MULLET BAY--Mullet Bay, Cupecoy, Maho and Dawn Beaches, specifically in front of The Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort and Spa, are rated by Nature Foundation St. Maarten as safe to swim after recent assessments. However, advanced swimming skills are urged due strong waves, surge and current.


Beachgoers should look out for sharp objects and exposed rock formations in the water and on the beach, the Foundation said. Protective footwear or water shoes are recommended when visiting the beach or going in the water.
Many beaches are still covered with hurricane debris, including zinc plates, wood and boat parts. Wave action and currents are still causing hurricane debris to wash ashore.
Large clean-up campaigns will need to be organised for all beaches, but especially for Simpson Bay Beach and Great Bay Beach, to remove hurricane debris, said the Foundation.
It has requested the assistance of the Royal Dutch Marines along with heavy equipment to transport debris from the clean-up. Volunteers are welcome to the clean-ups when the dates are determined.
The beaches were mainly patrolled by the Foundation for damage assessments and possible sharp objects at the shoreline. If the visibility was sufficient, the water was also surveyed up to a depth of three metres to check for hurricane debris.
In general, beaches experienced significant erosion due to the storm surge. Large rock formations are now exposed on many beaches. Beach erosion has a significant negative impact on sea turtle nesting habitats and all sea turtle nests are undoubtedly destroyed, said the Foundation.

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