The Proposal

We, the people of Barbados, want Graeme Hall Wetlands to be declared as a protected National Park for future generations by January 1st, 2023 which will include:

An approximately 240-acre Nature Reserve that consists of:

  • 34.25 acres of the Western portion of the swamp owned by Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary (GHNS) that includes a lake, wooden walking paths, interpretive builds, 2 large aviaries, a café, and other ancillary buildings.
  • 47.29 acres of mangrove forest, sedge ponds, a series of canals, the sewage treatment plant and the sluice gate.
  • The 91-acre 100-year flood plain and 18.13-acre buffer area to the West and North of the wetland that currently includes organic farm plots and fallow land that terminates under the escarpment to the North.
  • The 50-acre upland Graeme Hall Watershed agricultural area.

Several matters must be resolved before the National Park can be established: 

  1. The Government of Barbados will engage with all stakeholders and open lines of communication (using several different methods of outreach such as social media, surveys, town hall meetings, direct phone calls, signage and mail) sharing relevant information such as water quality data from the wetland and sluice gate area and include their voice and input in the Graeme Hall Management Plan and the new Graeme Hall National Park Plan) with the community and all stakeholders.
  2. The South Coast Sewage Plant (SCSP) must be in the process of being upgraded and operated with adequate operating manuals to be strictly adhered to and a water quality monitoring programme must be implemented as part of this project so as to ensure that there are no future leaks into the Graeme Hall Wetlands. Also, mitigation measures proposed for the South Coast Water Reclamation Project are not adequate to protect the fragile ecologically sensitive area. Current plans identify the north-south canal for emergency discharge other mitigation measures will need to be explored that respect and protect the ecological integrity of this fragile ecosystem.
  3. The Government of Barbados must take responsibility to extend, maintain and rigorously operate daily an inflow and outflow of the sluice gate which is a vital function in maintaining a healthy mangrove ecosystem involving major stakeholders such as the surrounding hotels, business owners, government departments, Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, etc.
  4. Proclaim the approximately 240-acre wetland and buffer zone Graeme Hall National Park by January 2023.