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More to the Negril story, Observer

Wednesday, March 04, 2015


Dear Editor,

The Negril Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of its numerous members and associates in Negril, would like to point out several inaccuracies and concerns in the article in the Daily Observer pertaining to the breakwater project.

* If NEPA is truly concerned about the loss of beach, can they explain why they have granted permission for a hotel to add 152 rooms with a setback of only 90 feet from the high-tide mark? Building this close to the shore will only exacerbate erosion.

* The community was told transporting boulders via barge into Negril was not economically feasible. What has changed that they are now considering this, and where will the additional money required come from?

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* Can NEPA advise of one project that the NWA has implemented that was completed on time and within budget?

* Whether a quarry is licensed or not, it does not stop the hillside from being scarred when dynamite is used to remove limestone.

* Calling the breakwater a reef extension does not make it an artificial reef; these breakwaters cannot mimic a coral reef. A reef allows water to pass through and saying you are going to "plug" the holes in the reef is absurd and contradicts nature.

* The testing at University of Delaware was only two-dimensional and therefore did not show if these structures would cause accretion or prevent erosion.

For the record, please see excerpt from the Pear Tree Bottom ruling:

"To be proper, consultation must be undertaken at a time when proposals are still at a formative stage; it must include sufficient reasons for particular proposals to allow those consulted to give intelligent consideration and an intelligent response; adequate time must be given for this purpose; and the product of consultation must be conscientiously taken into account when the ultimate decision is taken."

It is also ironic that the Adaptation Fund, established to assist developing countries combat the results of climate change, would consider a project that will itself create a large carbon footprint.

While the majority of the money applied for was allocated to Negril, Jamaica does not lose if the project is abandoned. They can reapply for the money to be used for another project.

It is unfortunate that the voices of the many -- whether an investor, resident, employed in Negril or multiple repeat visitor -- are being ignored and treated with such contempt.

Daniel Grizzle

Director Emeritus


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