"YOU DON'T HAVE TO TRAVEL FAR or be an expert to witness the changes under way along the coastlines of Barbados.* Jane George is a visiting Canadian journalist.
Just look in the backyard of the people from Mullins and Road View in St Peter who faced the power of extreme weather as ten-foot-tall waves battered their beach all Saturday and yesterday.
A visible casualty of the rough surf was the Mullins Restaurant. Its deck collapsed during the early hours of yesterday after enduring more than 24 hours of pounding by waves..."
"Some people along the beach say the rock groynes near the St Peter's Bay development have added to the stress of climate change over the past three years by stopping the natural flow of sand along the beach.
But Bjorn Bjerkhamn, whose company is building St Peter's Bay and another luxury development next door where the former Sandridge Hotel stood, said in a recent interview that criticism of the groynes, which passed scrutiny of the Coastal Management Zone Unit, reflected "pure ignorance"..."
"That statement from Bjorn Bjerkhamn reflects the contempt he and the CZMU have for the local (mainly black) people of Road View/Mullins. He thinks that giving "the boys on the block" a football will silence criticism of the environmental disaster he has visited upon one of the best beaches in Barbados. Where is Bjerkhamn's Environmental Impact Study to build those groynes? At least three separate independent coastal engineers (one local and two international) have looked at the rock groynes at St. Peter's Bay and have concluded that they are contributing to the beach erosion in the area. After much pressure CZMU came out late last year sheepishly claiming they are "researching" the problem. But we already know what that "research" is all about - facilitating developers building of even more empty condos, rock revetments and rock groynes."
"We are in Callaloo, a house just next to Mullins beach and we have lost 4 feet of sand from the beach in front of our house. We are now down to bare rock. No sign yet that the sand will come back. Because the sand is gone, the waves now crash up below our house. Scary. But the weather is beautiful."
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