The Department of the Environment says they will be taking legal action against individuals who continue to illegally mine sand from the nation’s beaches.
The department noted during clean up sessions of the Sargassum seaweed at selective sites across the country, it was recognized that persons have been illegally removing sand from the beaches, particularly at Halfmoon Bay.
Under Section 4 of the Beach Protection Act 1957 sand mining is illegal without the written permission of the Director of Public Works Department.
The Environment Department warned that the constant removal of sand increases the risk of coastal erosion, making the beaches narrower while ruining its aesthetics.
“Maintaining sand on our beaches is most critical now in Antigua and Barbuda in light of climate change, particularly as we consider the impacts of associated sea level rise, and the increased need for buffers from storm energy in light of more frequent and stronger tropical storms, the release said.
It continued that removing sand from our beaches increases our national vulnerability and impacts the lives and livelihoods of all persons.
They cautioned that all incidences of sand mining will be investigated and persons will be held accountable in accordance with the law.