Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Saint Lucia National Trust speaks about the threat to the world's rarest snake



Choice TV Interviews Bishnu Tulsie of the Saint Lucia National Trust about the impending developments proposed for Pigeon Island which will destroy historical assets and natural assets to create a captive cetacean tourism experience against strong opposition from Trust members and local and international public and about the devastation on the world's rarest snake and the very rare Saint Lucia whiptail lizard which both live on the isolated Maria Islands nature reserve.

The Maria Islands Reserve is now being included in the Desert Star Holdings (DSH) development Pearl of the Caribbean - this development had already been greeted with dismay and protest when it was contained to a smaller site and included destroying a protected mangrove: the Government then agreed to take the mangrove off the project only to return with a massively expanded project that has multiple environmental impacts and will completely obliterate the nature reserves by linking them to the mainland with a 150-acre reclamation project that will also harshly impact reefs and sea-grass beds in the area and cause silting and other damage in a wider region.  Impact assessments have not been done - these impacts are what local environmental experts believe will be the outcome. The Trust has been shut out of discussions despite pleas to both the government and developers and rumours abound now that the subvention to the Trust is being cut by the government and the entire statutory body may end up in the garbage.

The DSH project apparently involves the sale of hundreds of thousands of Saint Lucian passports under the Citizenship by Investment programme - this is in itself unbelievable since the population of Saint Lucia is itself only 180,000 - the citizenships come with voting rights and the question must therefore be raised, would this not put the human rights of Saint Lucians under threat? Would it not compromise the sovereignty of the people effectively reducing them to an adult minority?

Many Saint Lucians are expressing feelings of helplessness and deep distress and depression over what they see as the high-handed way in which their national assets are being removed from their control without consent or any regard to their opinions - to the contrary, the message they are receiving is that they are out of line to speak out against these projects. My personal feelings run along the lines of the Saint Lucians I have described - I can't believe we are finding ourselves in this position and feel pretty powerless to make a difference - so at least I can write about it briefly here.

I am currently spending my days studying a Master in World Heritage & Cultural Projects for Development in Italy, learning about sustainable development, cultural and natural tourism, Man and Biosphere programmes for development in hand with environmental protection, while I watch from afar as my home country turns it's back on it's own heritage, environment and natural assets and it's people's sovereignty - the irony is not lost!

Well, if you have suggestions, please help by sharing expertise or thoughts with us - we will need all the help we can get - international focus/press coverage, funds for the Trust (www.slunatrust.org), signatories on the two petitions

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/100/724/416/say-no-to-building-a-causeway-to-maria-islands-nature-reserve/

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/249/031/518/

As we lay Sir Derek Walcott to rest this weekend - Nobel Laureate for Literature, we do not forget how he fought to save Saint Lucia's natural and historical assets and we hope that the lines of our National anthem remain true:

"Land of beaches, hills and valleys,Fairest isle of all the earth."
Saint Lucia National Anthem

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Development that Destroys

Today I am publishing a piece written by my sister Sarah George: it speaks about some of the impacts we can expect from the Chinese development project our government in Saint Lucia has signed away our rights to.
This project is supported by many in Vieux Fort where jobs are particularly scarce - Saint Lucia has over 22% unemployment and a lot of underemployment, so it's understandable that this glitzy mega-development seems like a diamond being handed to the people. However many of us understand that though the needs of the people in Vieux Fort are long overdue for attention, a project such as this comes with a price-tag that we can't  afford and the damage it will inflict will be a cost that has far reaching effects - not just environmental, but on our sovereignty and safety. And that the development - the benefits - will overwhelmingly be for foreigners (including those hundreds who will be granted citizenship as part of this deal) Our government has not consulted the people who voted for them, far from it, they have lied to the people, indicating environmentally protected areas would not be included while behind closed doors they signed away those same areas...to say I and many others are upset over this is an understatement - we are desperately trying to find ways to stop this catastrophe - it seems our laws, our signed international conventions, declarations etc, do not protect us. If you can help - please do - we need expertise, power and international attention. There is a petition to save the Maria Islands which is linked at the end - please, if you think we need a better alternative to this development, at least sign and if you have other means, please message - there is also a facebook group for campaigners https://www.facebook.com/helensdefenders/

