Photo Credit: charteradvisors
Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Hon. Kedrick Pickering has called on the community to raise their voices and stop persons who live on their boats from dumping their waste at Trellis Bay.
Speaking at the Conservation and Fisheries Department Green Pledge initiative ceremony yesterday, June 16, the Deputy Premier said that he has personally seen yachts dumping their waste into the bay.
Minister Pickering has been criticized for not giving enough consideration to the environment under a proposed plan to extend the runaway at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport at Beef Island. Critics believe that the runway extension will negatively impact Trellis Bay as a section of the sea is likely to be filled in.
"I am going to say something very controversial right now and I am very deliberate about it," Hon. Pickering warned.
"The debate about the airport development; one of the biggest problem that we face at Trellis Bay is the yachts that are moored in Trellis Bay that are affecting the quality of the water in Trellis Bay and we need to raise our voices and we've got to stop that. We've got to insist that people who live on their boats take their boats to a place where they can empty their waste and not dump it into the bay because I have seen it happen and we have not heard that debate despite the things we are hearing," Minister Pickering urged.
He added that the community needs to get on the bandwagon and understand that every little bit that can be done to protect the environment must be done and it can't be done by some people just saying it while other people continue to destroy.
"It has to be a song that we are all singing on the choir and if I am the band leader, since I have the legal responsibility with charge of that right now to protect the natural resources and the environment of this country. You know I read something that says that he who would lead the orchestra must first turn his back to the crowd, so I am not going to hear the noises; I want to see action," Minister Pickering added.
He said that the critical issue that the Territory faces right now is the protection of its coastal and marine resources.
"We can no longer continue to pour waste water into the ocean; that has to stop. We cannot continue to build houses where we just cut on the mountains and then we have run off into the sea. We can no longer allow the yachts to use our waters and just flush inadvertently or carelessly into the ocean," Minister Pickering said.
He said that he has come to the point where he sincerely believes that despite everything else, tourism being the main industry, there is no tourism without the environment.
"I would stand up and defend that anytime. There is no tourism in the BVI without the environment and so we've got to elevate the discussion; as the intellectual people like to say, we've got to become a part of the conversation; become a part of the debate to ensure that whatever can be done must be done to preserve the environment of the BVI," Minister Pickering encouraged.