How You Can Help Restore the Sand Dunes at Saline Beach in St Barths
Saline Beach is often on the list of “most beautiful beach in the Caribbean” for good reason. It’s long gentle crescent shores don’t have a single house, hotel or restaurant on them, and the surrounding mountains provide a sense of protected calm. On September 6, 2017 hurricane Irma swept over St Barths, and the storm surge damaged the natural dunes of Saline beach. If another storm came through, a storm surge could breatch the dunes and flood the valley behind it, damaging homes and area restaurants like Grain de Sel and L’Esprit de Saline.
The non-profit group Make St. Barths Green Again is leading the effort to restore the dunes. The natural restoration would have taken decades so Make St. Barths Green Again is stepping in to bring the beautiful beach back into its prime, and it needs your help. To make a donation to support this project please visit the Make-St-Barths-Green-Again GoFundMe page here: https://www.gofundme.com/make-st-barths-greenagain .
The full details about the Saline beach dune restoration project can be found below:
Bruno de Courreges, the founder of the non-profit describes the work this way. “The dune had been fragilized in 3 places, where it had become lower and thinner. Another hurricane, with big waves, could come break the dune, making it easy for sea water to rush in the Grande Saline area. Local people living there would be threatened. Moreover, the strength of the currents would mean that the gape would be getting larger, making it close impossible to shut it. So, in agreement with the local authorities (la Collectivité de Saint Barthélemy) and with the environmental agency (Agence Territoriale de l’Environnement), the Make St Barths Green Again team on the ground had planning these works for months. Now that is low season in St Barths, and before the return of the hurricane season in September, it was time to act. You will find below photos and videos, along with a few comments to let you understand what has been done.”
The team that “Make St Barths Green Again” hired began transporting the wooden barriers and wooden posts.
Then the deployment of the barriers started.
“We would like to thank all our donators, the local authorities and people on the ground for having come together to make this come true. Also, thank you for to local friends and to international visitors for their patience this Summer, while a chunk of the beach has been inaccessible so that the dune and the plants can start growing back.” Make St. Barths Green Again.
A second team has immediately started replanting « patates de bord de mer », these sand creepers which are the first species we use to maintain sand before planting larger plants and trees.
The Collectivité has posted an information about the project and made a decision forbidding the access to the east side of the beach.
Without the generosity of the people who have supported this campaign, nothing would have been possible. To make a donation to support this project please visit the Make-St-Barths-Green-Again GoFundMe page here: https://www.gofundme.com/make-st-barths-greenagain