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Pointe Sables Environmental Protection Area

Stretching along the coast in the southernmost end of the west coast of Saint Lucia, the PSEPA (puh-seh-pa) runs from the Moule-a-Chique, site of the world’s second highest lighthouse at 740ft above sea level, along the 2-mile Anse des Sables Beach off which sits the well-known Maria Islands Nature Reserve. The Eastern Caribbean's largest basin mangrove, the Ma Kôté takes up a large part of the northern end to the promontory to Pointe de Caille and Savannes Bay. The Pointe Sable area abounds with natural, cultural and historical assets, and the PSEPA aims to conserve these assets and encourage sustainable use for local livelihoods.

Status:

Some areas open to public; Maria Islands Nature Reserve are strictly no access except by National Trust tours (fees apply), tours are currently suspended; Some private lands

What:

Large mangrove – Ma Kôté ; beaches; park; hiking; nature reserve; views; kayaking; windsurfing; horseback-riding; sea-moss farm tours; swimming; snorkeling; restaurants; Atlantic coast

Cost:

Entrance Fees to Maria Island apply – book tours with Saint Lucia National Trust Southern Office Adults – US$50 (tours currently suspended); Some areas of PSEPA free – if you enjoy the PSEPA area, please donate towards the upkeep here.

Location:

South Eastern coast of the island. Vieux Fort

Opening Times:

Maria Islands tours are currently not available. Please keep checking for further updates. 

Rules:

When the Islands are open for visitation, strict rules apply: Take nothing with you except what you came with, your photos, memories, and your purchased souvenirs. In the Maria Island Nature Reserve strict sanitary protocols apply – access forbidden except through Saint Lucia National Trust authorised tours.

Contact: 1 – 758 452 5005, info@slunatrust.org

This 1038-hectare site was designated an environmental protection area in August 2007 under Saint Lucia’s Physical Planning and Development Act of 2001. The OECS Protected Areas and Associated Livelihoods Project (OPAAL) used the PSEPA as a demonstration site until 2011.

The Maria Islands are a treasure trove of amazing flora and fauna, some of which are endemic not just to Saint Lucia, but to the tiny 12-hectare Maria Major and smaller Maria Minor islands themselves. There resides the Saint Lucia Racer snake – the world’s rarest snake! Kouwès in Kweyol (Liophis ornatus), this tiny, harmless snake is believed to be a population of only around 20 snakes!

Then there’s the Saint Lucia Whiptail Lizard, Zando, endemic to the Maria Islands. The males of the Whiptail are the same colours of the Saint Lucia national flag.  

The Trust is partnered with Durrell International to save this precious wildlife from extinction.

The PSEPA also possesses the largest basin-like mangrove in Saint Lucia known as the Makote Mangrove. This mangrove is home diverse flora and fauna including seventeen (17) species of fish. It’s a marine reserve and is declared as a “wetland of significant value” under the RAMSAR convention of 2002.

The PSEPA also includes large areas of seagrass beds and is home to various types of coral reef. The increasingly popular health-product seamoss, has been produced here for decades. Lobster and other fishers, charcoal producers, , crafters, and tour guides offering kayaking, windsurfing, horse-back riding and diving tours all make their livelihoods from the sustainable use of resources within the PSEPA.