Say NO to the construction of a seawall on Cupecoy beach sign now

This petition is about saying NO to the construction , by the developer of Shore Point Villas, of a seawall on Cupecoy Beach.

This Petition will be submitted to the Island Government of St Maarten, and copies will be submitted to the media, as well as environmental groups and foundations for their own interest.

The developer of Shore Point Villas on the western far end of Cupecoy beach already started the work to built a seawall, for which permits had been granted by the Island Government of St Maarten, and this, it appears, against the advices of its own departments, to protect the site of 16 luxury villas, which will profit once again to only few, to the detriment of the majority. Even though there is an already existing seawall built after hurricane LENNY in 1999 on the remaining site of an original property wall and protecting the land subject to development, this new and second seawall is being built right on the beach and infringe a very large part of it.

Beaches in St Maarten are public, even though a cadaster mietbrief can show some property limits right on the water edge. To confirm it, a judgment in an injunction against an unscrupulous developer was rendered just a couple of weeks ago in another case of abuse, and can make jurisprudence. The Island Government is their owner and his role is about to protect them, maintain them public, and not to allow their destruction or their development. The property owner per consequent, cannot restrict access nor use of the beach section of his land to his sole exclusive personal right.

Beach definition :

"The zone of unconsolidated material that extends landward from the water line to the place where there is marked change in material or physiographic form, or to the line of permanent vegetation. The beach includes foreshore and backshore....
....A zone of loose material extending from the low water mark to a point landward where either the topography abruptly changes or permanent vegetation first appears. Beaches may be composed of clay, silt, sand, gravel, cobbles, boulders, coral pieces or any combination of these....
...A gently sloping zone where deposits of unconsolidated sediments are subject to wave action at the shore of an ocean or lake. Most of the sediment making up a beach is supplied by rivers or by the erosion of highlands adjacent to the coast. Beaches extend from a low waterline landward to a definite change in material or physiographic form, such as the presence of a cliff or dune complex marking a clear demarcation of the edge of a coast. The surf zone is the area between the landward limit of the waves and where the farthest seaward wave breaks. The foreshore, the active portion of the beach, is a seaward-sloping surface extending from the low tide limit of the beach to the crest of a ridge, called the berm, formed by storm waves. Water motion landward and seaward across the foreshore is called swash and backwash, respectively. The foreshore's slope angle is related to the size of the beach material and the vigor of the waves. The backshore extends landward from the berm as a broad terrace or gently landward-sloping surface, often broken by one or more beach ridges.
Beaches undergo a cyclical migration of sand between the beach and the offshore zone caused by seasonal changes in the supply of sedimentary material and by the changes in intensity and direction of the approaching waves.
Since beaches are mobile deposits, they owe their existence to a constant replenishment of sand. In many coastal areas a deficiency in the supply of sand from human intervention or the natural changes in the coastal environment results in serious erosion problems."

The already existing seawall built with boulder after hurricane Lenny in 1999, mark by itself the definite change in material or physiographic form, where topography abruptly change marking a clear demarcation of the edge of a coast and thus the limits of the developable piece of land.

It is well proven by studies that seawall do not protect the shore from erosion but in fact provoke erosion, and we all know already the fragility of Cupecoy Beach.

The construction of the new seawall taking away half of the existing beach is nothing less that a land fill, and thus a gain of land to extend the developable surface of the property by the developer.

Allowing the construction of this seawall is condemning Cupecoy Beach to permanent destruction and disappearance.

The same Government that granted the permits can withdraw them


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Jesse RussoBy:
Petition target:
The Island governement of st Maarten - Mr the Lt governor of st Maarten


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