Once again, EPIC will be offering a mobile sewage pumpout service for boats in Sint Maarten. The sewage pumpout boat Slurpy was in operation prior to Hurricane Irma, during which it sustained major damage. But thanks to support from the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), Team Marine, Business Point, and Island Global Yachting (IGY), Slurpy will be up and running before the end of the year.
The boat was repaired along with the dockside disposal site, which is necessary so that the waste from boats is properly moved to a sewage treatment facility. The Business Point in Cole Bay continues to be a key partner in operating the pumpout boat because they handle scheduling services. Team Marine in Sandy Ground has generously provided dry dock space during the repair period and subsequent hurricane season. And the generosity of the community continues with support from Island Global Yachting (IGY), which is donating dock space within the Simpson Bay Lagoon. “Without IGY’s donation of dock space for the pumpout boat Slurpy, the re-establishing of the service would not be possible, “noted EPIC Program Director Natalia Collier. IGY reports that its marina clients ask for pumpout services which is currently not available in this major maritime destination.
This isn’t the first time IGY has partnered with EPIC. Their yacht club Isle de Sol was the first site on Sint Maarten awarded the Blue Flag eco-label, which was awarded by EPIC who is the National Operator for the international designation. IGY also supported multiple mangrove reforestation projects completed by EPIC over the years. The company’s backing for pump out service demonstrates its continuous support of green initiatives. Andy Caballero, GM and Regional Manager of IGY Marinas said, "IGY prides itself as a Gold Anchor Marina and is always happy to participate in any effort to keep the marine environment and local shores and lagoons of St. Maarten as clean and eco-friendly as possible. In light of this effort, IGY is extremely happy to host Slurpy at Simpson Bay Marina and urges the local and visiting boating community to be mindful and take advantage of the pumpout services from Slurpy."
The Simpson Bay Lagoon is one of the largest inland lagoons in the Caribbean and provides crucial mangrove and seagrass habitat for reef-dependent species. Unfortunately, the lagoon has suffered from extreme pollution, including pollution from wastewater, primarily from land-based sources. As a small organization, EPIC saw an opportunity to provide a responsible maritime wastewater solution by providing a sewage pumpout service. Many boaters are very aware of the pollution in the lagoon, which is evidenced by mats of algae and foul odors, and they want to do what they can to improve the situation. EPIC looks forward to providing the boating community with proper wastewater disposal options once again. Stay tuned for information about the launch of Slurpy in coming weeks.