Now my sister's article:

A Causeway for Concern
By:  Sarah N. George

I feel that I must voice my opinion on the recently unveiled Phase II proposals for the DSH Pearl of the Caribbean development.   I am a St Lucian marine biologist by training, and a fisheries and marine management specialist by expertise.   I can bring to the debate over 30 years’ experience working in the interest of national development as a member of the Fisheries Department and also with the OPAAL project through which the Government of Saint Lucia established the Point Sable Environmental Protection Area (PSEPA) under the Physical Planning and Development Act. This valuable site extends from Moule-a-Chique in the south to Pointe de Caille (just north of Savannes Bay), and includes Maria Islands, and the Savannes Bay and Mankoté Mangroves as well as the reef around Maria Islands as legally-declared Marine Reserves (with the area being designated as a RAMSAR site of international importance). 
Given the valuable resources and ecological roles of the PSEPA and the way these support both existing and potential economic sectors and livelihoods, it is important that all Saint Lucians appreciate what will be some of the likely short and long term effects of building a causeway from the shoreline out to Maria Islands. 
Smothering of critical marine habitats and endangering livelihoods
First, let’s consider the effects of a causeway on marine resources and essential ecosystem services along our southeast coast.  Here we have Saint Lucia’s largest remaining area supporting three critical tropical marine habitats:  mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs; all functioning together in an interdependent way.  These three habitats are valued world-wide as the basis for productive tropical marine food webs and coastal fisheries.  They are also the source of the area’s clear and calm coastal waters which allow the reef and seagrass to thrive and give us valuable space for local and tourist recreation.  The PSEPA sustains some of our most important nursery and breeding grounds for marine fish species, for conch, sea urchins, lobster, crabs, and is also a key site for sea moss cultivation.
Creating a causeway in this area will end up burying large areas of the reef and seagrass habitats, resulting in loss of vital nursery, breeding and coastal fisheries grounds.  As happened when Pigeon Island causeway was built, the reclamation work involved in creating a causeway ends up smothering any reef or seagrass habitat within the boundaries of the causeway and in adjacent areas.  It also causes long-term sedimentation and reduced water clarity over a large area in and around the works because fine silt particles generated by the reclamation process remain suspended and carried around by waves and currents for many, many years.  Any settled silt is also easily re-suspended by annual storms and is added to by erosion that will naturally occur on and around the causeway as the sea battles against this artificial barrier placed in its way. 
Beach loss and erosion along the coast
Another serious effect of placing a causeway between an area of mainland and offshore islands is the disruption it causes to the natural process of littoral drift  (or “longshore drift”) which normally pushes sand gradually over great distances along the shoreline.  This is how beaches are created and maintained by nature.  A beach forms in a location where the particular shape and topography of the shoreline, the direction and nature of the prevailing wave action, and size and weight of sand particles available to the area all suit the formation of a particular size and type of beach in that specific site.   Longshore drift is driven by the prevailing wave direction, which feeds a continual supply of sand as beach material moves from place to place as part of this natural process. These large-scale nearshore dynamics determine which parts of our shoreline get eroded and which become built up with sand deposits.   A causeway not only blocks the littoral drift and thus starves all the beaches downward of it, but also causes oncoming waves to be deflected around the structure, and this ends up increasing the levels of erosion in some places along the nearby coast, while causing others to become silted up over time. 
Saint Lucia’s experience with the Pigeon Island Causeway and the Choiseul Fisheries Project has shown us, first hand, the massive and costly problems caused when such artificial barriers interfere with natural nearshore dynamics.  Significant loss of beachfront occurred for many years at Pigeon Island, in front of Gros Islet, and in the southern part of Rodney Bay.  None of these areas have regained their former beach volumes, despite efforts to put in place costly structures along the shoreline (seawalls, groynes, gabion baskets) aimed at preventing further erosion and protecting vulnerable coastal structures against storm damage.  Even replenishing beaches artificially has proven costly and short-lived as the sea constantly reclaims the added material to regain the natural balance of the area.
The loss of beach front caused significant loss of recreational space and caused collapse of what was a vibrant seine fishery in the Gros Islet area.  The loss of healthy reef and seagrass habitat in Rodney Bay also led to a decline in other forms of fishing due to an overall loss of fish habitat.    In the case of Choiseul, changes caused in the nearshore wave direction and longshore sand movement by  construction of the fishing port has led to continual trapping of silt and creation of stagnant waters within the port.    The walls of the “pond” inside the port prevent sand from moving along the shore or moving back out to sea.  Money has to be spent to dredge the port, with no effective long-term solution found.  Fishers remain frustrated and without a properly functioning port.
As part of the EIA process or during the project development stage of developments such as these, hydrological studies are usually done in the proposed site, funded by the investors.   These try to assess the nearshore dynamics of the area and factor this information into the way the reclamation and the proposed facility are designed.  However, because coastal dynamics naturally fluctuate both seasonally and from year to year, and doing extensive studies is both costly and time consuming, such studies usually only provide a snap-shot of what is really going on.  More often than not, they fail to accurately anticipate or prevent serious coastal impacts and long-term issues caused by the reclamation and the physical structures once in place.
