Releasing the great economic and eco-tourism potential in many of our coastal villages
More effective village seawalls to handle the growing effects of CLIMATE CHANGE will be a priority for Dominica. But as we post Erika REBUILD DOMINICA BETTER we should keep in mind that with creative and skillful design, any protective seawall can also provide, at a modest increase in cost, a foundation/infrastructure to develop facilities and amenities that can greatly enhance the attractiveness and ambience of the scenic coastal areas. Here are some suggestions/ideas/concepts that may be applicable to some of our coastal villages:-
A Tree-Lined Promenade: For example, and still not too late to be "planted" (by volanters?) along the entire sea wall from Soufriere to Scottshead, There could have been provision for, and even its narrowest sections, pathway(s) for walking, jogging and roller-skating/biking, In the wider or land reclaimed sections (a) parking bays; (b) street-vendor market fair enclaves (with appropriate street-lamps and shelters, public conveniences, outdoor sitting/eating, and solid waste disposal amenities - REBUILDING BETTER means taking care of our litter and waste!).
Activity Facilitators. street-dancing park with theatrical stage/band stand; angler fishing platforms; fishing boats shore skids; and, terminal facilities to boat dock(s) including Custom/LAMA operations, a tourist info booth, security/rescue services, etc.). That southern area is already well developed, but some of these facilities could equally apply to Mero, Coulibistrie, Cottage, etc
Sea Bathing & Beach Enhancement Enclaves: Shower rooms, diving and swimming platforms with groynes/breakwater rings (if advantageous) to create deposition for beach development and/or slack water for safer and more enjoyable sea bathing in the demarcated swimming/snorkeling zones. Mero is an excellent existing example of what is possible
Boat Dock/Yachts Marina: Even two boat docks may be useful: (a) for normal passenger boats and pleasure boats (scuba diving and whale watching etc.) and for mass emergency evacuations in respect of volcanic eruptions or serious sea surges; (b) for harbouring visiter yachts. A boat dock or mini marina for yachts at a deep-end point in the bay that is affixed to the land with float-marked access and egress channels may be more acceptable to the fishermen and the dive tourism industry than having yacht moorings offshore. It could also be potentially a source of income by applying a minimal usage charge. This aspect of tourism could provide in a relatively short space of time increases in demand for restaurant/eatery services which could in turn be a significant outlet for the local fishing industry.