banner ad

DoE warns rock removal will damage 7MB

| 08/11/2016 | 72 Comments
Cayman News Service

Seven Mile Beach

(CNS): Cabinet’s decision to allow one of Dart’s network of property companies to dig up beach rock from Seven Mile Beach went against clear technical advice from environmental experts. In its review of the coastal work application made by Crymble Landholdings Ltd, the Department of the Environment warned that removing even a sample of beachrock poses a genuine threat to the marine environment and a risk of beach loss on neighbouring properties.

The DoE said geologists have previously warned of the dangers of removing the natural rock formation from the beach because of the destabilizing effect. In a detailed review and a memo rebutting the developer’s claims, the DoE’s technical committee made it clear that they could not support the end goal to remove the rock on the proposed hotel site on Seven Mile Beach north of the new Kimpton resort.

They said the application for the trial removal was also too invasive, noting that the developer could address the questions it has about the rock by far less invasive means.

The DoE said it did not support the justification for the proposed ‘trial’ excavation, and hand-sized samples of beachrock and hand-held drilling for sample would answer the questions about the profile of the rock. The experts said there was no need for such a large-scale trial of one part of the beach that will only tell the developer about that composition of the rock and beach in that very specific area.

“The ‘trial’ will not provide the information required to evaluate how this section of Seven Mile Beach will respond to the removal of the wider extent of beachrock, which is the ultimate goal of the applicant,” the DoE warned. “Previous studies undertaken have consistently advised against lowering or removing the beackrock in this location due to the de-stabilising effect on the beach to the north which is being ‘anchored’ by the rock and the beach running parallel to the beachrock.”

Officials from the government department added that they had real concerns about the impacts of conducting a ‘trial’ for a wider project aimed at removing rock from a 1,700 ft stretch of coastline.

“The works are proposed within the Seven Mile Beach Marine Park and are contradictory to the long-established management policies for the Marine Park Zone, they will place additional stress on the nearshore marine resources and reflect badly on the Islands’ commitment to conservation of marine resources,” the officials stated.

The area is also an active turtle nesting location and removing a naturally forming coastal geomorphological feature for aesthetic purposes sets a dangerous precedent for Seven Mile Beach, the experts warned.

“This precedent would be extremely unfortunate especially for Seven Mile Beach which has been long recognized internationally for its natural beauty, recently receiving the award for the Caribbean’s best beach from Caribbean Travel and Life magazine,” the DoE stated in its memo to Cabinet, which appeared to have been ignored just weeks after the full implementation of the National Conservation Law. That legislation now mandates that all government entities, including Cabinet, give proper consideration to environmental threats before any decision is taken.

Cabinet’s decision to give the green light to Dart to begin the trial excavation on the famous beach has also raised significant concern among local conservation activists. Sustainable Cayman and Save Cayman issued a joint press release condemning the decision by Cabinet to approve Dart’s coastal works application.

Pointing to the technical analysis by the government’s own advisers, the activists say risks should not be taken with Seven Mile Beach. The groups also said that the application affects the seabed, not just private property but crown land and the collective property of all Caymanians and an active turtle nesting area.

The activists pointed out that if Dart “wishes to create more jobs for Caymanians… more sustainable job creation can be achieved through training and employing more Caymanians at the Kimpton Seafire” rather than trying to develop yet another hotel and the short-term unsustainable benefits of such development. “Our small island is reaching its ecological limits for development, particularly on the western side of the island,” the groups stated in their release.

Meanwhile, Dart told CNS that they want to carry out the trial beachrock removal “to collect samples for a geologist to study and confirm” that it is beachrock. A spokesperson for the islands’ largest single landowner added that the results would determine if further removal is feasible.

Despite the warnings from the DoE that beachrock is not a benign substance that can be removed without any long-term effect, Dart has said that if they confirm that it is beach rock they will be applying for a licence to remove all of the rock on the proposed hotel site north of Tiki beach.

See related documents in the CNS Library

Tags: , , ,

Category: Local News

Comments (72)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    They will want a seawall when the waterline moves in 100 ft.




