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Friday, September 30, 2022
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Signs to Warn the Public of Unsafe Beaches Should Be Mandatory

Dear Source:

I am writing to graciously ask either the Department of Planning and Natural Resources or the Waste Management Authority to place visible signage when the beaches are not suitable for public use. This past Sunday morning, I went for a bike ride with my kids on a route that took us by the Lagoon gut. We noticed a bulldozer working in the area, and of course, the strong smell emanating from the gut was noticeable. We continued our ride towards Northside and on our way back, we went swimming in one of the beaches. Upon my return home I opened the paper and saw an announcement in the paper stating that the Frederiksted Beach was not safe for swimming due to a problem with the Lagoon pump which had caused a sewage leak. I rode back to the Frederiksted Beach to see if there were any warning signs posted. None were.
On Monday, I called the number listed in the paper to suggest that proper signage be posted so that the public would immediately be made aware of such issues regarding our beaches. The woman explained to me that signs were, indeed, posted. When I explained to her that I did not see any, she placed me on hold. When she came back, she told me that the signs had been posted at the dock. She was very understanding when I pointed out that posting signs at the dock is not exactly effective for people who are thinking of utilizing the Frederiksted Beach. She took my number and said that "someone" would be getting back in touch with me. Four days later, I have received no phone call and I have seen no signs.
Hopefully, the problem has been resolved(?). I have always been hesitant of swimming at the Frederiksted Beach for this very reason. I would like to know if testing is done for the other adjacent beaches further to the North (which is where me and my kids swam). Yes, warning signs are not very appealing to the eye and yes, there is the image that we want to present for tourists who visit. But me, my kids, and all other residents of this island deserve to know when there is an accident such as this that has occurred. Putting the ad in the paper is commendable; however, beach signs would be more effective and should – in fact – be mandatory.
Alice V. Henry/ Frederiksted resident
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