The Nature Reserve / Marine Park of St. Barthélemy was created to ensure the protection and balance of nature on the island. Working in close collaboration with the Collectivity, the principal mission of the staff is to increase the population’s awareness about environmental issues—especially for the island’s students.
It is, in fact, during their various events held in schools that meet with the most response concerning the universe that surrounds us, but is frequently little known or understood.
Working in the field is necessary in order to fight against poaching and direct attacks on the environment. That is why observation is important to watch the evolution of different species, but also be able to continue to protect those that are the most vulnerable. In this manner, the help of numerous volunteers and nautical clubs help with the evaluation and management of the various natural sites.
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The island of St Barthélemy is a dry island. As there are no natural resources to supply fresh water, it was necessary to install a system to transform ocean water, which we have in abundance all around the island, into potable water. The process used is called desalination, and through evaporation, this allows the salt content to separate from the seawater. During this process, the water loses most of its minerals and is therefore not usable before minerals are added back in, making it acceptable for consumption and not dangerous to the body. The water is then transferred to large holding tanks (one in Colombier and one in Vitet), which allows the redistribution of water to the population via gravity.
The island’s first desalination plant opened in 1972, and at that time was capable of producing up to 50 liters of water per day.
Since then, Saint Barthélemy has developed so much that the demand for water has increased dramatically.
The production of potable water is achieved by two different systems:
In 2009, the maximum production of potable water is 4,300 cubic meters/day with an average consumption of 3,000 cubic meters/day.
Several years ago, Saint Barthélemy started a campaign to encourage the population to recycle glass and metal. This movement was quickly adopted and became an everyday gesture, as the residents of the island realize the importance of keeping the island clean. Every day, the recycled trash is collected in the different neighborhoods, which are differentiated by colors.
Recently, the fight against polluting our planet has become even more important. The supermarkets took the lead by stopping the use of plastic bags, and instead sell re-usable bags that are available in the various stores.
Thank you for your understanding