Was there smoke wafting over the water in Negril last December at Reggae Marathon? While I didn’t notice anything strange, a number of runners commented after the race about the odour and smoke from ‘burning garbage’. There were a few locations where this may have occurred as
it is an unhealthy habit of Jamaicans to burn garbage. Local environmentalists are doing their best to reverse this mindset in communities. But after further digging it turns out that the smoke and odour was likely coming from brush fires in the Great Morass.
As you may know, the area immediately to the east of the beach is a protected wild area called the Great Morass. Occasionally this generates an odour resembling ‘fragrant smoke’ as was the case on race day last December.
It really is amazing that Negril has these two fabulous attractions literally side-by-side: the 7 miles of white sand beach and the Great Morass literally ‘across’ the road. It’s definitely worth booking a trip the next time you’re in Jamaica. Here are some more links to check out:
- One of the challenges in the Great Morass is dealing with invasive plant species. Check this article to see how the areas of heaviest infestation are being cleared: Restoration of Native Plant Species
- This forum post on tripadvisor shares some ‘real people’ experiences with burning brush in the Great Morass: Morass Burning in Negril
- It has always been a delicate balance in Negril between people and nature. The coral reef just off-shore that moderates the wave action and gives us the fantastic white beaches and the Great Morass controls the flow of water from the rivers. This White Paper goes into much more detail on how it is being maintained: Negril: Environment Theats and Recommended Action
So yes, there likely was some smoke wafting through the air last December. Fragrant and otherwise. Thanks for asking about it. If you have any more questions or feedback, please leave a comment.
Until next time…
For more information check the Reggae Marathon Web Site. To register now, click here for the Reggae Marathon Registration Page. Photo courtesy of IslandBuzz (Royal Palm Reserve)