Is The Last Remaining Mangrove Wetland In Barbados Disappearing?

Submitted by Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

[Bridgetown, BARBADOS, May 6, 2010] A new environmental study sharply critical of the Government of Barbados shows the key Graeme Hall mangrove wetland is disappearing due to outside pollution and poor water quality.

The Graeme Hall wetland is the last remaining mangrove in Barbados – a red mangrove forest that has existed for no less than 1,300 years. It is the only wetland in Barbados recognized internationally under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar). It acts as a Caribbean flyway stop for migratory birds between North and South America.

The extensive 800 page study prepared for the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary by Environmental Engineering Consultants of Tampa, Florida shows the Sanctuary has suffered a 77 per cent reduction in salinity in the past ten years due to an inoperative government-run sluice gate. The huge reduction signals “an inevitable failure of the mangrove ecosystem” as freshwater flora and fauna take over.

The study also cites damaging factors including: dumping of raw sewage into the wetland instead of the sea by the South Coast Sewage Treatment Plant; contaminated storm water runoff originating from 1,150 acres of government-managed drainage systems; and, commercial and residential pollutants from adjoining properties.

“The government owned and operated sluice gate failure confirms our worst fears,” said Stuart Heaslet, an official with Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary. “It means that as the mangrove forest dies, it will not grow back because freshwater plants are taking over.”

The original environmental investment in the Sanctuary was based on the area being protected as a brackish mangrove ecosystem.

“The study confirms that Government-controlled pollution is being dumped into the wetland. Despite our formal offers of technical and financial assistance to government, there has been no response. We can’t defend ourselves against pollution and environmental mismanagement outside our boundaries. Bird counts are down, crabs are disappearing, and we are seeing environmental degradation everywhere.”

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary occupies 42 per cent of the Ramsar wetland at Graeme Hall, and is owned by Peter Allard, a Canadian investor and philanthropist who has put more than US $35 million into the 35-acre eco-tourism site to preserve the last significant mangrove woodland and wetland on the island.

“The investment in the Sanctuary was supposed to be part of a sustainable environmental initiative, dependent on government leadership,” said Allard. “As the largest private environmental stakeholder in Barbados, we continue to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to maintain the Sanctuary, but we all have to face the fact that it’s Government who is killing the wetland. The study shows that our environmental commitment and investment cannot withstand this assault.”

The Sanctuary in fact closed its doors to the general public in late 2008 when problems of pollution and water quality became overwhelming.

“This isn’t just a problem for the Ramsar environmental wetland and our investment, it’s also a health and human welfare problem for the people of Barbados,” said Allard.

Despite a 6,000 signature petition by citizens of Barbados to create a 240-acre national park at Graeme Hall, a new government zoning policy calls for commercial and residential development for the majority of the area.

As the Canadian owner of the Sanctuary, Allard has filed several complaints alleging that the Government of Barbados has violated its international obligations by refusing to enforce its environmental laws, thereby allowing increased pollution and land development to damage the Sanctuary.

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97 Comments on “Is The Last Remaining Mangrove Wetland In Barbados Disappearing?”

  1. Georgie Porgie May 15, 2010 at 10:22 AM #


    You are indeed correct about the nature of our Tourism. Whereas a Nature Sanctuary might appeal to those who enjoy such, many are more interested as you say in aquatic pastimes involving liquid consumption and a good tan.

    It is also true that our tourism is about sand, sea, sun and sex rather than ecotourism- although some are trying to develop such along with heritage tourism.

    We are a small country with few if any ecosystems of interest, besides the gullies, which we habe not maintained or developed (with the exception of Welchman Hall).

    I also agree that the unsupported (and unsupportable) rubbish spouted by GHNS about eco-tourism is largely bovine effluent, as is it is clear that the area of sedge is of little interst to anyone.

    I guess real estate developers might dig up the sedge and create a retention pond type lake, and build houses on the ridhe looking down there upon—similar to what obtains in Florida. Although I am not sure they will get the same effect

    The mangroves are clearly not natural in origin , unless they wre there before construction of St Lawence Gap (which has isolated “the stream” from Worthing beach ) or before the constructin of Highway 7 from the swamp.

    The only person I have ever seen walking and enjoying the swamp in its pristine glory was my late History teacher at HC, Captain MB Hutt. The late Dr Colin Hudson had an interest in the swamp also.

    After the gun club was discontinued, the shooters used thier knowledge and have tried to establish other mangrove areas elsewhere to facilitate thier “sport”.