    0



    0
    • Anonymous says:

      Bbbbut, the 5 star guest! What about them, huh? They will look out at their world and see …. a sea wall? Ooooh what a sad world we live in.




      0



      0
  2. Anonymous says:

    The principle of cause and effect cannot be escaped here either. Removing the rock will surely fall into the ‘causation file’ as has done the building of the sea wall at the private home just North of the Marriott and the pier/private wall in front of Mr Darts current residence. The Marriott beach at one time was wide enough for two volleyball courts and since has never been able to return to what it used to be. Keep wrecking and justifying, finnangling and lighting the fire fueling the smoke for the mirrors, but ultimately somewhere somehow will be affected. One would hope however behind it all there’s always a person/developer staying true in adhering to morally guided motives.




    0



    0
  3. Anonymous says:

    When Dart gets pissed off with all your whining about his one man effort to drag Cayman into the 21st Century, with its pristine buildings and layout, he may well shut down and Cayman unemployment will be probably around 10-15% as the knock effect reverberates around his suppliers. That would be his fault too right? Even more whining and moaning…




    0



    0
    • Shambles says:

      If that’s the price of saving Seven Mile Beach, then so be it! I’ll drive Mr Dart to the airport.




      0



      0
    • Anonymous says:

      Scare tactics. Scary. Got kids? Scare em.




      0



      0
    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman was open before Dart got here and would be open after he leaves. He chose our country to take over because he recognized that we worship money and he as plenty of that. He is now building a monument to himself on our island. We have nothing to say about it.




      0



      0
    • Annie says:

      Dart is not the end all and be all. He has his own interests to look out for. For us to bow to his dollars in lieu of common sense and the best interests of our country would be a mistake. Yes a handful of shiny beads are enticing, but I bet the Delaware Indians would tell us to rethink the deal.




      0



      0
  4. Anonymous says:

    Cayman we are not invincible. Like it or NOT, we are still vulnerable to the competition when it comes to tourism. As an educated and worldly travelled Caymanian, I can confidently say we are playing with fire when it comes to where and why we are destroying our natural environment that makes us still one of those destinations above the rest. Destroying the reef is going to harm us in the long run. Mark my word, DART does NOT care about the impact now or in years to come. Let us have just the ‘norm’ to offer our tourists and let’s see how many will still be willing to pay out their a** to visit us. Cayman is very expensive for all of us (residents/citizens) living in these islands but even more so for the tourists who visit. We have lost our friendliness, we have become money hungry people and most of all have forgotten that if we do not take care of our natural environment, it will surely show us who is boss when NOT if another Ivan comes our way.




    0



    0
  5. Soldier Crab says:

    Mr. Dart and government if you wish to see the damages and erosion already in play take a walk at the next high tide starting from the Marriot and just walk towards town and you will see for yourselves how much sand is being washed into the sea.

    This is so sad when the rest of the world is trying to preserve their natural envorinment, our government and developers wish to concrete everything for the next generation. If we do not pull our heads out of the sand soon, we are going to lose everything to Cuba and Central America.




    0



    0
  6. Anonymous says:

    Why? why? why? He has to remove the rocks. is it for the yachts? THe bridge is already there. Residents…. I call on you to step up to the plate and stop this. Man should not interfer with nature like this. that is a very narrow strip there and the last thing we need is for the South West sea to meet the North sound. All for the love of money.




    0



    0
    • a nony mouse says:

      Are you high or are you drunk? Man should not interfere with Nature? so no farming, no building, no roads, no mining (no cars/planes etc), no medicines etc, no electrical grid?

      Also no one is talking about Yachts… this is about the rocks in the shallows at a site where Dart would like to build another hotel.

      Development is important, almost as important as ecology and their has to be a sensible balance. Dart is obviously doing a bit more than just “sampling” – he will create a few feet of the kind of beach they want and even just a few feet will vastly increase the value of the beach front lot (follow the $$). Following the same $$ Dart is heavily invested up and down 7 mile beach – it is unlikely he would want to damage it and it will be in his interest to ensure that proper investigation and mitigation be put in place if he is eventually given permission and it is important that Government make sure that he does.