Creating a coastal marine desert
The recently released concept for Phase II of the DSH development shows a large marine space becoming “semi-enclosed” by the causeway - essentially establishing a large artificial bay.  On the surface, this may seem like a benefit (i.e., new calm and physically protected coastal space for use in recreation or as a sheltered harbour).  However, the causeway construction will tend to cause reduced water quality in the enclosed area, creating a “semi-stagnant” coastal marine space.
Presently, a wide range of species including seagrasses and seamoss, coral reef fishes, lobsters and various hard corals are able to set up and thrive in the well- oxygenated, clear waters of the southeast coast.  If part of the bay becomes enclosed by the causeway, resources in the area become stressed by poorer water quality, high silt loads, and reduced flushing.    Inevitably, natural runoff from land will add silt and other chemicals to this space, and the causeway would act as a barrier reducing the rate at which they can be removed by wave action or wider coastal circulation.  These enclosed waters will also become less safe for sea bathing and water-sports.  We saw these sorts of problems in Rodney Bay after the causeway was built: declining water quality, higher sediment load within the bay, and die-off of seagrass, corals, fish and invertebrate populations. This led to a loss of coastal fishpot and seine fisheries, and loss of livelihood potential for local, small-scale businesses which could have developed to provide visitors with opportunities for high-quality snorkelling, diving, glass-bottom boating within the wider bay.  As is too often the case, a focus on the needs of large scale developments gets priority over local, smaller-scale but more sustainable enterprises that could keep a significant part of the tourism product and earnings in the hands and under the control of Saint Lucians.
Threat to the Maria Island endemics
Finally, let’s look at one of the site’s smallest natural assets, yet one highly at risk in light of the proposed causeway: our extremely rare endemic species, the Saint Lucia whiptail lizard (Cnemidophorus vanzoi) and the Saint Lucia worm snake (Leptotyphlops breuli), with populations found nowhere else in the world except on Maria Islands.  These endemics exist on the two tiny islets because of the unique natural environment and the physical isolation the site has provided over hundreds of thousands of years.  These factors have allowed the endemic species to evolve, adapt and survive there – and only there.  The fact that an adequate stretch of sea separates the islets from the main coast of Saint Lucia has managed to prevent other animals and disease agents from getting to these rare endemics and destroying their eggs, their young or the adults.   Other rare endemic species around the world have been created by such physical isolation.  A causeway would remove this essential element of isolation.  Despite the best efforts of the Forestry Department and the National Trust to prevent other species becoming a threat, our rare Maria Islands endemics would be at severe risk of predation, disease and eventual extinction in the wild.  As a result, we would fail to safeguard some of the world’s rarest species and also fail in our commitments to international agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, among others.
Are causeways always a bad thing? 
Causeways have been built in many places for many reasons and with varying effects on the natural environment.  When a causeway or similar land reclamation project is built in an area where the marine system is a naturally dynamic, high-silt environment such as at the mouth of a large river system (like the Mississippi) or in an exposed, rough shoreline, they may not have a significant effect on existing species or habitats since the particular species present will already be those best suited to such turbid and dynamic environments.  In other cases, causeways have been built suspended above the sea, such as the road built to connect Prince Edward Island to mainland Canada.  This raised structure is designed to reduce the level of physical disturbance to the seabed and disruption of wave action and littoral drift.   But we must recognise that our southeast coast is not a high-silt, unstable environment, nor is the proposed causeway merely to be the base for a suspended road or one that will minimise impacts on natural coastal processes or our coastal marine habitats.  Our sensitive nearshore environment around Saint Lucia is not a suitable place for a causeway.
Moving Forward
I very much recognise the urgent need for us to develop job opportunities, sustainable livelihoods and better services for communities of the south, and that the outstanding natural beauty, coastal marine assets and available land in the south means that that tourism is going to be a major element in such development.   But as a country we must be able to strike a healthy balance that can provide viable, sustainable social and economic progress for all Saint Lucians while safeguarding our environmental assets.  Unlike larger countries such as the USA, Canada or China, Saint Lucia’s tiny size means that we have no room for environmental error; no room for easily moving from an environmental mistake to take up a “Plan B”.
The way forward in the case of the DSH project must be some form of compromise, and such compromise must be rooted in the long-term interest of Saint Lucia over and above any short-term interests driven by political debate or external interests. While the proposed project seems at first glance to be full of the promises of jobs for everyone, we must consider the damage it can do to our resource base and consider hidden costs that can arise as we compromise existing livelihoods and the quality of our environment.  We must take the time and care to consider other options, ones that would result in safer, sounder development for the south.
Whether you consider yourself UWP, SLP or no “P” at all, if you truly care about the future of Saint Lucia, I hope you can agree that the compromise we reach for development in the south must not include a causeway. 

