Category: Vibrant and Vulnerable

Heritage Photo Exhibition!

Please help us celebrate island heritage and the work of photographers of all ages at the 2014 Heritage Photo Exhibition. The gala opening of the Exhibition will be held at 7pm on Saturday, December 6th at Lagoonies Bistro and Bar at Lagoon Marina in Cole Bay. This event is free and open to the public, and will include large-format displays, voting for the People’s Choice Award, and an official prize ceremony at 9pm. The winning works and other entries will be on display throughout the following week.

The Heritage Photo Contest and Exhibition was developed by Les Fruits de Mer to showcase art created here on St. Martin/St. Maarten, and to engage residents–especially kids–in thinking about their heritage. The Be the Change SXM Foundation provided funding for the contest and exhibition.

The panel of judges faced many difficult decisions when selecting the winners of the 2014 Heritage Photo Contest. With over 75 entries, the competition was fierce, and the works submitted beautifully captured many diverse aspects of the island’s heritage.

The theme of this year’s contest, “Vibrant and Vulnerable”, followed an unusual format and was chosen to raise awareness about the island’s unique natural, cultural and historic heritage, as well as the threats facing this heritage and the need to preserve it. Each entry included two photos–one representing a “Vibrant” aspect of the island and one representing a “Vulnerable” aspect–and the artist’s statement about the photo selections. This format was very open to creative interpretation, and the entries that poured in touch on many different facets of local heritage, from plants, animals and landscape, to history, architecture and culture.

In the end, the first prize in the overall competition went to Alexandre Guerre, and top honors in the youth competition were awarded to Luna Valenti. Their photos, along with many other fantastic entries, will be featured at the upcoming exhibition.

One remaining prize, the $100 People’s Choice Award, will be decided by those who attend the opening of the exhibition. “We’re thrilled to invite everyone to take the opportunity to enjoy the stunning, thought-provoking photos at this exhibition,” says Les Fruits de Mer President Jenn Yerkes, “And, of course, to vote for their favorite!” Voting will be done by ballot between 7pm and 9pm.

For those who cannot attend, or would like a sneak preview of the entries that were submitted, an online gallery of entries can be found at http://www.lesfruitsdemer.com/category/vibrant-and-vulnerable/.

A green turtle takes center stage in the “Vibrant” photo from Alexandre Guerre’s winning entry. Photo by Alexandre Guerre.
A green turtle takes center stage in the “Vibrant” photo from Alexandre Guerre’s winning entry. Photo by Alexandre Guerre.
The “Vulnerable” photo from Alexandre Guerre’s winning entry captures the bright colors of the island’s traditional architecture. Photo by Alexandre Guerre.
The “Vulnerable” photo from Alexandre Guerre’s winning entry captures the bright colors of the island’s traditional architecture. Photo by Alexandre Guerre.
Young photographer Luna Valenti showcased this hummingbird as a “Vibrant” part of St. Martin’s heritage. Photo by Luna Valenti.
Young photographer Luna Valenti showcased this hummingbird as a “Vibrant” part of St. Martin’s heritage. Photo by Luna Valenti.
Luna Valenti’s “Vulnerable” photo spotlights the time-weathered pier in Grand Case. Photo by Luna Valenti.
Luna Valenti’s “Vulnerable” photo spotlights the time-weathered pier in Grand Case. Photo by Luna Valenti.

2014 Heritage Photo Contest and Exhibition: Vibrant and Vulnerable

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Heritage Photo Contest and Exhibition
(Pour la traduction française, cliquez sur “Continue reading →” et faire défiler vers le bas.)

Deadline extended: submissions are now being accepted until June 15, 2014.

The Heritage Photo Contest and Exhibition is an opportunity to showcase St. Martin/St. Maarten’s unique natural, cultural and historic heritage. The theme of this year’s contest and exhibition will be Vibrant and Vulnerable. The goal of this project is to raise awareness about the beautiful, valuable and extraordinary heritage of St. Martin/St. Maarten, as well as the threats facing this heritage and the need to preserve it. We hope that this contest will serve as an opportunity to explore, share and promote many of the things that make this island unique, and serve as a focal point to understand, discuss and act on the things that put this heritage at risk.

