The Caribbean Island of Mayreau Could be Split in Two Thanks to Erosion

Salt Whistle Bay on the Caribbean Sea coast. (Photo by Kenton X. Chance/IPS)
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(IPS) – As a child growing up in Mayreau four decades ago, Filius “Philman” Ollivierre remembers a 70-foot-wide span of land, with the sea on either side that made the rest of the 1.5-square mile island one with Mount Carbuit.

But now, after years of erosion by the waves, he, and the other 300 or so persons living on Mayreau, are confronted with the real possibility that the sea will split their island in two, and destroy its world famous Salt Whistle Bay.

At its widest part, the sliver of land that separates the placid waters of the Caribbean Sea at Salt Whistle Bay from the choppy Atlantic Ocean, on Windward Carenage Bay, is now just about 20 feet.

“There is a rise in the sea level with climate change. You can see that happening, and not just in that area alone,” Ollivierre told IPS of the situation in Mayreau, an island in the southern Grenadines.

The sliver of land near Salt Whistle Bay once had a grove of lush sea grape trees.

“As the sea eroded the land, it washed out the roots and as it washed out the roots, the plant could no longer survive, so they dried up,” Ollivierre said.

Beneath the waves, the destruction is as evident.

Read more at: Inter Press Service

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