Paraskevidekatriaphobia aside, this blog cautiously welcomes last Friday the 13th statement from the Coastal Zone Management Unit which appeared in the local press to the effect that an investigation is in the works looking into erosion problems in Road View/Mullins. This is a good thing because it says that the CZMU is listening to the concerns raised by this blog and other interested parties in the area. However, whether it is/was the Friday the 13th thing or things just getting muddled in translation, there remains a need for clarification.
The CZMU does not have all the answers despite all their expertise in coastal engineering. Several other experts both local and international (some with more experience in these matters than CZMU) have looked at the problem and have said, yes, the groynes have had an impact on the erosion in the downstream area. For them to be still insisting that it was just the storm event last April is nonsense. There are pictures on this blog of accelerated erosion behind Kings Beach Hotel that happened after the groynes were installed long before last April's 'south swells.' People who live on the beach on the west coast know that southerly swells are usually problematic. We never said the groynes were solely responsible, we and the other experts have always been saying that the groynes have exacerbated the problem. There is really no need to obfuscate and/or try to confuse the public on the real issues here. If we are honestly looking for solutions, we must at least be honest about the cause or causes of the problem.
This blog hopes that whatever is in fact in the works has not yet advanced beyond the stage where there is no room for input from the those who will be most impacted by whatever remedies CZMU has in mind. This is a great opportunity for CZMU to convene a meeting with the people of Road View/Mullins to hear what they think are the real problems and whatever solutions they too may bring to the table. Part of the reason for all the distrust in the area is/was the perceived disrespect of and contempt for the community in their not being involved in the decison-making process before the groynes were installed. That scenario will play out again if again people wake up to find bulldozers on the beach just building three or four more groynes without their consultation.
Barbados Adovcate - Friday November 13, 2009 - Page 1, Page 5