SINT MAARTEN (MAHO) – The foundation Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC) Sint Maarten and The Business Point are working to re-establish sewage pumpout boat service in and around the Simpson Bay Lagoon thanks to support and donations from business partners such as Island Global Yachting (IGY).
“Without IGY’s donation of dock space for the pumpout boat Slurpy, the re-establishing of the service would not be possible”, noted Program Director Natalia Collier. Slurpy will soon be able to provide the only sewage disposal service for vessels on the island again, after having been out of commission since hurricane Irma in 2017, a service which marinas have found clients requesting.
The foundation has relied on grants, donations, and in-kind contributions to cover repair and boat yard costs after Hurricane Irma, as well as operating expenses such as insurance and licensing.
This isn’t the first time IGY’s Isle de Sol Marina has partnered with EPIC, as their yacht club Isle de Sol was the first site on Sint Maarten awarded the Blue Flag eco-label, of which EPIC was the National Operator, as well as multiple mangrove reforestation projects.
The company’s support for pump out service demonstrates its continuous backing of green initiatives. Andy Caballero, GM and Regional Manager of IGY Marinas, was quoted as saying "IGY prides itself as a Gold Anchor Marina and is always happy to participate in any effort to keep the marine environment and local shores and lagoons of St. Maarten as clean and eco-friendly as possible.
In light of this effort, IGY is extremely happy to host Slurpy at Simpson Bay Marina and urges the local and visiting boating community to be mindful and take advantage of the pumpout services from Slurpy."
The Simpson Bay Lagoon is one of the largest inland lagoons in the Caribbean and provides crucial mangrove and seagrass habitat for reef-dependent species. Unfortunately, the lagoon has suffered from extreme pollution, including wastewater primarily from land-based sources.
As a small organization, EPIC saw an opportunity to provide a responsible maritime wastewater solution by providing a sewage pumpout service. Many boaters are very aware of the pollution in the lagoon, as evidenced by mats of algae and foul odors, and want to do what they can to improve the situation. EPIC looks forward to providing the boating community with proper wastewater disposal options once again.
Stay tuned regarding the upcoming launch of Slurpy’s pump out service via EPIC’s social media platforms.