KRALENDIJK – In order to limit the negative impact of sargassum on the environment as much as possible, help from the national government is badly needed. But until today Stinapa has received no financial support from The Hague. The nature organization writes this in a press release.
Three years ago, the Ministries of Infrastructure & Water Management and of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality promised to help with money for cleaning up the seaweed, but according to Stinapa that is an empty promise. The nature organization has been working hard in recent days to remove sargassum from Lac Bai, but does not have enough money itself to buy all the necessary equipment and to pay parties who will remove the sargassum from the sea with shovels, pumps and cranes.
This year the organization has purchased 650M ‘sargassum booms’, screens that should prevent sargassum from entering the mangroves, but that is not nearly enough. A minimum of 2800M booms is needed to properly protect the mangroves and seagrass in Lac. This weekend, the Bonaire Public Authority deployed heavy machinery at Lagun to remove sargassum, providing some relief.
Meanwhile, people are working hard to ensure that sargassum does not choke the fragile mangrove forests and seagrass beds in Lac. In recent years, the rotting seaweed has caused a lot of environmental damage. In order to mechanically remove the sargassum, Stinapa cut down a number of mangrove trees near Punta Kalbas. This was difficult decision to make, but the only way to prevent long-term damage to the fragile marine environment.
Looking for volunteers
Based on satellite images, Stinapa warns that there are still large amounts of sargassum floating towards Bonaire. Citizens who want to help clean up the seaweed can report to the organization. This can be done via WhatsApp (insert link: https://chat.whatsapp.com/HqdhegwbFSr9VGeOOEqMWA). The organization is pleased with the commitment of the volunteers, and calls on nature lovers to help in the fight against sargassum.