JIS News

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  • The National Environmental and Planning Agency (NEPA) will be using a multi-agency approach to reduce the accumulation of sargassum (seaweed) along Jamaica’s coastline.
  • NEPA’s Director for Environmental Management and Conservation, Anthony McKenzie, informed that several agencies, central to the undertaking, have been identified.
  • They include: the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), and selected Parish Councils.

The National Environmental and Planning Agency (NEPA) will be using a multi-agency approach to reduce the accumulation of sargassum (seaweed) along Jamaica’s coastline.

Speaking at a recent Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank, at the agency’s head office in Kingston, NEPA’s Director for Environmental Management and Conservation, Anthony McKenzie, informed that several agencies, central to the undertaking, have been identified.

They include: the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), and selected Parish Councils.

These entities, he said, will assist NEPA to clean up beaches adversely affected by the seaweed.

Mr. McKenzie explained that consequent on the recent build-up of sargassum along Jamaica’s shoreline within recent years, particularly in 2015, and the potential negative impact it poses, NEPA has developed a three-tiered clean-up response strategy,  to deal with it.

The Director explained that the first tier would see beach property owners/operators undertaking routine daily clean-ups by raking and burying the seaweed, if the build-up is below three feet or one metre.

The second tier would entail the parish councils and other local authorities removing the seaweed, if residents are unable to do so.

Mr. McKenzie said the third tier would involve the NSWMA helping with the removal of large quantities of the seaweed, where the build-up exceeds three feet, and which would transported to designated disposal sites.

He urges the public to report excessive sargassum buildups in their communities to NEPA.