    The birds that used to nest in the swamp during thier annual migration, have now for years done so in trees near Crab Hill Police Station, where I have myself seen them like a white blanket at nights.


  2. Hants May 15, 2010 at 12:48 PM #

    Think about this.

    Discovery Bay hotel in Holetown was built on a swamp.

    There is no reason Graeme Hall swamp could not become
    a Hotel,Resort or Condo developement.

    That is why I have always thought that the “end game plan” was to
    create a resort when the land value could support such an investment.

    I would like the Government to buy the GHNS and let nature take its course
    with a little help to connect the swamp to the sea so fish like Tarpon, snook and
    mullets can reproduce.


  3. Call a spade... May 15, 2010 at 12:56 PM #


    I would question your assumption that the mangroves at Graeme Hall are not natural in origin. This would suggest that they were man-made, with the intention of creating a shooting-swamp. I would suggest that the shooters took advantage of what was already there, and in fact cleared out sections to create the large ponds used to attact migratory birds. There were at least three shooting-swamps that were in there. Graeme Hall was the largest, and was located approximately where the large lake is now. You entered from approximately where the official entrance is now. Towards the Rendezvous end, there were was Worthing- View and Bunyans. The entrance to these was off Rendezvous, roughly across from where Big B is now. The birds you speak of that now nest in trees at Crab Hill are egrets that have colonized the island within the last 30 years or so. They are not the migratory birds that the shooting-swamps, with their open, shallow ponds, were built to attract. Those birds are waders and waterfowl; they don’t nest in trees.
    Graeme Hall can never be restored to its original state.
    But what is there now is worth preserving. It is infinitely more valuable to our country than another condominium.


  4. Amused May 15, 2010 at 2:10 PM #

    @ac // May 15, 2010 at 5:08 AM . If you are not impressed by me, read Georgie Porgie, Hants and Call a Spade. Three erudite and very well informed gentlemen. That way, you don’t need to put up with me putting a kink in you truss. All three have made excellent contributions. And I too remember the swamp with Captain Hutt walking though it. I also remember the gun club.

    I adopt the view of Call a Spade where he/she says, “But what is there now is worth preserving. It is infinitely more valuable to our country than another condominium.” But, with a couple of caveat. 1. No Allard. 2. No Heaslet. 3. Barbados and Bajans, not eco matters, comes first – if it don’t work for Barbados, build the condominium.


  5. Georgie Porgie May 15, 2010 at 4:49 PM #

    Call a spade

    You may question my assumption that the mangroves at Graeme Hall are not natural in origin. I believe that they might have been induced to grow with the intention of creating a shooting-swamp, as has been done in other parts of the island.

    You might be correct that the shooters took advantage of what was already there, and in fact cleared out sections to create the large ponds used to attact migratory birds. This might be true, but your view does not support the need for the sleuce gate.

    I think you correct in saying that there were at least three shallow lakes that were used for the shooting and that the largest was located approximately where the large lake is now. The others have been filled in.

    You entered from approximately where the official entrance is now, just as you say, or via the banking road. Access from the banking road was by one of three concrete slabs that stretched from the banking road towards the land mass on the Rendezvous side.
    It is noteworthy that all of these shallow lakes dried up completely in a drought of some sort in the early 60’s.

    Thanks for your correction about the egrets. I note that you say that they have colonized the island within the last 30 years or so. They were part of the birds that migrated in the old days. At least they were found in the swamp in those days.

    I note that you agree with me to some extent that the shooting-swamps, with their open, shallow ponds, were man made to a large extent- especially the sleuce gates.

    I agree with you that Graeme Hall can never be restored to its original state, that what remains now is worth preserving. As to whether it is infinitely more valuable to our country than another condominium will always be a point of debate.

    Your post clearly indicates that you know a lot about the swamp and its history.


    On the basis of the fact that Discovery Bay hotel in Holetown was built on a swamp, and the way I see them build on similar terrain here in Florida, you are correct in opining that there is no reason Graeme Hall swamp could not become a Hotel,Resort or Condo developement, complete with a few man made lakes as the wet lands

    I am sure that well developed lakes properly landscaped will be more beautiful to behold than the acres of unsighltly sedge behind St Lawrence village .


  6. Georgie Porgie May 15, 2010 at 4:58 PM #


    May I give you a word of advice about responding to emotional, ignorant uneducated posted that I find most helpful?