The No causeway to Maria Islands Petition can be found at:

Further Reading
The following documents, which you can access via the internet, may help you get a greater understanding of the issues discussed here.   I have found that information, in-depth consultation, and then careful consideration  bring wisdom, and wisdom provides the foundation for meaningful, equitable progress.
A case study of effects of the Pigeon Island Causeway: http://www.irf.org/eiacasestudy_failure_rodneybay_stlucia_op-45a/  (Ed Towle, 1985).
Saint Lucia National Trust information page on the Point Sable Environmental Protection Area:

A report on the values and perceptions of the Pointe Sable Environmental Protection Area:

BIO
Sarah George worked with the Department of Fisheries in Saint Lucia from 1982 and 2012.  She was first a Fisheries Assistant, then a Fisheries Biologist, and ultimately served as Deputy Chief Fisheries Officer and finally as Chief Fisheries Officer at the Department.  From 2005 to 2009, she was assigned to the Environmental and Sustainable Development Unit of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).  She worked with the OECS Protected Areas and Associated Livelihoods Project (OPAAL) as Technical Expert and later as Project Coordinator.  Sarah has also served on a Marine Protected Areas Expert Working Group for the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Board of the Soufriere Marine Management Area,  and a number of other local, regional and international initiatives aimed at sustainable fisheries development and marine management.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

What’s Going On?

flickr.com/photos/sunlightrunes/15356398933
I’ve wanted to write about how Trump being elected has made me feel for quite some time now, but  there’s so much that it’s hard to figure out what to say and every day we see a next example of his hideousness.

I even spent some time searching to see if I could find enough explanations of things he has done, may do, is doing, that would give me pause and help me believe it’s not as bad as I feel it is. No luck so far.

So, I took a break and tried to step back from my frustration, disappointment and anger with those who put Trump in power. I know a few of you personally. I don’t know you as hateful people. I know you as people who believe you are caring, fair, just and I have heard your concerns, your personal struggles, your fears and I understand them even when I don’t agree with them on principle, or when I know I am able to see a bigger picture perhaps, than you. So I can see that it would seem you just don’t realise that you’re not in that bad a position, and a lot of the elements of your American Dream actually require YOU to make things happen for yourself. It may just be that your attitude and entitlement are what's holding you back, and now you’re following the age old habit of laying blame at the feet of those who have historically been exploited and denied the rights you relatively comfortably enjoy.

