Safety First

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Another Disaster Waiting To Happen

Blocked watercourse between Mullins & Gibbes

If the maids and housekeepers kept the insides of the villas and condos in the Mullins Bay area the way government and some people keep the surrounding environment, there is no question we would not have tourists visiting the area - let alone staying in it. The blocked watercourse that sits on the border between Mullins and Gibbes, pictured above, is not only a disaster waiting to happen were we to get heavy rains (a clear possibility given the recent history of this time of year) but is also another example of a government that has gone AWOL on the very environment it is looking to sustain the largest engine in the economy - tourism.

Over the last three years this blog has documented the destruction of beaches in the area owing to government giving permission to one developer to construct three rock groynes on the beach, so we know there is no commitment to maintaining the beaches. But unlike the beach erosion which they can conveniently blame on gullible global warming, blocked watercourses, dirty gutters, broken systems and the like all point to a fundamental sickness of the soul of this country. That sickness is built on the myth many hold that whatever we do or do not do tourists will still come and the dollars will continue to flow. And, it is amazing to me that people can continue to hold on to this myth after visiting cities like Miami and Ft. Lauderdale and others in North America which also depend on tourism.

Can you imagine a situation like the one pictured above existing anywhere along Route A1A from Miami to Palm Beach? Why should it be allowed anywhere along our main coastal thoroughfare where we parade visitors up and down daily? And, it is not that Florida necessarily has more money to throw at tourism than we do; but it is because they are committed to doing whatever it takes to make visitors not only want to come to visit but also to keep returning bringing others with them. If there were such a commitment on the part of our government, a major watercourse which sheds water from miles around could not be blocked just yards from its outlet to the ocean creating a potential traffic hazard, area flooding and possible loss of life in the event of a tropical downpour.

A country does not have to be rich monetarily to keep a watercourse clear and well maintained nor to remove groynes that a destroying its coastline. What is needed is a true commitment to a sustainable environment making life and work and play more pleasing and easy for both residents and visitors. Mouthing the right words every now and then is no substitute for the consistent application of such a commitment. To do less is a surrender to the inevitable slide into poverty and chaos that is the penalty for such neglect.

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