here there are plenty of other structures further up the coast that won't be helping in the long term.

    Placing 1/2 million $$ worth of rock on the sandy beach in the absence of additional beach management strategies may solve the "erosion" problem for the immediate property owners but is very likely to reduce the amenity values of the beach for everyone else.

    If Mullins Bay and indeed the other beaches in the area want to keep your amazing beaches in the future then a wider strategy is required.

    Ad hoc decions based on individual properties is a guaranteed way to get the result that no-one wants.

  2. Thanks again for you input, Mr. Spence. You quite rightly pointed out that there are other structures north of the impact area which are also cause for concern. Indeed, we believe the semi-circular rock formation “protecting” the beach at the now demolished Sandridge Hotel functions as a fourth groyne. Just beyond that, however, is the concrete groyne/jetty between Cobblers Cove Hotel and Leamington Pavilion built in the late ’60s/early ’70s which many believe started the erosion problem in the area. The beach in front of Leamington disappeared completely after that was constructed and it also impacted what is now St. Peter’s Bay and Kings Beach. Leamington’s sandy beach has now reappeared since the installation of the three groynes at St. Peter’s Bay.

    Also, just north of the ’60s/’70s groyne an offshore rock breakwater running parallel to the shore was recently constructed (since the 2006 Google Earth photo) off the Cobblers Cove Hotel reportedly to stop guests being splashed while dinning in their sea view upmarket restaurant. But the main culprit most locals point to beyond the St. Peter’s Bay groynes is the artificial offshore cay located just over a mile further north protecting the channel and beach at Port St. Charles Marina. People who have been in the area less than 20 years point to the construction of the latter about 10 years ago as the time when they noticed the beaches in the Mullins Bay area starting to disappear.

    This is why it boggles the mind that permission was granted St. Peter’s Bay to install three groynes in an area already suffering significant downdrift erosion. Consequently, this is why we are calling for a comprehensive solution for the area now. Foundations of seawalls toward the southern end of Mullins Beach (proper) are already exposed, so we know it is only a matter of time (weeks, maybe months) before the whole thing goes. When that happens tourism in the area is dead.