Yeah, I hear some of you crying, “No! That’s not me!” – I voted against the corrupt/non-functioning/whatever-adjective system of government, the cronyism, the Fed…ok. Fair enough. You chose to replace ‘bad and urgently in need of a serious reworking’ with lawless. Very Wild West. Actually, very  North Korea, very ISIS, very Marcos, Saddam, very Great Turkmenbashi – and please don’t say  the ‘Communist’ elements make him totally different – no, they do not, Stalin, Putin, Kim family, Trump family – there’s a lot more in common than you realise. Not so much with Fidel though, who was much more a man of the peoples and led his country to great levels of social and scientific achievements, or with many of your county’s other old Central and South American 'enemies' who’s legitimate governments, yours has long fought to depose through covert wars and replace with corrupt dictators who work to fill your corrupt power-mongers' pockets.
flickr.com/photos/stephenmelkisethian/25673640690/
I’m, of course, not an American, I don’t live there and I doubt I ever will. But I live in America’s back yard, in the small island states that number among the neighbours that America has historically enjoyed fucking with. So I have a genuine, valid, real, reason to have a say. I think the whole world does anyway since America anointed itself ‘Leader of the Free World’ – you don’t get rights without responsibility and if you pretend to being the greatest democracy in the world, then hey, we are voters. Those in America, who don’t see this, are just some of the (way too big), insular band of fools who need to go back to school, preferably in a country where they can learn about how the rest of humanity lives and little things like international relations, trade, world cultures…

I feel you getting indignant now. Good. Join the club. In your indignancy, please invest some time in getting to know your countrymen and women whose labour and effort made the life you enjoy possible. Of course if you are an out-and-out racist, then you believe slavery and Chinese labour were God-given rights to you - well I just hope you get a knock on the head that saves you from yourself. For the rest of you good people – please work on developing a bit more of a less arrogant  less self-entitled, and more of a ‘judge not, lest thou be judged’ ethos. You are not the only ones who matter. Get out, educate yourself and get to know and understand a few more of the many countries out there in the world that do a much better job of democracy than you do, that have granted, not perfect, but certainly functioning social welfare systems that require high taxes and yet somehow, wow, must be magical, don’t stifle business or people living wealthy, good, happy lives.

You, Trump voters, God help you. You have done a huge injustice to America, her neighbours, the world. You better hope this has the effect of waking up the rest of us and galvanising us into action to set things to right, because, yes, we are also at fault. We were asleep at the wheel it would seem – we let our ‘surrounding ourselves with light’ and our (rightful) pride in the progress we did make, to ironically, cause us to become a bit more like you; blind. We allowed ourselves to believe the tide was turning in favour of humanity and good. Well, you showed us didn’t you!

I, for one, am awake with eyes wide open.

flickr.com/photos/59152532@N05/14733314158

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

WWI Centenary - Poetry Competition



British
High Commission
PRESS RELEASE
WW1 Centenary – Poetry Competition

The British High Commission in collaboration with the French Embassy and Alliance Française have been running a programme of activities since 11 November 2014 to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. As part of this year’s activities we are organising a poetry competition with the theme being War under the patronage of the Hon Sir Derek Walcott.

This competition is open to persons from the islands of St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica between the ages of 16-35. Poems can be in either English or French and there will be a prize of an Acer Tablet in each language category in each island. Entries should be submitted to communication@afslu.org by 31 October 2016. Rules for the competition are available at www.afslu.com. The winners of the competition will be announced at a special ceremony on Armistice Day 11 November 2016.

The Armistice Day ceremony will also feature a special screening of an Imperial War Museum restored film 'The Battle of the Somme', originally produced and shown in 1916. The first day of the Battle of the Somme was probably one of the most striking moments of the First World War (WWI) as that day alone resulted in nearly 20,000 British deaths and 60,000 British casualties, still the worst day on record for the British Army.  But the battle was not just one day; it lasted until 18 November 1916 and involved not just Britain and Germany but took place on French soil and French troops held part of the line. It has also been estimated that there were representatives of between 30-60 nations, including the Caribbean, at the Somme.


An exhibition “L’industrie du rhum et la Grande Guerre” will also be launched at the ceremony. This exhibition will highlight the importance of the rum industry during WW1 and will run through the month of November.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Winds of change...

