Theives strip sand from Jamaican beach
by David Masters
July 25, 2008
500 truckloads of sand were stolen from a Jamaican resort beach last week.
Police suspect that the sand, lifted from Coral Springs beach in Trelawny, will be sold to building developers in the region.
The theft has put a US$100 million development in Coral Springs in jeopardy, with investors in the development concerned about the environmental consequences of the theft.
With significantly less sand on its beach, Coral Springs will be more susceptible to hurricane and storm damage, because beach sand acts as a buffer to rough waves.
William Mahfood, one of the investors in the Coral Springs development, said that he has asked the Jamaican Environment Trust to assess the area and to comment on potential environmental and market repercussions of the sand theft.
He added that he has no idea how the sand will be replaced.
Following the theft, the Jamaica Environmental Advocacy Network has called for new guidelines to be issued to monitor how construction firms acquire their sand.
Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda, is urging the sand thieves to hand themselves in to police, and for any witnesses to the theft to come forward.
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