GREAT POINT BAY (POINTE DES PIROGUES BAY)
L'anse Aux Epines, St. George's, Grenada
In 2022, following conversations with residents, we conducted some biological monitoring to document the flora and fauna in this area, with particular focus on the wetland and possible stressors this community may be facing. On this page, we provide a summary of our observations. Based on the best available data, this bay, home to a large expanse of mangrove, seagrass beds and coral reefs, can be called "Pointe des Pirogues Bay" or "Great Point Bay".
We relied on Dr. Jonathan Hanna, a local archeologist, to provide some historical information on this site. He recalls the following: the earliest name on record is Prickly Point is Pointe des Pirogues. This is intriguing because the French called long Amerindian canoes "pirogues", but they also used the word for any small boat, especially one that could taxi to different parts of the island. The narrative associated with the 1667 Blondel map also states that there are no Amerindians in the southeast, so "pirogues" here may simply refer to the sea stacks extending out from Prickly Point. On later maps, these are also called the "Grampuses" and "Porpoises". The 1740 Romain map called the point, "Pointe de L'ance L'epine", which is closer to the area's name today, likely meaning "thorny beach" or "thorny cove" (hence, "Prickly" Bay/"Prickly" Point). However, later French maps reverted to calling the point "Pointe de Pirogues," which is what the British originally called it, too.
Dr. Hanna also pointed out that even in maps as early as 1959, a much larger wetland was evident in this bay. Given the fact that is was noted as a salt marsh, and the current evidence of increased inundation in the wetland, we hypothesis that it was likely interspersed with mudflats and dominated by black mangroves (versus white).