Concerned Puerto Ricans are circulating a petition to try to save Playa Flamenco on Culebra Island, Puerto Rico. The letter expresses opposition to the approval of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for an industrial energy project known as the Punta Flamenco Windfarm, proposed to be located in Punta Flamenco on the island of Culebra. This project involves the construction of five wind turbines 390 feet high, four residences, an office structure, a maintenance shop, an electrical substation, and a water storage tank of 10,000 gallons, among other facilities, which are all visible from Flamenco Beach.
People are outraged because Flamenco Beach is an important tourist and recreational attraction in Culebra—a source of income and livelihood for many residents and businesses in the island municipality. On many occasions, this beach has been nominated by institutions and international magazines as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and it is has a perfect environment for ecotourism and the development of nature tourism.
The project would involve moving land and clearing coastal forest, which may produce sedimentation and siltation of the waters and coral reefs of Playa Flamenco and the disturbance of the landscape. The proposed industrial wind generators threaten to destroy the nature and character of Flamenco Beach and its crystal clear waters as well as the eco-economy of this Caribbean island. Project proponents (WindMar Renewable Energy) have a history of environmental offenses in Puerto Rico and on the small island of Culebra.
Although the protestors agree with and promote renewable energy alternatives, they feel that this option cannot jeopardize the overall economy of the municipality of Culebra. The main problem of this project is its location. The signees want to defend Playa Flamenco and work together to implement real alternative renewable energy and sustainable development in Culebra.
The construction and operation of the wind turbines and cables pose serious threats to bats, migratory birds, seabirds, and raptors, and will impact other endangered species that live in this critical habitat (including coastal waters, coral reefs, vegetation, and sand) affecting snakes, lizards, and leatherback, green and hawksbill sea turtles.
[Many thanks to Glenda Wiscovitch for bringing this item to our attention.]
For more information and petition, see