Kind of makes you wonder why, then, our municipal government has approved plans for — listen carefully now — a 221-house condominium to be built immediately adjacent to this environmentally-protected area. Even before the ink was dry on the approval documents, the "Gran Riserva 95" (as it calls itself, trying to sound like a fine wine) had set up stands around town to sell these condos-to-be for prices ranging from R$195,000 to R$250,000 ($94,200 to $120,800), pretty cheap by Búzios standards and clearly priced for quick sales. The stage was set for the inevitable collision between developers and scientists/environmentalists, but even the most complacent bystander can see the harm such a huge condominium, with its leisure areas, tennis courts, pools, bars, barbecue pits, restaurants, convenience stores and parking areas would pose to a nearby fragile ecosystem. Anybody really believe the sewage from such a project will not run off onto Gorda Beach? And exactly how did a project that runs counter to the town's own legal development plan, with its carefully established directives as to what can be built where, get approved in the first place? It really boggles the mind, even one as cynical as mine.
Right now the environmentalists hold the upper hand. A judicial decision handed down just last month has stopped the construction. Noncompliance with the court's order will result in prison terms and a fine of R$30,000 per day ($15,000). And the construction company's web site does have up the following announcement: "As vendas encontram-se temporariamente suspensas" (sales have been temporarily suspended). Let's see for how long, since we all know that history has proven time and again that money talks.
|One end of Gorda Beach|
|With its purply-white rock formations|
|Peaceful, remote, and full of interesting indigenous flora|
|Heading towards the mangrove swamp end|
|Beginning of the mangrove swamp|
|It just gets more . . .|
|. . . and more gorgeous|
|What can we do to help save this place?|