A new St. John Land Conservancy sign, above, welcomes visitors to Haulover Bay.
Since being purchased by the non-profit St. John Land Conservancy this spring, pristine Haulover Bay has been saved from potential development.
Now the newest improvements at the East End beach are saving the area from erosion.
“We’ve installed posts on the South Bay side of Haulover,” said SJLC president Lauren Mercadante. “We’ve done this to protect the beach from oil and tire damage, to stop the destruction of plant life and to stop the sand from being undermined by the cars causing erosion. The move will also stop commercial trucks from pulling up and using the beach to clean out their equipment, and provide a non-impact, natural environment for people to enjoy the beach.”
“The entire beach front at Haulover is now preserved and protected and remains open for all to use and enjoy,” said Mercadante.
SJLC officials have also cleared the bush on the opposite side of the road in order to accommodate parking away from the sensitive shore line.
“We’ve cleared back some of the growth on the opposite side of the road to provide more parking and to enable cars to pull completely off the roadway,” said Mercadante. “Depending on how the cars park and their size, there is room for 15 vehicles.”
While Haulover is now a protected conservation area, it is privately owned by SJLC. The beach remains open to the public for swimming, hiking and boating, but there is no commercial use, overnight camping or fires allowed in the area, Mercadante explained.
“People can still access the beach for their boats, swimming, hiking, and any recreation as always,” she said. “Commercial use is prohibited as is overnight camping, signage, fires or storage of personal property.”
With the new wooden posts installed expected to go a long way toward making sure Haulover beach remains in its place and devoid of oil, SJLC will turn its attention next to the north beach on Dreekets Bay, according to Mercadante.
New wooden posts, above, spelled the end of parking on the shoreline at Haulover.
“Next we’ll be working on the best way to improve access to the north beach through the boggy area both for peoples’ safety and to the protect the plants and animals,” she said.
SJLC has also installed a new sign along the road near the South Beach, which boasts the group’s bananaquit logo and tagline of “Conservation through Preservation and Appreciation,” the ethos which has dictated the improvements to the land.
“These changes have improved and protected the beach and are the start in helping the environment repair itself in time,” said Mercadante. “Its conservation will create a healthier and safer natural area.”
SJLC is also not about to stop at Haulover Bay, the group hopes the beach acquisition is just the first of many projects to ensure the natural beauty of St. John is preserved, Mercadante explained.
The non-profit conservation group relies on donations of time, money and support. To find out how to help SJLC, check out the website www.stjohnlandconservancy.org.