      0



      0
      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks. I feel better now. I love developers cuz they’re almost as important as the good earth itself. Thanks again. Thankful, very thankful. Thanks.




        0



        0
  7. [email protected] says:

    All registered voters so minded, please sign the petition.




    0



    0
  8. Anonymous says:

    By now we all must surely know that Dart doesn’t give a tinker’s d–m. Once there’s no more for him to destroy he’ll hop on one of his cute little planes, hightail it out of here and leave us to live with the mess he’s made. And our governments, all of them, just keep right on a givin’ and a given’.




    0



    0
  9. Anonymous says:

    So many experts here on island. They know everything but can’t do anything themselves. Back in the real world they build huge piers, roads and bridges, large buildings, parks and yes they can even build beaches where none existed before. Here no one is allowed to build anything better then what a third world government can do. They don’t like being shown up. Third world don’t want progress they don’t understand. Darts record for building on budget, on time, and high quality work shows what they can and have done. CIG and their voting public have tried many times to build many things and would still never make it in the real world. Cry loudly and nash your teeth and watch as Dart once again takes some unimproved land and makes a quality hotel and beach that will bring many happy tourist and their dollars to help with keeping CIG coffers full of that which they will then happily squander away.




    0



    0
  10. Al Catraz says:

    Bunch of silly scientists with no idea how to make a dollar.




    0



    0
  11. SKEPTICAL says:

    Demand a Performance Bond from Dart to cover any losses arising from beach erosion/damage caused by removal of the rock – a very BIG bond.




    0



    0
  12. Sharkey says:

    We just had another BREXIT in the USA , and I see another one coming soon in Cayman Islands .




    0



    0
  13. Anonymous says:

    Look the piper plays the tune and the boys better dance or no more free ride.




    0



    0
  14. Sharkey says:

    Anon 12:39 am . Your comment why would Mr. Dart want to damage any part of the 7 mile beach .
    Mr. Dart is a developer that build and sell , after he sells any problem / thing that happens after is owned by the buyer .




    0



    0
    • Anonymous says:

      Sharkey I’ll tell you why.
      He is not an environmentalist. He’s here for the dosh not the future. He doesn’t know any better. Keeping his fingers crossed that nothing bad will happen. Gambling on nature.
      Of course he wants it to look nice and not destroy whatever, Capt’n Obvious, but Mother Nature doesn’t care about you or Dart. WE are supposed to be caretakers of the earth and all we do is destroy in the name of greed and keep our fingers crossed that nothing bad will come of it.




      0



      0
    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t blame Dart….. hold the PPM Cabinet responsible. OH what a day it will be, 6 months to go. Think we will forget?




      0



      0
      • Dartanian says:

        PPM selling out Cayman to DART finishing the job started by UDP but doing the very same things they complained about. PPM are worse than hypocrites who have no shame. What next will PPM give away to DART making us all beholden to the vulture capaitalist?




        0



        0
    • a nony mouse says:

      Sell? Dart hasn’t sold anything – they own all of their buildings




      0



      0
      • Anonymous says:

        Except for all the land in Salt Creek, the lots for sale in the yacht club area, the land next to Smith Cove, etc. No point letting facts get in the way of a good rant though.




        0



        0
  15. Sharkey says:

    I think that Mr. Dart is failing or don’t want to understand the importance that these beach rocks and iron shore plays in protecting the Islands from hurricane and other weather eroding the beaches away .

    I would say to him if he really wants to understand the importance of these beach rocks , if this was his Island why don’t he just cut a 10 ft section now that the north wester season is coming up and wait till after and see what would happen by just removing one 10ft section .

    I think he seems to be stuck on the idea of easy access to the water . He is forgetting the reasons why those ROCKS are there and should not be removed.




    0



    0
  16. D'Artagnan says:

    Obviously Dart has complete control of our decision makers in our government. Sad, sad, sad.