7 days from today I will be segueing back, or is it forward, into a life of freelancing. My contract at the Cultural Development Foundation is coming to a close September 30th and I have a few weeks vacation due, so that makes September 9th my last work day here.

road less traveled
Lots of mixed feelings...but mostly excitement because there are a few major reasons why I am choosing not to renew my contract - and thank goodness one is not that they said "Meh Fifi, we not taking you back" ;) 

Reason number 1) I came across an opportunity to take a 1-year's Masters Diploma in World Heritage and Cultural Projects for Development - it's part distance and part on-site in Turin Italy. Run by the ITC-ILO through the University of Turin...and it came with the possibility of a partial scholarship through the OAS...I got accepted and got the schol...so that begins very conveniently, on October 17th (Viv la Margewit!) 

Short story of perseverance with the application process...now, keep in mind I did my Degree in Crafts 24 years ago...and the college - Crewe & Alsager, has been subsumed into Manchester Metropolitan University via Manchester Metropolitan Polytechnic and my course no longer exists...and I never got a transcript...and Italy requires, I mean REALLY requires a bunch of legalized, translated, Declaration of valued documents or you may as well sit counting grains of sand while you wait to be accepted cos it just ain't gonna happen...

No matter that the online application crashed on the last page the Sunday afternoon I was completing it, (yes, of course it was the last day!!! sheesh...you know I procrastinate!) No matter the links to the explanation of what a 'declaration of value' was wouldn't work...no matter Google kept this secret from me despite my best searches...not sure why, but a twist of fate and test of my perseverance maybe? .... the thing is I decided if I wanted it, I would just have to persevere and make it happen...so I did and so, it did!

Do not give up. Do not sit back and will the universe to make it happen for you or pray for it - by all means do those things, but they do not work without you taking all and every action you can to forge your path!!! 

Reason number 2)
I miss the freedom of freelance...lord knows I have really appreciated the time I have spent at CDF - regular salary every month, staff camaraderie, comfortable air-conditioning ;) a chance to make a difference in the perceived value of arts and culture in Saint Lucia...and the unexpected hiatus from my creative work has actually given me the space to look at what I really enjoy, what really matters...that has been priceless. But I have long since used up my 'working double-time capacity' and so I've found I didn't have time, or energy really, to do my creative work...and I miss it profoundly...it is a very big part of who I am. I also miss being a trainer - yes, I've done some while here, but I miss being in the field and doing training and development work...I just do.

So there it is - I am hoping I can work out continuing some projects with CDF, but I am also moving back (and forward) to my creative work. It will be different from before: much more focus on the environment and recycling and reflecting my thoughts and feelings on life, hope, inspiration, enlightenment, peace, challenge and all that stuff.

And for those wondering if to leave the 9-5....well, you have to know what you want and make a reasonable path forward - it is not easy. I have been self-employed/freelance/micro-business for 25 years and so I can say, when you leave a job, you are leaving security, that's for sure. So know what you plan to do and work out how you will pay the bills and what you are prepared to trade off...it has been a real challenge to review what matters, what I am prepared to let go, not let go...don't under-estimate the rigours such a move to 'freedom' entails - not in the pre-planning, nor in the execution!

So, back to what I'll be doing - I will also be writing more - not just blogging, I will certainly be doing more of this - writing about my journey and travels and more, but also working on actual books - how-to guides, insights on life and overcoming challenges. 

I'll write soon about what I believe I can offer and what I would like to have you hire me to do, also...but don't let that stop you getting in touch if you think you have something I could work on with you - I'd love to hear! 


Sunday, July 17, 2016

What’s the Buzz about?



under the Flambouyant Tree at Buzz Restaurant

The Courtyard at Buzz
Last night my friends and I went along to support the soft opening of the ‘New’ Buzz Restaurant in Rodney Bay. Buzz has been a standard on the list of restaurants in Saint Lucia for many years now, serving up South African-inspired cuisine in a beautiful open setting that spilled into the garden under a big beautiful flambouyant tree – my parents were friends with the owner Pat Bowden and had gone to her restaurants many times over the years. I admit, I had not gone to Buzz much…it was a bit pricy for my pocket at the time….so what’s changed?

Well, Pat has decided it’s time for her long, long stay in Saint Lucia to come to an end and she’s handed over to the charming Marisa Groenwald who has been her Manager for the past few years.

