EPA, sawmillers address pollution of Wellington Park Mangrove Reserve

-consultations held with stakeholders on management plan

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday engaged residents of Whim, Corentyne and sawmillers along the Corentyne Coast, to find solutions to the pollution of the Wellington Park Mangrove Reserve.

Senior Environmental Officer Ms. Karen Small engages with a sawmiller

A study conducted by the University of Guyana (UG) in 2019 found noticeable, extensive erosion and pollution to the mangrove reserve from sawdust, which contributed to a significant loss of the mangrove forest.

Senior Environmental Officer, Ms. Karen Small said in instances of pollution where mangroves exist, the EPA must address those issues.

“The EPA Act contains a number of provisions which are relevant to mangroves of which gives the agency responsibility that may cross over to conservation and management of any threat to mangrove. That is how we play a role; it is part of our natural environment.”

Community members and sawmillers during the meeting at the EPA’s Berbice branch today.

Site inspections of sawmill operations by the EPA in November, found sawmill waste, among other forms of pollution, along the Corentyne River accumulating at the reserve. 

The meeting also discussed the establishment of a governance structure with community members, sawmill operators and the EPA from which a management plan would be drafted.

So far, the community participated in scientific analysis of the area with UG. The EPA has also conducted site inspections of sawmill operations and is working closely with the Skeldon Energy Incorporated. Consultations were also held with community members for the drafting of the management plan.

Meanwhile, the EPA has called on sawmill operators to utilise their containment bins to properly store waste. The agency also encouraged residents to remain vigilant over the protection of the mangroves.

Wellington Park is one of the Mangrove Restoration Sites in Guyana.

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