he St. Maarten Nature Foundation responded to reports of a significant oil spill in the Simpson Bay area in the vicinity of Gourmet Marché stretching towards the Simpson Bay Causeway on Friday. Foundation staff responded by taking a vessel out to investigate.
Once on scene, the situation was assessed and the environmental impacts of the spill on the marine environment determined. Initial assessment found that a large quantity of diesel was released into the Simpson Bay Lagoon from an unknown source. There was no activity observed regarding oil entering the water from industrial or shipping sources within the Simpson Bay Lagoon.
The assessment found that the spill stretched for approximately one hundred yards in a west-south-westerly direction, which indicates that a fairly large amount of oil was leaked.
Contact was immediately established with the various island entities informing them of the situation. Contact was initially established with Inspector Carty of Maritime Affairs, the St. Maarten Harbour Master and the Coastguard who responded quickly. Communication and coordination between the St. Maarten Port Authority, the Nature Foundation and the Coastguard was swift in responding to the spill.