DAWN BEACH–Nature Foundation St. Maarten received a worrisome report regarding a diesel fuel spill in the pond by Dawn Beach across from The Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort and Spa on Friday, December 27.
Nature Foundation accessed the scene and discovered a seriously polluted area, including birds and ducks covered in diesel fuel and oil.
On arrival at the location approximately 25 litres of diesel fuel and hydraulic oil were floating on the pond’s water surface.
A garbage-collection truck was parked next to the pond. Persons in the area said mechanics were working on the truck and had dumped the oil in the pond, Nature Foundation said on Saturday. The truck was removed from the scene during the weekend.
The pond, which is heavily affected by the spill, is the home of slider turtles, iguanas, ducks, Zenaida doves, crabs and various fish species.
Nature Foundation monitored the situation over the weekend to see whether any die-off would take place, but said that urgent action needed to be taken.
Several birds and ducks were found covered in diesel fuel and oil. “We received reports from volunteers who have washed the animals, and hopefully these birds and ducks will survive the incident. However, for birds it is really difficult to recover after such incidents. Thanks to all the people reporting the situation and the volunteers who are trying to save the ducks,” Nature Foundation said.
The foundation reported the situation to the Inspection Department and involved parties were contacted to prevent and resolve this environmental incident.
Nature Foundation said Sunday that improvement was in progress. “Several volunteers have worked endlessly to clean up the diesel and oil in the pond and to relocate animals. Luckily, no animals have been found dead yet.”
The foundation said that nine slider turtles have been relocated to Seaside Nature Park.
In a joint effort with a Sea Shepherd Conservation Society crew, representatives of the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI, Freegan Food Foundation and several other volunteers, absorbent pads, mats and booms have been placed to remove some of the sludge from the water, and a VROMI sewage truck was called in to skim the diesel fuel and oil sludge from the water.
Nature Foundation said it will be assisting and monitoring the situation.
“Thanks to the help of all volunteers, the situation is improving,” the foundation said.
Bron: Daily Herald