Entries for this year’s theme will include two photos, one representing a vibrant aspect and one representing a vulnerable aspect of St. Martin/St. Maarten, with a statement by the photographer explaining the selection of photos. Photos can be submitted from May 1st to June 15th, although they can be taken at any time. The photos and statement must be the work of the entrant. Qualifying entries will be displayed online as they are received, and an exhibition will be held in June 2014 featuring selected entries. There will be awards for the winning entries in three categories: Adult, Under 18 and People’s Choice. Prizes will be announced during the entry period.

This contest and exhibition initiative is created and managed by the Les Fruits de Mer Association, with funding from Be the Change SXM.

For rules and how to enter: Read more

Marie-Claire Mauro

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Vibrant
Vibrant is discovering these funny little beings, finding a house suiting their needs, climbing up the beach, the rocks, between roots and plants. Vibrant is the sound of their scrawling, of their shell rolling. Vibrant is the silence when they feel us around, when they hide in… Vibrant is the smile of our children, when they pick it up softly to observe. Vibrant is putting them back in the exact place, for them to go free, as they had planned. Vibrant was this unexpected meeting while hiking on Chemin des Froussards, in Anse Marcel.

Vulnerable
Beautiful sight, vibrant colours. Yet vulnerable sea. In Grand Case, a lot of houses and restaurants release used water on the beach. It goes to the sea. All that soap, all those chemicals, all type of organic waste mixing with that transparent blue water. At that pace, how long will the bay of Grand Case look like this ? How long before there is no more starfish ? How long before they must change the colour of their house, to match a darker dirtier sea ?
Nice colourful houses, along Grand Case Bay, sadly releasing poison every day…

Judith van de Pas van Oort

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Vibrant
Vibrant are lifelines
On big sailing ships, is the one hand guiding another, keeping lines literally untangled, guarding the lifelines for whenever they would ne needed.
Working hard to make sure everyone is safe and sound.
Weird isn’t it? It’s all about (life) lines.

Vulnerable
Vulnerable are lifelines.
From the little hands that pick up even smaller living creatures, to the hand that guides the child along, like that hand needed guidance or still does…
Working hard to make sure everyone is safe and sound.
Everything is about lifelines.

Judith van de Pas van Oort

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Vibrant
Vibrant is the whole environment we live in, especially in places like our tiny SXM
Walk out of your home, and register the first living thing you come across.
Yes, that takes about two meters of walking. We can nurture that!

Vulnerable
Vulnerable is the whole of environment we all live in, especially in places like our tiny SXM.
Walk out of your home, and register the first trash you come across.
Yes….that takes about two meters of walking. We can change that!

Prashant Asnani

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Vibrant
Iguana:
I was surrounded with plants, trees, and nothing but greenery. Everything around me was in regards to nature. As soon as I realized this, I saw an iguana that blended perfectly with nature and I knew I must take a photo of it. Whenever I view this photo, there is a great sense of nostalgia that comes with it. The iguana in it’s natural habitat and the vibrant shades of green allows me to enjoy the nature on our island.

Location: St. Peters, St. Maarten.

Sunset:
A two minute walk away from where I live in Philipsburg, is a small beach, where I have the privilege to view beautiful sunsets everyday. And here is one of them. In one of my science classes, I was taught that the sun is the primary source of energy, heat, and light. This lesson inspired me to capture the majestic beauty of the sun. There are sunsets, and then there are St. Maarten sunsets.

Location: Great Bay, St. Maarten.

