The Cane Garden Bay Revetment Project was launched with a literal splash as a symbolic “first” rock was dropped into the ocean at the site of the proposed revetment.
Work commenced on March 30, however, a ceremony was held on Tuesday, April 11 to officially launch the project.
Representative Christopher Hylton of Smith Warner International, the Coastal Engineering firm assigned to the project, spoke about the supervisory role of the firm in ensuring international standards and specifications. He said that eroding coastlines is something that is seen on all of the islands in the region.
Mr. Hylton said, “A revetment is a boulder structure which is packed along the shoreline in a manner such that it dissipates wave energy. Critical to the design process is the wave-energy. For a structure like this, we would take into consideration energy from hurricane forces.”
The Smith Warner International representative said this phase is about ensuring that construction occurs in a timely manner. He added that the project is meant to be a team effort, between the Government, the contractors and the engineers.
Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Mark Vanterpool in remarks said the sea wall has seen serious erosion over time. He said Cane Garden Bay is very important to local tourism, and his ministry is committed to ensuring that the project is completed, timely, efficiently and in-keeping with international standards.
Honourable Vanterpool added, “The Virgin Islands continues to benefit from its association with the OECS and we look forward to further collaboration in this manner, especially when it comes to issues of Climate Change, which affects all of us in the region and worldwide.”
Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering said that the project is directly related to building resilience against the effects of Climate Change and that islands, in general, will be affected the most by Climate Change.
The Deputy Premier said, “I would love to add at this point in time that that there is a lot more “surgery” to be done and it is going to take cooperation from the various land owners because, as a part of the overall research, studies and recommendations, we would have to restore some of the ponds. Unless we restore the ponds, the bay becomes an open sepulcher.”
Honourable Pickering added, “What you are seeing here today, is not… neglect, this is an effect that, generally has something to do with Climate Change, and our limitations. The whole protection of this coastal front here is integrated work… I want to thank and congratulate all the Government departments and entities, Ministry of Communications and Works, Ministry of Finance, the OECS, and Smith Warner International.”
The Cane Garden Bay Revetment Project will cost approximately $561,000 in total, with $328,000 funded by the EU through the OECS and $233,000 by the Government of the Virgin Islands.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering had announced in March, that the Territory was allotted approximately USD $1,378,081 in resources to design and implement physical adaptation projects.
The Cane Garden Bay Revetment Project is expected to be completed in five (5) months, and is a part of the, European Union’s, Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) project on Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Sustainable Land Management (SLM) in the Eastern Caribbean (iLand Resilience).
The iLand Resilience projects will be carried out over an estimated two (2) year period and will address issues including: Technical Assistance for the Establishment of National Land Policies; Development of National Land Use Plans; Climate Change Trust Fund Operational Manual; Brewers Bay and Cane Garden Bay Drainage Works and Retrofitting of the Cane Garden Bay Sewage Treatment Plant.
Photo1 of 2: Excavator drops symbolic “first” rock into the ocean to begin Project. (Photo Credit/GIS-R.Frazer)
Photo 2 of 2: (from left to right) Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour (MNRL), Joseph Smith-Abbott; Permanent Secretary of MNRL, Ronald Smith-Berkeley; Deputy Premier and Minister for MNRL, Dr. the Hon. Kedrick Pickering, Minister for Communications and Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool; Director, Smith Warner International, Christopher Hylton; Representative for the Second District, Honourable Melvin “Mitch” Turnbull; Contractor for Ports and Marinas Services, Tony Scatliffe (Photo Credit/GIS-R.Frazer)