Trust welcomes Manzan works
THE EDITOR: The Manatee Conservation Trust would like to state categorically that it has no objections to the rebuilding of the damaged road at Manzanilla and is ready to facilitate the Ministry of Works with temporary access to get the job done.
Despite some concerns raised by villagers and aired by officials in the media, the trust has always recognised the need to balance the public’s interest with protection of the endangered manatees and leatherback turtles which can be found in this environmentally sensitive area.
The trust is unapologetic about the need to protect the environment of these animals as the uppermost concern as this was the primary objective of the trust in acquiring the Manatee Estate and not for its commercial value. So in working with the Ministry of Works, the trust is being assiduous in ensuring that any development to the area must not be detrimental to the survival of these animals.
It is known that the Big Pond area of the swamp provides the last refuge for the manatees during the driest period of the dry season and any alteration of the hydrology is going to have an impact. Also, work on the eastern side of the road must not involve stone barriers and other unnatural interventions which would invade on the nesting turtles’ habitat.
The trust is hoping that this project gets underway as soon as possible so that the public is not further inconvenienced. It is aware of the importance of this road as a link for many communities and to bring thousands of beach users including religious groups, naturalists and recreation-seekers to this destination.
Founder, Manatee Conservation Trust