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Sint Maarten Nature Foundation Estimates Months to Clean Mullet Pond Protected Area; to Present Post-Hurricane Irma Activities to Parliament on Friday

Caption: A sunken Houseboat in the Mullet Pond Ramsar Site Caption: A sunken Houseboat in the Mullet Pond Ramsar Site

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The Sint Maarten Nature Foundation has estimated that it may take several months to completely clean and restore the Mullet Pond Protected Area Ramsar Site after it inspected the area with representatives from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean on Wednesday. The Foundation’s Manager Tadzio Bervoets will also present the Nature Foundation’s activities during an urgent Central Committee meeting of Parliament on Friday.

“We have been requested to give a presentation to Parliament this coming Friday October 27th at 16:00 about our activities post-hurricane Irma, particularly as it relates to cleaning up the Simpson Bay Lagoon and surrounding waters. Unfortunately one of the most important areas of the Simpson Bay Lagoon, Mullet Pond, has been significantly impacted by the storm, both in terms of damage to mangroves and in terms of debris caused by the sinking of numerous vessels and objects in the area.

We estimate that it may take months to fully clean the area,” commented Bervoets.

One of Sint Maarten’s most important wetlands, Mullet Pond, has been listed and protected as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Treaty in September 2016, marking a significant advancement in the conservation of wetland biodiversity on the island. The Ramsar Convention, signed in Iran in 1971, is a global commitment to maintain the ecological character of global wetland areas, including in the wider Caribbean region.

“We will be presenting these and other challenges to Parliament as it relates to how Irma impacted the Nature and Environment of Sint Maarten and our ideas on how to mitigate those and future impacts moving forward,” concluded Bervoets.

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