    0



    0
    • Anonymous says:

      8:24am May 2017 not one person should go out to vote. Turn into another Cuba and let Dart rule. I hope he will have all of us on reservations. Money talks. The UDP started putting on the shackles and the PPM completed the process.




      0



      0
      • Anonymous says:

        None of our politicians has the “nads” or the desire to stand up to Dart. this means they care more about themselves than Cayman’s future. We have lost control of our country it is now in Darts hands. I will vote for the candidate in my voting area that will attempt to take Cayman back. PPM, UDP have both proved they have no intention of doing so.




        0



        0
  17. Anonymous says:

    Cabinet intended to issue this approval anyway, that is why they jumped so quickly to purchase the property adjacent to Smith’s Cove which was scheduled for development. By doing that, they hope to deflect criticism on this move!




    0



    0
  18. Papillion says:

    Good Luck wid dat i saw Minister of the environment cooling out down by Dartville just yesterday. For the people who opposed Dart soooo Much it sure is funny how they behaving after dey got the $$$$$$$. Yes it always been about the money. ain’t dat right Alden & Moses.




    0



    0
  19. Anonymous says:

    This should be common sense.




    0



    0
  20. Anonymous says:

    When Dart has pretty much the whole LA in their pocket what do you expect?




    0



    0
  21. Anonymous says:

    Finally Gov’t has some cojones.




    0



    0
  22. Anonymous says:

    SMB would not be considered on of the “worlds best beaches” if this rock was prevalent. How can you say it will erode beaches to the north if this is newly formed? Sounds like more fear mongering from the CNS bunch.




    0



    0
    • Anonymous says:

      These rocks are not newly formed They have been there for at least 40 years as I remember snorkeling around them as a child. By the way, many of the best beaches in the world have rock formations on them. They add interest and may even protect the beach.




      0



      0
      • Anonymous says:

        These beach rocks are teeming with sea life and has been attracting snorkelers for many decades.

        This video shows the biodiversity of the particular beach rock in question.
        https://web.facebook.com/JCesarC/videos/10201617294270384/?hc_location=ufi&_rdr

        The beach rocks also anchor the shoreline and protect it from severe storms. As the geologist stated in the report that we, the people, paid for, if the beach rocks are removed, particularly at 1,700 feet long, it will undoubtedly create instability in the shoreline. And there are no a lot of options to remediate the damage and natural erosion at that point.




        0



        0
      • Anonymous says:

        and the rocks provide home for marine life. and marine life keeps the ocean “alive”…even after all those tourists have moved on to another “hot spot” to visit.




        0



        0
  23. Anonymous says:

    i wish every developer in cayman had the environmental record of dart…….




    0



    0
    • Anonymous says:

      Just because Dart has the finances to fund large environmental studies does not mean those studies are not unbiased and skewed in favour of what he wants to do. Every consultant that has provided objective recommendations To Dart in Cayman is in his employ anymore. That alone speaks volumes about his ability to influence enviromentaly sensitive projects.
      Before you take off your rose coloured glasses and drink your next dose of Dart Cayman Koolaid, consider that not every developer in Cayman engages in terraforming on the scale that Dart does. He has been allowed by our greedy politicians to set dangerous precedents that our environment will take decades to recover from. What damage has been done by others pails in comparison. I hope his land holdings under Crymble crumble with every passing tide.




      0



      0
  24. Anonymous says:

    again…why would dart want to damage smb which is integral to the success of kimpton and the proposed new hotel??????




    0



    0
    • Anonymous says:

      removing the rock makes his piece of the beach prettier and easier to swim from. However this is done at the expense of his neighbors. They will lose a structure that has been protecting their piece of beach for many, many years. Perhaps I would agree with this if Dart promised to replace any beach lost by his neighbors in the future due to him changing the erosion and sand migration patterns.




      0



      0
      • Shambles says:

        Replace it with what exactly? Dirty imported sand? I don’t think that is a good idea either.




        0



        0
        • Anonymous says:

          Yup! That imported sand is disgusting. You will never see me on it. I’ll stick with SMB where the sand is real Cayman sand.