Vulnerable

Egret:
Every morning when I would go to school, I would pass by The Great Salt Pond. What would never cease to amaze me were these birds known as White Egrets. There would be hundreds of them every morning enjoying their morning catch. One morning on a day off from school, I woke at 5:30AM and got there early to get a bit of morning light just to capture an image of one of these beautiful birds. The Great Salt Pond is undoubtedly historically significant to our island, and around this time, there was news about the filling-in of sand in the pond, which resulted in many dead fish. And it is these badly contaminated fish the birds would later have to consume. When I look at this photo, I cannot help but think how vulnerable these birds were due to human activities. The inspiring feature of this shot is that there is life among everything that has happened. The birds still live on, which is the white Egret’s true beauty in this picture.

Location: The Great Salt Pond, Pondfill Rd, St. Maarten.

Jovito Hermoso

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Vibrant
St. Maarten/ St. Martin
The mountainous terrain and hills of St. Maarten/St. Martin provides a unique charm. The beautiful turquoise waters and stretches of white sand beaches adds beauty to this beautiful island.

Vulnerable
The Shores
There are many perspectives to a photo. If you look far enough in this one (as many tend to do) you look past the ugly and see what you only want to see. If you look closely (as you are meant to) you see the truth right in front of you. It is a bad habit we must break in order to fix the problems instead of hide them behind a false truth

Luna Valenti

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Vibrant
Une merveille de la nature qui nous réjouit de ses couleurs chatoyantes ; le colibri, ne cesse de battre de ses ailes que très rarement…

Vulnerable
Le pont de Grand Case, patrimoine historique de notre île, témoin de l’évolution, fragilisé par le temps…

Keturah de Weever

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Vibrant
This fishing hut indicates the ability of a fishing family who continues the tradition of making fish pots and selling fish as a means of income. One of our eldest trade on St. Maarten.

Vulnerable
The skills needed to make a fish pot is on the verge of becoming extinct on our island.

Keturah de Weever

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Vibrant
Sailboats in the shore reminds us of our diversified economic pillar that builds our country.

Vulnerable
When funds are not available to remove old boats, it becomes an eye sore in our beautiful turquoise water while shedding its rust and debris slowly but surely in our sea.

Keturah de Weever

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Vibrant
The sunrise shines over the volcanic cliff rocks and gives the sahara dust it’s golden sheen. This beautiful haze in the atmosphere approaches our shore.

Vulnerable
The power of a hurricane may blow this bolder away into the ocean leaving the cliff bare.

Samantha Yerkes

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Vibrant
The Butterfly Farm is a place for butterflies and all the butterflies have their own plants to live on. They have their own colors too. This moth has bright orange, brown and white colors to blend into its background and camouflage itself.

Vulnerable
I took this at the Arrowroot Festival. It is preserving the culture because more people did arrowroot in the old times. They dig it from the ground, then people wash them, then they smash them, then they keep doing stuff to it so you can eat it. They can make it into a batter, then they can make it into arrowroot cakes, yummy!

It is important to keep your culture. People are passing it down so in the future, people will still do it.

Dolly Yerkes

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Vibrant
The first photo I vibrant as it shows the beautiful and colorful scenery of Saint Martin; the grassy hills and blue water without development.

Vulnerable
The second photo reminds us that this beauty is vulnerable. If we do not take care of the environment its beauty will be tarnished with our waste. We must take steps to clean it up so that other generations can enjoy the same scenery.

Dominique Noiré

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Vibrant
A djembe player celebrates a beautiful day with friends on Grande Cayes beach. Music and especially percussions are part of St Martin/St Maarten tradition, and played in many events all year around.
Un joueur de djembe celbre une belle journee avec des amis sur la plage de Grande Cayes. La musique et particulierement les percussions font partie integrante de la culture de st Martin/St Maarten, et on peut entendre les tambours resonner ici et la tout au long de l’annee.

Vulnerable
Museums have historically been centers of research, education, and public outreach. St Martin/st Maarten cultural heritage has been preserved in the Museum on the road to Fort Louis, near the catholic church. Although it has been opened for many years, and contains rare and original artifacts from the first island’s inhabitants, the Arawak indians, too few people know about it and/or visit during opening hours, Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.