Marisa Groenwald, Buzz Restaurant
So Marisa has kept the hint of South Africa alive, but has given the place a pick-me-up of modern style and remixed the menu with some really delicious local flavours – most notable of the new appetizers we tasted last night were the Jerk Fish Breadfruit Tacos (gluten-free) – so good, they were gone before I could get a photo of them! And the Tamarind Spicy Chicken Wings – my choice. They were both definite winners – ones to go back for again! And from the more traditional Bar Bites Menu we were treated to the Famous Cheesy ‘Crack’ Break (one bite is all it takes!) and the Classic Bruschetta – both of which I could easily have feasted on all night too!

Tamarind Spicy Chicken Wings
The Menus
All in all, it was a lovely evening! Last night there was an eclectic mix of people enjoying the atmosphere – visitors to the island, local expats and embassy people and of course real, bona-fide locals and all sorts of Caribbean people who have made Saint Lucia home – I think this kind of atmosphere is what you can expect any evening you may visit: Friendly, relaxed, stylish, decent prices and mouth-watering flavours.

Buzz Restaurant walls showcase Saint Lucian Art: Shay Cozier















Oh! I almost forgot – Marisa has decided to decorate her lovely peaceful grey palate walls with featured artists – for the launch, Saint Lucian artist Shay Cozier’s work adorns the walls – each and every one is for sale. and the paintings are provided courtesy of Island Mix Café & Shop (near the Antillia Craft Brewery) in Rodney Bay, where you can find more authentic local arts, gifts, fashion and crafts along with a beautiful patio with a view of the marina and an ever-cooling breeze. 


www.facebook.com/Buzz-Restaurant-133670557065904                (758) 458-0450



Inside Island Mix
Inside Island Mix

What’s the Buzz about?



under the Flambouyant Tree at Buzz Restaurant
The Courtyard at Buzz















Last night my friends and I went along to support the soft opening of the ‘New’ Buzz Restaurant in Rodney Bay. Buzz has been a standard on the list of restaurants in Saint Lucia for many years now, serving up South African-inspired cuisine in a beautiful open setting that spilled into the garden under a big beautiful flambouyant tree – my parents were friends with the owner Pat Bowden and had gone to her restaurants many times over the years. I admit, I had not gone to Buzz much…it was a bit pricy for my pocket at the time….so what’s changed?

Marisa Groenwald, Buzz Restaurant
Well, Pat has decided it’s time for her long, long stay in Saint Lucia to come to an end and she’s handed over to the charming Marisa Groenwald who has been her Manager for the past few years. 

So Marisa has kept the hint of South Africa alive but has given the place a pick-me-up of modern style and remixed the menu with some really delicious local flavours – most notable of the new appetizers we tasted last night were the Jerk Fish Breadfruit Tacos (gluten-free) – so good, they were gone before I could get a photo of them! And the Tamarind Spicy Chicken Wings – my choice. They both definite winners – ones to go back for again! And from the more traditional Bar Bites Menu we were treated to the Famous Cheesy ‘Crack’ Break (one bite is all it takes!) and the Classic Bruschetta – both of which I could easily have feasted on all night too!

Tamarind Spicy Chicken Wings
The Menus
All in all, it was a lovely evening – last night there was an eclectic mix of people enjoying the evening – visitors to the island, local expats and embassy people and of course real, bona-fide locals and all sorts of Caribbean people who have made Saint Lucia home – I think this kind of atmosphere is what you can expect any evening you may visit: Friendly, relaxed, stylish, decent prices and mouth-watering flavours.

Buzz Restaurant walls showcase Saint Lucian Art: Shay Cozier















Oh! I almost forgot – Marisa has decided to decorate her lovely peaceful grey palate walls with featured artists – for the launch, Saint Lucian artist Shay Cozier’s work adorns the walls – each and every one is for sale provided courtesy of Island Mix Café & Shop (near the Antillia Craft Brewery) in Rodney Bay, where you can find more authentic local arts, gifts, fashion and crafts can be found along with a beautiful patio with a view of the marina and an ever-cooling breeze. 


Inside Island Mix
Inside Island Mix



www.facebook.com/Buzz-Restaurant-133670557065904                (758) 458-0450