    In cricketing terms; remember “you dont have to play at every ball! LOL and Biblically, one must always decide if to answer the class 1 fool or the class 2 fool as defined in Proverbs 26:3 &4 thus

    Verse 3 seems to suggest that some are both asses and fools simultaneously.
    3. A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.

    4. Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

    5. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

    Hope this helps. Dont waste time with morons man. They have an agenda; and it is not to inform or to learn.

    Now watch and see what I mean.


  7. ac May 15, 2010 at 9:41 PM #

    I don’t have to prove anything to you or anyone most of what i have posted is factual about the wetlands .Now those who would like to dispute it have to question the biologist and others who see the wetlands as a necessary source for mankind. For one to suggest that those mangroves were not orginal makes me want to question their sanity!


  8. Georgie Porgie May 15, 2010 at 11:17 PM #

    Note the use of the verse for class 2 fools (Note that a class 1 fool can be a class 2 fool simultaneously.)

    Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

    For those without betzpaenia note…..

    Botany is a biological subject as well as Zoology, Animal Physiology etc. The author is well versed in all these from teen age days.

    The reason for buiding the sleuce gate was to bring salt water in land so that the necessary saline environment or pH would be provided so that the mangroves could grow. With out the sleuce gate’s construction there would be no mangroves. The mangroves exist because they were cultivated by persons with the necessary Botanical knowledge, and funds to bring salt water to the area where they sought to cultivate the mangroves for thier purposes.

    They have subsequently started a similar mangrove patch in another area to shoot at migratory birds. Mangroves grow besides the sea coasts, and at the end of streams and rivers near coasts because they must have salt for thier growth..

    The reasons there are no mangoves; and was never any mangoves far inland at Graeme Hall was that there was never any water of the correct salinity.

    The reason that there is mangroves closer to the sea is because salt water was delivered via the sleuce gate. The reason why the mangroves that lived beside the St Lawrence stream have declined is because the pH of the water is not what is required.

    The reason that the mangroves at Graeme Hall are dying is because the sleuce gate is dysfuntional.

    The reason that there are no mangroves in the several acres of sedges which form the bulk of the swamp is because this land has never come into contact with the required sea water at any time; they have not ever been bathed in saline water.

    Here again I have been force to give inferior dental.


  9. Call a spade... May 15, 2010 at 11:49 PM #


    In the late 1950s and early 1960s I went to Graeme Hall swamp regularly in the mornings during shooting season: July 15 to October 15. My father and uncle were members. I been to many shooting-swamps in the island. There is absolutely no need for mangroves or brackish water in order to establish the shallow ponds or “trays” as they are called that you find in shooting-swamps. It would take years to establish them, which is why I question your assumption that they were man-made. It might well be that the mangroves extended right to the beach in olden days. When the coast line gave way to buildings and the main road, the sleuce gate may have been installed to allow in salt water and therefore preserve what mangroves were left on the inland side of the road. The white egrets were not around when I went to Graeme Hall. Perhaps one of two, but not in the numbers we see today. I believe Dr. Karl Watson will bear me out. As a matter of fact, there were no ramier pigeons either. They have only begun to flourish here in the past few decades.


  10. Georgie Porgie May 16, 2010 at 12:02 AM #

    Whereas it is true that there is no need for mangroves or brackish water in order to establish the shallow ponds or “trays” as they are called that you find in shooting-swamps, mangroves require salty water to grow. You can research this basic scientific(botanical fact online.).

    It can indeed take years to establish a mangrove forest, but as you know the extent of the mangroves in the 60’s might suggest that they were at least 2-3 decades old. The size of the mangrove in those days seem to be in keeping with the period the establishment of the sleuce gate and the extent of the mangroves in our time, according to what I have been able to glean in my research.

    Of course I do not know for sure. But my opinion is reasonable on the basis of our observations bacl then and my reading..

    I do agree with you that the white egrets were not around the numbers we see today; but there were a few around.

    Thanks for your kind and informed opinion.


  11. Amused May 16, 2010 at 4:01 AM #

    ac // May 15, 2010 at 9:41 PM. You have proved the point of Georgie Porgie // May 15, 2010 at 4:58 PM. The symmetry is perfect. From GP’s mouth (metaphorical) straight to you. And you confirm every single prophecy of GP.

