Netherlands Antilles

August 2007-June 2009

My family and I moved to St. Maarten in August 2007 and have worked there since then. As a science teacher with an environmental background, I can say that what so many of you have described as a paradise isn’t really true.

The color of the ocean around St. Maarten is amazingly blue-turquoise, but most of your reefs are already destroyed, killed by the overdevelopment of the island.

Phillipsburgs (capital of the island) is welcoming visitors & tourists with an overfilled dump -that is sometimes on fire-. What a view!

In low season, the newspaper is already advertising water shortages on the island, but every single resident has a swimming pool in their backyard.

Every big downpour, warnings of flash flooding are in effect, because you cut most trees on the island and replace them with concrete streets and more houses.

Then, there is a list of absolute careless attitudes from the government, residents and tourists:

  • I’ve never seen so many Hummers on the road. Who needs a Hummer on an island 15km long with narrow streets? Hello! Ever heard about the Kyoto protocol?
  • There is no recycling. Not even beer bottles! I’ve been to the most undeveloped parts of the world and even poor countries like Malawi recycle beer bottles! Who’s governing here? Any waste management project for the future?
  • I see yachts & private jets using up more fuel than I will ever consume in my entire life… Ever heard about carbon dioxide emissions people?
  • Your water is produced by desalinating sea water, and you are burning 180 000 liters of Diesel a day to produce the energy needed. (yes! I've visited GEBE with my students) Ever heard of global warming folks?
  • The traffic on the road is ridiculous. It takes over 1.5 hour on some days to travel from Cupecoy to Phillisburgs. The average km/h driven in the traffic is worst than some big cities like New York or Toronto.
  • You are still cutting more trees, breaking more rocky ground to build more houses! Enough! Concrete does not replace trees!

After many months on the island, I realize that most of you sold your paradise for few (or many) dollars, but this will never replace the beauty the island once had.

You will face serious overpopulation problems, excessive waste production, water shortages, floods, traffic, air pollution, noise pollution, etc.

And then, when your pristine blue-water will turn brown (like Kim Sha beach in the past few years), your tourists will stop coming & your paradise will be history... unless drastic actions are taken immediately to stop this uncontrollable destruction of the island.





Our old appartment in Pelican Key. (August to December 2007)
Our new appartment (Dec.14th 2007-June 2009)
Click here for French St-Martin