The Ministry of Health and Environment would like to provide the general public with an update regarding greaseballs which have been spotted washing ashore this week on several SouthShore beaches.
What follows is a timeline of events.
On Sunday a weather pattern with Easterly winds and swell was forecast. Due to this, the Department of Health planned a proactive beach assessment for Monday as these conditions were similar to those which brought the greaseballs ashore this time last year.
On Monday daytime beach water quality samples were taken at Elbow Beach, Grape Bay, Warwick Long Bay, Horseshoe Bay, Hungary Bay, John Smiths Bay, Clearwater Beach, Shelly Bay, Tobacco Bay, and Snorkel Park and a thorough beach inspection was carried out by Health officials. In the evening there was a further inspection of beaches by Health officials.
Junior Minister of Education, Leah Scott, JP, MP yesterday opened a unique Sensory Garden created by the ASD Department at West Pembroke Primary School. The students and their teachers, Miss Freda Trimm and Miss Zola French worked for several months along with volunteers to complete the project located in the courtyard area at the school.
School Principal, Mrs. Opal Wilson noted, "When we think of the word sensory, we think of touching and feeling; this garden has plenty of elements that create such a calming effect. I know the students and teachers will take full advantage and enjoy this lovely garden."
Community volunteers and donors who assisted with the project include: Gino Brangman; Derek Flood; Denton Flood; Melvin & Renita Martin; Richard Kitson; Ernest Trott; Mr. and Mrs. Corday; Monique and Shaun Wainwright; Animal & Garden House; Carlton Minors; Coolridge Eve; Kevin Smith; Kevin Robinson; Michael DeSilva; Wendell Eve, Department of Works & Engineering; Aberfeldy Nurseries Ltd; Tulo Valley Plant Nursery and Bermuda Ornamental Concrete Products.
The Department of Energy's Solar Photovoltaic Rebate Initiative which began in 2009 will end this month following five years of steady growth and a notable increase in solar panel and residential solar hot-water installations. The rebate scheme began as an incentive to offer residents up to $5,000 for the installation of solar photovoltaic panels in their homes and was shortly followed by solar hot-water rebates of up to $1,500. Although the rebate programme has been successful in encouraging the adoption of residential solar installations, the initiative has now surpassed the $191,000 in budgeted funds available for this fiscal year.
Minister of Education and Economic Development, Dr. Grant Gibbons noted, "When the initiative began in 2009, it was intended that the total allocation for the programme would be $500,000. To date, the Department of Energy has issued over $650,000 in solar rebates, and at the end of this fiscal year, it is anticipated that more than $800,000 will have been spent on rebates. Now there are more than 150 homes interconnected to the grid, selling their excess energy to BELCO at a one-to-one rate – meaning that whatever rate the customer is paying per kilowatt hour is what they are credited for excess production."