    @GP. I KNOW you are right in your advice. By I too have experience with equine-type animals. In my case, MULES. In the case of mules, the Bible did not specifically rule out the use of cattle prods, a metaphorical device I find extremely helpful with mules of the two legged variety (got to put in “metaphorical, otherwise Dave “Noballs” Speiler gone complain fuh muh pun he new website). And, deed faith, I am a weak and feeble man and I cannot resist, even though I know I should. SO……

    @ac. So, it is disputed that the mangroves are original. Certain writers have argued that they were created during their living memory. You are relying on a report commissioned by Peter Allard in Florida of which the main feature seems to be its mind-numbing length, repetition and utter banality.

    So far as we know, those claiming that the mangroves are not original are also supporting (as far as possible provided it does not adversely affect Barbados, its sovereignty and its way of life) their preservation. So it is CRYSTAL CLEAR, even to mules, that they have no axe to grind and are actually seeing the big picture, rather than taking on the Allard-slanted shite in his exhausting report.

    Allard, on the other hand, has sunk millions of dollars into a commercial venture that has, frankly, FAILED and he is now seeking to recoup his money by frivolous actions in the CANADIAN courts. Therefore, you dipstick, the rules of evidence require that an independent report be provided, not one that possibly says what Allard wants it to say.

    But why bother? It is Barbados’ land and it isn’t going anywhere – and what was planted once, can be re-planted. Or a lovely condominium built to enhance the National coffers and help educate our children and put in place effective national health services for our old people – like me.

    The true test of a “PHILANTHROPIST” is that he/she acts “pro bono publico”, which means “for the good of the people”. So let us help Allard be a philanthropist and accept his no-strings-attached gift of the GHNS. If he GAVE the GHNS to the Country, do you seriously think any politician or political party would be so mad as to try to take it and build condominiums? No sirrreeee. It would be run at Barbados’ expense as a nature reserve. Thus would Allard’s DECLARED agenda be served.

    Allard could then be lauded and honoured as a philanthropist, the founder of the GHNS and given public honours and a place in the eco councils of Barbados and the world. He might even win that debased and disgraced “honour” just given to the President of Guyana and be lauded by the same jackasses. He would also avoid the heavy costs of this frivolous and unwinnable law suit in Canada. And he would cease, as far as he ever can, to look like a rich, spoiled brat who is throwing an infantile temper tantrum due to his acute megalomania.

    So why is Mr Allard hanging on and not ridding himself of this financial liability in phialthropic style? Does he have an UNDECLARED agenda? To these ancient eyes, it looks so. And I suspect that this undeclared agenda is about to become publicly known.


  12. ac May 16, 2010 at 7:17 AM #


    Now that you have said what Mr. Allard should do. Can you please tell me when and if the government going to fix the sleuce gate?I hope that you are aware that the pollution going into the water because of the gate not being fixed is killing animal and plant life or dont you care?


  13. David Spieler May 16, 2010 at 7:51 AM #

    I have been maligned untruthfully at the link below of Barbados Undergrouond

    Kindly inform the blogmaster/person(s) responsible to remove this comment forthwith or I will take legal action regarding damages.


  14. David May 16, 2010 at 8:31 AM #


    Perhaps the government is onside with you but in the scheme of the big picture they have delayed certain actions for the moment. One man will NOT be allowed to hold our sovereign country to ransom. It just will NOT happen.


  15. David May 16, 2010 at 8:39 AM #

    @Mr Spieler,

    The reference you have provided addresses a person by the name of David Speiler who runs and/or is the proprietor of a blog and who has no testicles. It clearly does not refer to you in any case, as you are, by your own admission, David Spieler.

    Under the laws of defamation, of which you seek to avail yourself, you will also need to prove that this describes you, to the extent that you are the proprietor and/or operator of a blog and that you have the medical condition described. You will note that the blog is not named, which makes it extremely difficult to identify. Otherwise, the comment clearly does not apply to you, but to someone called David Speiler. Our search on the worldwide white pages reveals the existence of some hundreds of people with the name of David Speiler, and some hundreds with your name as well.

    We are legally satisfied that we have not defamed you, David Spieler, in any way, unless you can (a) prove that you are also David Speiler, (b) runs a blog and (c) have no testicles.

    We trust the matter is now resolved and reserve the right to publish this exchange on Barbados Underground. We copy WordPress as well.


  16. ac May 16, 2010 at 9:43 AM #

    To fix the gate! Give me a break!


  17. David May 16, 2010 at 9:49 AM #


    Not to labour the point but this is a “Mexican Standoff” devil take the hindmost i.e. the two parties government (Barbados) and Allard (owner of GHNS) are in Court fighting another matter which has determined how the government has acted to date in this matter. Bear in mind this is a carry-on from the last government. The dispute has become very contentious and the government is clearly prepared to let the environment take the hit until the other matter is resolved.


