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It’s been busy media-wise. Our environmental scientist Jacqui Carrel has been on Channel TV on various subjects three times over the last week and is due to speak on Radio Jersey tomorrow morning (Wed 15 Feb). Here’s a brief overview of what was discussed, and what we hope for:

Building/pollution concerns at the International Finance Centre

JEP 22 March 2016 - Report on Building 5 Planning Appeal
JEP 22 March 2016 – Report on Building 5 Planning Appeal

We gave our opinions on the JDC’s decision to go ahead with trying to obtain planning permission for Building 6.

We are concerned about the asbestos and toxic ash contamination in the area and the fact the JDC are not tenting what they dig up, relying instead on ‘damping down’ the soil. At the same time, men are wearing hazmat suits,

We note the planning permission is being sought despite an enquiry’s recommendations this should not occur until a States review has been held.

Explosion at Flamanville Nuclear Power Plant

Jersey gets most of her electricity from the nuclear power plant at Flamanville, 20 or so miles away in France. There was an explosion at the plant – happily not in a nuclear area! We would like to see MUCH more being done towards moving away from nuclear power, developing sustainable energy sources and educating the public and businesses as to how to need and use far less electricity.

The new Rural Economy Strategy

Louisa Pilbeam from Channel TV interviews Jacqui Carrel from SOS Jersey about the new Rural Economy Strategy which was released 14 February 2016
Louisa Pilbeam from Channel TV interviews Jacqui Carrel from SOS Jersey about the new Rural Economy Strategy which was released 14 February 2016

The new Rural Economy Strategy for Jersey was released today by the States of Jersey. It’s not as lengthy as it looks (big font, good layout, etc), so it is worth looking at it. There’s a summary here too. We think it’s good this has come out and that the States are moving in the right direction.

We also think it is not going far enough, especially as regards rebuilding our soils and using fewer synthetic fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides.  There is more that can be done and should be done.

Of course, not cutting back further on nitrates means we will be stuck with our sea lettuce problem for longer.

Sea lettuce

Sea lettuce in St Aubin's Bay. (Photo: JEP)
Sea lettuce in St Aubin’s Bay. (Photo: JEP)

Jacqui will be on Radio Jersey tomorrow just after 8.30am, talking about DfI Minister Eddie Noel’s idea to drag sea lettuce out to sea in barges.

This is, of course, a sticking plaster approach, and hopefully one that will only be needed a year or so at most until we can bring nitrate levels in the Island’s water down through various means.

We are happy the idea of the sea harvester has been dropped: we believe it would have not only cost stupid amounts of money and harmed the sea grass areas, but would have failed anyway.

Costs of clearing sea lettuce can be seen here. (I was about £200k in the five years leading to Summer 2016.)

Does the media attention help?

We hope so – a few seconds on the TV or radio hides the time gone into acquiring the information. However, lots of people are doing their bits behind the scenes as well, and finally the States are beginning (slowly) to act; we might even get there before it’s too late.

Flamanville explosion, asbestos, fertilisers and sea lettuce
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