Dominique Noiré

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Vibrant
Each Summer in Colombier valley, one can only marvel at the vibrant beauty of Nature : Flamboyant trees (or Flamingo trees or July trees) in full bloom, vivid reds and yellows contrasting with the greenery, and cattle grazing peacefully in the shade.

Vivant
Chaque ete dans la vallee de Colombier, Les Flamboyants (ou arbres de Juillet), nous offrent la splendeur de leurs feuillages rouges et jaunes, contrastant avec la verdure des alentours tandis que le betail pait a l’ombre, en toute serenite .

Vulnerable
A Tiny seahorse is grasping a piece of sponge with its tail to fight the current off Simpson Bay beach. Pollution is threatening our Oceans and its inhabitants, just like anywhere else in the world. It is up to us to take care of our Nature, for example by keeping our trash down and banning plastic bags.

Vulnérable
Un petit hippocampe s’agrippe avec sa queue a un morceau d’eponge pres de la plage de Simpson Bay. La pollution menace nos Oceans comme partout dans le monde. Il n’appartient qu’a nous de les proteger, par exemple en reduisant nos dechets et renoncant aux sacs platique.

Dominique Noiré

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Vibrant
I love my ram contest in COLOMBIER.
Since the year 2000, Every first Sunday in July the “most beautiful Ram “contest in the beautiful COLOMBIER valley is held.
Although the contest is relatively new, St Martin/St Maarten families have always been proud of their rams and rightly so. Let’s help preserve and reinforce this event that gathers a large local community in a friendly atmosphere.

Vulnerable
As pretty as it seems, the reef and its inhabitants need our help, like this young Queen Angel Fish swimming by colourful sponges a few miles off Great Bay. By keeping our Oceans clean and reducing overall pollution, each one of us, one step at a time, can influence Planet Ocean health.

Ilja Botha

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Vibrant
Vibrant are our youth and this yellow Flamboyant in Emilio Wilson Estate Park. Together with a friend the girl picked up the old seed pods later and they made music together. Vibrant is also the shak shak sound the pods of our National Tree make.

Vulnerable
Vulnerable are the few remaining mangroves on St Maarten/ St Martin. This mangrove in Oyster Pond has managed to survive the construction of marinas, pollution of the pond and the feasting on it by Green Iguanas. Due to the feeding of the iguanas by bar staff, the population in this bush as grown enormously and has become a loved photo shooting site for passing tourists. All I’m hoping is that this mangrove will survive September when the bar is closed and there is nothing to eat for the iguanas other than the mangrove leaves…

Jeremy Faro

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In his 1992 Nobel Lecture, Derek Walcott remarked that “visual surprise is natural in the Caribbean; it comes with the landscape, and faced with its beauty, the sigh of History dissolves.” I think about this submission in terms of Humankind and Nature physically meeting, overlapping, or intersecting on Saint Martin/St Maarten in ways that are sudden, surprising, beautiful, and terrifying to me. Vibrancy and vulnerability can be seen or felt in either photograph; the relative strength of either sensation is drawn out from the viewer herself or himself, according to the vagaries of their own personal History and current position in or on the world.

Liliane Magnin

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Vivant
MARIGOT / GRAND BAY-La statue “Lady Liberty” au rond-point Agrément est probablement la sculpture la plus connue du public par Theodore Bonev à Saint-Martin.

“La beauté magnifique et l’élégance de Lady Liberty” a été dévoilé en 2007 pour marquer le 159e anniversaire de l’émancipation de l’esclavage 1848.

Vulnérable
Au fil de l’eau-Le bateau cela peut être un merveilleux moyen de découvrir SAINT MARTIN LA BELLE
Attention amis plaisanciers ne vous amarrer pas trop prêt ! afin de ne pas gêner les baigne

Christine Garner

© Chris Garner Photography 2014 All Rights Reserved

All rights Reserved

Vibrant
VIBRANT is the green Iguana because any species that lives anywhere around me or my home is fiercely protected.

Vulnerable
VULNERABLE are the beautiful “Ladies of the Night” cactus that only come out once a year at night, then slowly succumb to the morning sun.