          0



          0
  25. Anonymous says:

    How do you expect ordinary citizens to comply with the NCL if their own government can’t be bothered?
    No corruption here on Cayman, oh really!




    0



    0
  26. Anonymous says:

    Total madness. What’s next? A canal to the North Sound? They’ve already built a “bridge” east of the Kimpton.

    It beggars belief that the Govt that brought in the National Conservation Law would consider any sort of tampering with the crown jewel of the tourism industry.

    Don’t do it.




    0



    0
    • Anonymous says:

      Wait a moment – that would place West Bay on a separate island from the rest of us. Now you have my attention! Those rocks might be a good trade-off.




      0



      0
  27. Anonymous says:

    “Meanwhile, Dart told CNS that they want to carry out the trial beachrock removal “to collect samples for a geologist to study and confirm” that it is beachrock. A spokesperson for the islands’ largest single landowner added that the results would determine if further removal is feasible.”

    Note that this will be the geologist that they pay that will make the determination. Not truly impartial experts. What Dart wants Dart gets.

    time to stop this.




    0



    0
    • Anonymous says:

      In fairness they probably will be true experts. Also in fairness it is well known that these, and all of the other ledges along SMB, are indeed beach rock. In fact if they find them to be anything other than beach rock, i.e., accreeted sand, it will count as an actual geologic discovery.




      0



      0
  28. Anonymous says:

    If this advice from DOE is ignored we may as well shut the department of environment down. What is the point of having a department of environment if we don’t heed their advice? If Govt caves to darts $ let’s just close the department and save a ton of money.

    With tourism being one of our main earners it’s not like we need the environment anyway…..




    0



    0
  29. Anonymous says:

    If cabinet gave approval for the destruction, then what else can be expected.




    0



    0
  30. Anonymous says:

    Will the PPM supporters tell us who is selling out to Dart now? They are no better than the UDP. Sell out !
    I can’t wait to vote you jokers out




    0



    0
  31. Anonymous says:

    Don’t mess with Mother Nature. Hasn’t Dart (nor our government evidently) heard the stories as to we have so many areas of beach destroyed already? The rock is there for a reason. It is stabilizer for the area. The sand comes and goes. The rock is not always evident. Remove the rock and the entire area will shift.




    0



    0
  32. Anonymous says:

    So who approved this??????




    0



    0
    • Anonymous says:

      Why wouldn’t it be beach rock? It is growing in the sea/ beach so what other kind of rock it would be. I don’t know much about these kind of things but do they think someone took it from somewhere else and put it there? I don’t understand!!




      0



      0
      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t understand why the Minister for the environment who votes with Caninet would agree to this, when he has passed a law to prevent persons from taking a piece of Cayman orchid to help save the species by mounting it on a tree in their yard. As orchids collector and grower I would think that gathering orchids from land scheduled to be developed would ensure that they would be proctected and saved but that is now illegal, but they can allow hunks of the beachrock to be ripped up. Can’t the hotel be built without doing this. I see and value the development that dart has brought to Cayman, his developments are tastefully done and the group has help by supplying labour to our people, however there are some things that should always be non-negotiable and I think this is one of those things.




        0



        0
        • Anonymous says:

          I don’t always agree with the environment people but on this issue I agree completely. I think the Dart Group should be told no in no uncertain term. We graciously appreciate the Dart Group and trust that they will find other ways and means to hire our people. They are all professional bright innoventive people so I am sure they can come up with something. They are not leaving this Rock ( no pun intended) . They already have so much invested here. The Government has to get their act together and change this decision immediately, or they will pay the price next year in May. They would be foolhardy to do otherwise, so we will see.




          0



          0
      • Nellie The Elephant says:

        You voted Trump, didn’t you?




        0



        0

Please include your email address in the form below if you are using your real name. You can use a pseudonym, with or without leaving an email address, or just leave the form blank to be "Anonymous". All comments will be moderated before they are published. Please read the CNS Comment Policy at the top of this page.