  18. Anoymous May 16, 2010 at 10:34 AM #

    Some folks like they can’t even tell whu duh own name does be. There does be many websites that might have been included in this circulation. I wonder if any have carried the comment yet. I gone peep and see.


  19. John May 16, 2010 at 10:47 AM #

    • Call a spade… // May 15, 2010 at 11:49 PM
    In the late 1950s and early 1960s I went to Graeme Hall swamp regularly in the mornings during shooting season: July 15 to October 15. My father and uncle were members. I been to many shooting-swamps in the island. There is absolutely no need for mangroves or brackish water in order to establish the shallow ponds or “trays” as they are called that you find in shooting-swamps. It would take years to establish them, which is why I question your assumption that they were man-made.


    Bang on the button.

    I’ll try and use the tiny pics facility to publish a 1951 aerial photo and map of the Graeme Hall Swamp and its environs to provide a factual basis for the extent of the swamp back then.

    It is quite amazing to see how extensively used the body of water was as a shooting swamp.

    I always heard that Captain Hutt dramatically curtailed this activity because of his lobbying of the Government to make it illegal to shoot certain species. Perhaps this is the reason swamp bird shooting decayed since then. However I have always heard that the then PM of Barbados used to be an avid swamp bird shooter himself.

    I know there are numerous shooting swamps throughout the island. My guess is none have mangroves as mangroves are usually found at a fresh water/sea water interface.

    The Florida Everglades is one such example.

    I can think of another place in Barbados besides Graeme Hall where there might be mangrove trees, that is in The Hole at Holetown. I would have to go and look to confirm, and even then I would have to ask an expert if they were indeed mangroves as I make no claim to be a botanist.

    Long Pond likewise is another likely place. Green Pond a bit further north has none. If my memory serves me right, it is quite bare.

    These are other places in Barbados where fresh water pools when it comes into contact with the sea.

    Here are some extracts for some Caribbean Islands from an FAO report looking at the Status and Trends in Mangrove Area Extent Worldwide…

    “Anguilla is a low lying limestone island. Stands of mangroves occur in ten sites on the margin of seven saline ponds and around three others on the adjacent Scrub Island”

    “Antigua’s low-lying coasts feature many saline ponds and tidal mud flats that carry stunted mangrove vegetation of the species Rhizophora mangle, Avicennia nitida and Laguncularia racemosa. Mangroves are usually found on mud or sandbanks sites, that are not actually inundated but have a high brackish-water table; “manchineel” swamps of Hippomane mancinella with some Annona glabra and Achrostichum sp. are often found bordering the mangrove swamps. Whereas the mangrove trees are commonly stunted and do not exceed 4.5 m in height, the manchineel attains 9 to 12 m with girths of up to 1.2 m.”

    “There are fifty-five identified and described mangroves sites in the British Virgin Islands. The greatest area occurs on Anegada. The species Rhizophora mangle, Laguncularia racemosa, Conocarpus erectus and Avicennia germinans are widespread in these islands. Mangroves have been declared a “critical natural resource” by the government and some areas are protected under conservation and planning legislation.”

    “The Cayman Islands have widespread mangrove and associated swamp lands. There are 25 mangrove sites distributed over the three islands, among which 11 are protected. Seventeen of these occupy about 36 percent of Grand Cayman; three occupy about 1 percent of Cayman Brac and five occupy about 40 percent of Little Caiman. The most common species present are: Rhizophora mangle, Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa, Conocarpus erectus.”

    “Guadeloupe consists of two islands, which are joined together by a mangrove swamp. There is a large area of mangrove containing the following four species, Rhizophora sp., Avicennia sp., Laguncularia sp., and Conocarpus sp.. Virgin stands are dense and reach 21 m in height. Mangroves occur in general on the seaward side of swamps, with freshwater Pterocarpus swamp on the landward side.”

    “The main mangrove species in Haiti are red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) and black mangrove (Avicennia nitida). They are found near large estuaries, especially at Fort Liberté in the north-east and Gonaïves, in Artibonite. There are also stands of white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa) and Conocarpus erectus. Mangroves are here used for firewood and posts”

    etc. etc.


  20. John May 16, 2010 at 11:04 AM #

    Water Level at Graeme Hall

    The water level in Graeme Hall Swamp is at sea level. Depending on the porosity of the coral, this level could fluctuate with the tides. I have never witnessed this as I have rarely been into the swamp and the few times I have, I would not have been thinking about tidal fluctuations. It would be interesting to hear if such fluctuations in water level in the swamp were witnessed by the various contributors who spent a lot of time there.

