Saturday, February 2, 2019

Blue Lagoon designated National Monument

Re-posted from the Jamaica Observer October 2, 2018

Grange praises Blue Lagoon national monument designation

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, has welcomed the designation by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) of the Blue Lagoon in Portland as a National Monument.

The JNHT — an agency of the Culture Ministry — completed the process of declaration in August 2018 following what Grange said has been “six decades of effort to protect the Blue Lagoon.”
“We have long recognised the importance of this national treasure and efforts to protect it began as early as 1958. I am happy to be the minister who has taken the process to this stage where the site is now declared a national monument, “Grange said.

“This designation is critical to the process of preserving and protecting the Blue Lagoon for future generations and guaranteeing access to all Jamaicans to this natural lagoon with aesthetic and historic value that can stand above similar sites in the hemisphere.”

The Blue Lagoon was declared a National Monument on the basis of its aesthetic and scientific values, a release from the Culture Ministry stated. According to the ministry, the declaration comes following the expiration of a Preservation Notice — giving temporary legal protection to the property — which was issued under the signature of Minister Grange in October, 2017 and renewed in April, 2018. The declaration also follows consultation with stakeholders on the boundaries, purpose and effect of the declaration.

The Blue Lagoon National Monument declared area includes all those bodies of water up to the high water mark during high and low tide known as Unity Bay, Lime Kiln Bay and the inlet called the Blue Lagoon which together constitutes the Controlled Area. The boundary also includes the parochial access road known as the Blue Hole Road. It does not include the cay called Pellew Island.

In the meantime, Grange urged the JNHT to move to conclude consultations towards confirming the Preservation Scheme and Management Plan for the declared area as well as to move swiftly to conclude discussions with key government agencies regarding the sustainable management of activities at the location.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Victory for Portland Jamaica

I am PLEASED to READ of the recent LAUNCH OF AlligatorHead Foundation NGO- UWI supported Fish Sanctuary in the area that lies between Blue Lagoon and Trident in Portland, 6 kms of coastline. Their introductory video:

I would like to post a note of heartfelt thanks to all the people involved who supported and believed our Blue Lagoon  dream, and knew the right plans would happen once local residents decided the time was right to act on our vision.

A.J. Duperly

Friday, August 21, 2015

Alligator Head Marine Laboratory - A Positive Step for Portland Jamaica Coastal Environment

This was the press release issued by the Jamaica Information Service regarding the establishment of the Alligator Head Marine Laboratory in Portland. 
2014: UWI Department of Life Sciences  from JIS :

A third marine laboratory, the Alligator Head Marine Lab (AHML), was established on March 9, 2014 through a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21 Academy). The TBA21, through AHML, plans to pursue a long-term conservation and sustainable development programme by collaborating with the UWI and its other partners, the Portland Environmental Protection Association (PEPA) and Reef Check Dominican Republic. The research programme is being led by the Research Director, Dr. Dayne Buddo, with support from Dr. Ruben Torres (Reef Check Dominican Republic).

The research agenda and Principal Investigators are as follows: Professor Dale Webber-Coastal Water Quality,

Dr. Mona Webber-Zooplankton and Icthyoplankton communities,

Dr. Karl Aiken – Fish Sanctuary Establishment/Enhancement,

Dr. Ruben Torres – Coral Nurseries

Dr. Dayne Buddo – Lionfish Research and Control; Reef Community Monitoring and Reef Herbivore Research

The Alligator Head Marine Lab's website contains the following introductory information:

"The coast of Portland is considered one of the most beautiful in all of Jamaica due to its dramatic coastline at the foothills of the Blue Mountains, its rainforest habitat, rich mangroves, pristine beaches, great snorkeling and diving locations. However over the years very little has been done to protect and preserve it for future generations, therefore the reef is in an alarming state and the sea life below the surface is in urgent need of everyone’s care and attention.

The Alligator Head Marine Lab (AHML) has been created to raise awareness of these important issues through research and public outreach, with the aim to reverse the destructive tendencies that have plagued the area, and ultimately revitalize the reefs and protect the underwater sea life, with the understanding that fishing is an integral part of seashore communities, whose lives depend on the ocean.

We need the restoration of ecosystems that support the natural food chain, and to encourage long-term development of the area with respect to environmentally friendly policy. To achieve this goal, the AHML is pursuing a long tested conservation and sustainable development program through scientific research in collaboration with The University of the West Indies (UWI), and strong community outreach with the support of PEPA (Portland Environment Protection Association), which involves education and policy making. AHML has been set up with a minimum of a 5-year commitment from Alligator Head and TBA21–Academy. It hopes to galvanize public support and to raise funds and awareness to support its programs, in order to persevere with its mission to protect, restore and preserve for generations to come." See Website here.