Hernandez Emmanuel

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Vivant
Nous démontre l’utilité de la reserve maritime avec le retour d’une petite population de tortues.

Vulnérable
Malgré sa beauté, il est issu d’une espèce invasive et met en péril l’équilibre du récif coralien.

Ingrid van Viegen

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Sailboats

Vibrant
the Heineken regatta good sportsmanship, team work, competition and fun, sailors and landlubbers all involved, love it!

Vulnerable
hurricane luis was the proof that good and safe anchorage is important. it’s been a while but let’s not forget!

Ingrid van Viegen

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Pinel Key

Vibrant
sentimental memory, it used to be a quiet place for people to either camp or spend the day. if you didn’t have your own boat the fishermen would drop off and pick up at your convenience.

Vulnerable
nowadays it’s crowded, full ferries come in and leave, impatient boatdrivers using their whistles to hurry you up, and a beach filled with umbrellas and chairs.

Ingrid van Viegen

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Simpson Bay Lagoon

Vibrant
whether on the lagoon sailing, boating or driving around it’s beautiful landmark.

Vulnerable
when will the landfill stop? soon we can hardly see the lagoon unless we stand on top of the hills.

Ingrid van Viegen

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Mullet Bay

Vibrant
you only have to walk there to see the beauty of its surroundings.

Vulnerable
kept in a mess since hurricane luis passed in sept. 1995, finally cleaned up last year, but what will happen in the (near) future?

Ingrid van Viegen

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Maho Beach

Vibrant
to me when there’s noboby on the beach, the tourists disagree, they’re waiting to be sandblasted by the big boeings.

Vulnerable
to hurricanes and swells happening yearly, will global warming make it worse?

Patty Meotti

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Vibrant
I take this Photo here in Sint Maarten…

The herons are long-legged freshwater and coastal birds in the family Ardeidae, with 64 recognised species (some are called “egrets” or “bitterns” instead of “heron”). Within Ardeidae, all members of the genera Botaurus and Ixobrychus are referred to as “bitterns”, and — including the zigzag heron or zigzag bittern — are a monophyletic group within the Ardeidae. However, egrets are not a biologically distinct group from the herons, and tend to be named differently because they are mainly white or have decorative plumes. Although egrets have the same build as herons, they tend to be smaller.

Vulnerable
From my terrace here in Sint Maarten

The Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) is a large seabird of the booby family, Sulidae. They present sexual dimorphism. The female Booby reaches about 80 centimetres (31 in) in length, its wingspan measures up to 150 cm (4.9 ft), and they can weigh up to 1,300 g (2.9 lb). The male Booby reaches about 75 centimetres (30 in) in length, its wingspan measures up to 140 cm (4.6 ft), and they can weigh up to 1,000 g (2.2 lb).

The Booby’s head and upper body (back) is covered in dark brown or black, with the remainder (belly) being a contrasting white. The juvenile form is gray-brown with darkening on the head, wings and tail. While these birds are typically silent, bird watchers have reported occasional sounds similar to grunting or quacking. Their beaks are quite sharp and contain many jagged edges. They have short wings and long, tapered tails.

This species breeds on islands and coasts in the pantropical areas of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. They frequent the breeding grounds of the islands in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. This bird nests in large colonies, laying two chalky blue eggs on the ground in a mound of broken shells and vegetation. It winters at sea over a wider area.

Brown Booby pairs may remain together over several seasons. They perform elaborate greeting rituals, and area also spectacular divers, plunging into the ocean at high speed. They mainly eat small fish or squid which gather in groups near the surface and may catch leaping fish while skimming the surface. Although they are powerful and agile fliers, they are particularly clumsy in takeoffs and landings; they use strong winds and high perches to assist their takeoffs.

Boobies hunt fish by diving from a height into the sea and pursuing their prey underwater. Facial air sacs under their skin cushion the impact with the water. Boobies are colonial breeders on islands and coasts.