    Senn in 1946 in his report has this to say. “In the coastal district between Amity Lodge and Graeme Hall, the surface by descending below sea level cuts the ground water table giving rise to several springs (Amity Lodge and Graeme Hall Swamps).” I’ll try and publish a diagram he uses to illustrate.

    The body of water in Graeme Hall Swamp is contained by what appears to me to be a large sinkhole and it is fed both by springs and surface water runoff.

    This freshwater floats on the seawater and provides the brackish water which provides the environment in which Mangroves can thrive to the exclusion of most other species.

    My reading of the aerial photos from 1951 and satellite imagery from recently is that the Mangrove population has dramatically expanded I think because it has been left alone and fresh water periodically drained from the swamp.

    My guess as to the function of the sluice gate is to let out fresh water and avoid flooding Highway 7. Sea water finds its way underground to the lake and surrounding areas.

    Tarpon and other sea water fish probably feed in the outflow of fresh water and find their way up the canal, looking for more food. They then get trapped in an envronment which is brackish because of underground seawater inflow into the swamp.

    Depending on rainfall, my guess is the sluice gate will get fixed by natural forces. Hopefully somebody will notice the level of the swamp rising and act before Mother Nature provides the solution.

    My guess is that the guy who operated the sluice gate used to notice these things and act on our behalf.

    If I am successful in understanding how tinypics works I’ll publish some pretty pictures.


  21. Call a spade... May 16, 2010 at 11:51 AM #

    @ GP
    The rest of the BU family will probably be tired of our exchanges on Graeme Hall, but since we share a love of history I hope they will cut me a little slack one last time!

    This morning I called an old friend who had a long involvement with the shooting-swamp at Graeme Hall. IN 1960, he was personally responsible for clearing about 20 acres of mangroves in order to create the large ponds I knew as a boy there. Here is the history according to him:

    1. The mangrove swamp, which was very dense, was part of the Graeme Hall plantation owned by a Mr. Dudley Clarke. He operated a shooting swamp there, but nothing on the scale of what existed after 1960.

    2. Ownership of this mangrove land then passed to a Mr. Eric Manning. The manning family were very involved in bird-shooting. The family used to own what is now Rockley Golf and Country Club, and there was a shooting swamp at the lower end of what is now the golf course. When Golf Club Road and Rockley New Road started to be developed as residential after the second world war, the Mannings started to shoot at Graeme Hall.

    3. In 1960, my source, commissioned by Mr Eric Manning, cleared 20 acres of Mangroves and built up banks to separate the shallow ponds needed to attract wader birds. tons of clay were brought up from St. Andrew to lay the foundation for the ponds. IN other words, the mangroves were not cultivated or encouraged to create the shooting-swamp; they were actually severely cut back.

    4. According to my source, the sleuce gate was not installed to let in salt water that would help maintain the mangroves; it was actually installed to let out fresh water from the shooting-swamp to prevent flooding! As I mentioned earlier, shooting-swamps have no need for mangroves, nor do they need brackish water. The birds want fresh water. Also, I used to fish for tilapia in those ponds, and they are fresh-water fish.

    5. According to my source, the mangroves were there before you and I were born. He believes a sand bank built up over time, and this “new land” was built on and a road installed. This development would have become a barrier to the natural inflow of salt water during high tide, but it was probably a gradual process.

    6. According to my source, before Allard, one of the previous owners of this land, after it ceased to be shooting-swamp, was a developer who wanted to created a marina-type development. It was he who created the deep lake that is there now and filled in much of the rest. Obviously that plan fell through.

    I believe that the original function of the sleuce gate was reversed when Allard made the decision to create a sanctuary and restore the mangroves as part of that.
    By the way, my source was consulted by Allard because of his previous knowledge of the swamp, and he warned Allard that once salt water was reintroduced the mangroves would take over in short order if they were not carefully controlled.

    My apologies to the rest of you for the length of this post. As you will have determined from my original post, I have no regard for Mr. Allard. However, I do love the sanctuary and that’s a fact. I don’t care whether the tourists go there or not; our own people need places like this.
    David is right: it is a Mexican standoff. The Government is not going to acquire a property from someone that has shown such disrespect for the country.
    BTW, I haven’t shot a bird in over 40 years. And never will again.


  22. David May 16, 2010 at 12:35 PM #

    Continue to post your comments here


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