Information Officer I (Ag.)
Department of Information and Public Relations
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour has continued work on The Long Bay, Beef Island Beach Management Plan since it was initially introduced to the public for feedback earlier this year.
The development of the Long Bay, Beef Island Beach Management Plan is being done in a phased manner. The process began with a Conceptual Plan which was discussed and open for feedback via community meetings held March 29 and March 31. Additional input to the planning process was received via an online public survey. Comments and inputs were taken into consideration and amendments to the Conceptual Plan made as the basis for moving forward. The Long Bay, Beef Island Beach Management Plan is now in its draft detailed stage, which will be open to more feedback from the public before the Plan is finalised in the coming weeks.
Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Honourable Melvin Turnbull stated that he was pleased that the Plan is progressing and spoke on its importance. He said, “The progression and implementation of the Beach Management Plan for Long Bay, Beef Island is crucial to the overall sustainability of that beach. It is a beach that you can visit year round without having to worry about riptides or undertows. Long Bay, Beef Island has become a popular location on Tortola for tourists, sharing in the footprint of cruise passengers that is customary in Cane Garden Bay and Brewers Bay, especially after the 2017 hurricanes. My Ministry remains committed to ensuring that the proper balance is struck between economic growth and natural sustainability at all beaches in the Territory.”
Environmental Officer in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour Ms. Angela Burnett Penn highlighted how much progress has been made since the Conceptual Plan was presented for feedback. She said, “The conceptual plan focused on a spatial plan for the beach to determine the best placement of facilities and amenities and designation of use zones to support the vision for the beach.”
She added, “Now that we have gotten feedback on the Conceptional Plan from the public, additional input through the survey and gathered field data, the Ministry has developed a comprehensive Draft Detailed Plan with input from various agencies and experts. The Draft Detailed Plan includes several layers: the Spatial Plan, Facilities Plan, Environmental Restoration and Protection Plan, Management Measures & Rules, and an Implementation Plan. We are again seeking feedback from the community to ensure that all stakeholders are as satisfied as possible with the proposed Plan.”
There will be a virtual community meeting on Tuesday 11 October on WebEx at 6:30 p.m that will be streamed on Facebook live. The link to join that meeting to give feedback on the Plan is tinyurl.com/3a58fcs4.
The in-person community meeting will take place at the East End Methodist Church Hall at 6:30 p.m on Thursday 13 October. The final Plan will be presented to the Cabinet of the Virgin Islands for approval following any revisions based on public comment.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour continues to strive to effectively manage and administer the natural resources of the Territory in a manner that ensures long-term sustainability.