Press Release

Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change
Release Date:
Wednesday, 6 March 2024 - 11:29am

The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change has moved into Phase two of the Long Bay, Beef Island Beach Management Plan implementation.

Phase two will involve the restoration of the sand dune with native trees, replanting the vegetation line with seagrape trees and establishment of a public picnic area.

Environmental Officer in the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change Ms. Angela Burnett-Penn said restoration is necessary as about 75% of the historic vegetation on the eastern sand dune has been destroyed and many of the remaining trees are invasive species including neem trees, wild tamarind and cow heel bush. 

She said the goal of Phase two is to restore the sand dune to its former healthy state, while leaving room for a picnic zone and other facilities.

Ms.  Burnett-Penn said, “The community should be excited about this phase of the project which we have dubbed, “Operation Restoration.” The beach we love and enjoy depends directly on a healthy, forested sand dune.”

The Environmental Officer said native trees like the seagrape, loblolly, cedar, lignum vitae, barcasco and others provide key benefits to the beach that invasive plants like neem trees do not. She added, “Seagrape trees are critical to protect the beach from erosion and encourage turtle nesting. The other trees also contribute to providing shade and bird habitat.”

The project is a collaboration with Unite BVI, a non-profit foundation based in the Virgin Islands which focuses on a variety of community-minded projects, including environmental conservation and empowering entrepreneurs.

Representative Ms. Alexandra Katra said her organisation is delighted to once again partner with the Government of the Virgin Islands to help in the cause of protecting the environment.

 “At Unite BVI we understand the importance of protecting our environment, and as such it is our pleasure to stand with the Government of the Virgin Islands to continue to restore the environment to its natural state, for the benefit of residents and visitors alike,” Ms. Katra said.

The first phase of the project concluded in May of 2023 and included construction of parking lots and installation of the sand dune protection barrier in preparation for phase two.

Phase two of the project began March 5 with removal of the invasive species. As part of the restoration effort, 100 seagrape trees and 140 other native trees will be planted.  Members of the community are welcome to assist by sponsoring additional trees for planting and also by joining in the planting of seagrape trees. More information will be available at

The public is reminded that permission must be sought from the Ministry responsible for Natural Resources for commercial uses of beaches and non-commercial activities in cases where there would be large groups, loudspeakers or open fires.

The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change continues to manage the natural resources of the Territory in a manner that ensures long-term sustainability.


Berta McKelly Adams

Assistant Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations 
Telephone: 468-2740