Uta Loubser

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Vibrant
Flamboyant trees (delonix regia) are about as vibrant as can be. They are endemic to Madagascar and have been introduced to many regions with tropical climates. From spring to late summer they mark our island with splashes of bright red, to orange, to yellow. They are a favorite with local artists, especially Roland Richardson who has painted scores of flamboyants. The sea grape plant (coccoloba uvifera) native to our island, recently surprised me with its new vibrant reddish-brown leaves which emerged after a few days of spring rain. Due to its wind resistance and high tolerance of salt, it often grows near sea water stabilizing beaches and coastlines and protecting sea turtles and their nests. Its fruit is edible raw, cooked or fermented.

Vulnerable
Vulnerable? The sea grape is vulnerable to construction of villas, hotels, and apartment blocks which tend to be built far too close to our beaches, leaving no space for natural protective barriers.

Uta Loubser

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Vibrant & Vulnerable
Have you seen an iguana run or swim? I like this photograph for three specific reasons: 1. it shows how incredibly long the iguana’s tail is; 2. how he propels himself forward at great speed as though he has 4 propellers as legs; and 3. the pristine natural vegetation in the distance which still exists in small pockets on the island of St. Maarten. Vibrant! So is the delicate anole (Anolis pogus), common in my garden. A confident little fellow, never shy, looks you in the eye, and catches mosquitos, ants and other insects 24/7. They are my friends. Both may also be vulnerable, due to man encroaching on their habitat. However, they both seem to reproduce easily and have few natural predators.

Alice Claeyssens

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Vibrant
This is the King Helmet shell, a bulky and beautiful shell you can watch underwater on sea grass areas and by reefs.

Vulnerable
The lambi conch, part of west indies patrimony and also a traditional dish in creole cuisine, is now threatened to extinction because of overfishing despite the strict regulations to maintain its population in the west indies. Poachers are still too active in the area, it’s not rare to find big « cemeteries » of broken conches around the island, like on Green cay for example.

Alice Claeyssens

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Vibrant
This tropic bird, returning to its nest on the cliff on Tintamarre. Tropic birds are majestic, their long tail feather gives more grace to their moves. Its call is a loud piercing whistle, they nests by couple away from the colony. It seems to be a strong independent bird.

Vulnerable
This juvenile frigate bird was accidentally caught on the hook of a fishing line. It was just pinned by the hook not deep and could easily be rescued by covering it with a towel to lock its wings. Frigate birds have the largest wingspan relative to body weight so they can’t take off from the water surface.This young frigate was smart enough to wait before flying away because it knew it was too weak and scared by the event to take off without risking to fall in the water. It stayed calm and static for 15 minutes before taking off and rejoin its group. Frigate birds have a bad reputation of snatching prey from other birds or harassing them until they regurgitate their prey, this episode reminds how delicate they can be.

Uta Loubser

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Vibrant
Our beaches are vibrant. The colors range from bright turquoise water to salmon pink at sunset. They are part of the life-blood of our island’s tourist industry.

Vulnerable
Our beaches are also vulnerable. Flotsam & jetsam continually wash ashore particularly on our eastern beaches as in this picture. Regular beach cleanups initiated by environmental bodies, as well as schools help keep some of our beaches clean, but there are others no one seems to reach.

Viral Joshi

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Vibrant
Saint Maarten is the place, where we can point so many beautiful exotic flowers everywhere. I notice this beautiful flower in my backyard, it really attract me to capture vibrant Caribbean colors. Some flowers are so beautiful that pulls not only bees but human towards them.

Vulnerable
What a beautiful shot of our islands major economic growth place known as Philipsburg, capital of Dutch Saint Maarten. I really have to take my time to capture this shot by eliminating our Pond Island great dump on left side. We should be shame to show our Million plus tourist cruisers to showcase our beautiful historic town Philipsburg with great dump yard included. It is like we showing our guest open garbage bean. Guess picture without dump from Point Blanc to Divi Resort… Government should move this necessary dumping zone from Philipsburg to far area. Learn from our French part government, they do not have dump zone in Marigot!
Keep our island clean.