Improving the coastal resilience in St Vincent through the re-establishment of coastal vegetation including mangroves.
Improving the coastal resilience in St Vincent through the re-establishment of coastal vegetation including mangroves.
Mangrove ecosystems once covered vast areas of the Caribbean coastline (Polidoro et al, 2010) with mainland Saint Vincent situated well within the area described as the historical distribution of the world’s mangroves (See Figure 1). There is a lack of data about mangrove distribution before 1980, however ‘mangroves appear from several points of view as one of the common feature in these islands’ in the Lesser Antilles (Angelelli and Saffache, 2013, p. 473). In addition, remnants of mainland Saint Vincent’s mangroves still survive today; two examples of these forests can be found at Brighton and Cannash on the windward side. Although some remnants survive on mainland Saint Vincent, the overall trend has been one of decline, today mainland St. Vincent has only 3.88 acres of mangrove remaining (Government of SVG, Fourth National Biodiversity Report, 2010; The Nature Conservancy, At the Water’s Edge - Coastal Resilience in Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, 2011).

The decline in abundance of this ecosystem has led to numerous problems including:
• Continual and increasing erosion of coastal beaches and soils.
• Increased vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters (storm surges, tsunamis, flooding).
• Loss of biodiversity and almost total loss of an entire ecosystem from the mainland.
• Increased land based pollution pressures on the marine environment, especially coral reef (mangroves acts as a biological filter between land and sea).
• Declining marine water quality.
• Declining fish stocks and viable marine habitat.
• Loss of a significant carbon sink.
There is a serious need to re-establish these mangrove forests and coastal vegetation on mainland Saint Vincent, as many areas are extremely vulnerable to storm surges, coastal erosion and sea level rise. Saint Vincent’s vulnerability to storm surges and climate change has been highlighted in various reports, including St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coastal Vulnerability Assessment Report (USAID 2007) and At the Water’s Edge - Coastal Resilience in Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (TNC 2011). Reports from both of these reports have been utilized in order to design this project.
Species locally extinct on mainland Saint Vincent include:
• Rhizophora mangle (Red Mangrove)
• Avicennia germinans (Black Mangrove)
The mangrove species which still survive on the mainland include:
• Cococarpus erecta (Button Mangrove)
• Laguncularia racemosa (White Mangrove)
Although mangroves once covered a significant proportion of the coastal zone of Saint Vincent, it is unclear whether the reestablishment and or establishment of mangrove ecosystems is feasible for the proposed area.
Therefore, this planning grant will seek to examine the feasibility of establishing two mangrove restoration sites, one on the Leeward side ( Richmond rive and beach area) and one on the windward side (Colonarie and Byera) of Saint Vincent. This planning grant will identify the two most appropriate restoration sites for this project, while also assessing the viability of reintroducing the locally extinct species to mainland Saint Vincent.
Mangrove ecosystems have been in steady decline across Saint Vincent for several decades, this is due to a diverse array of factors. This has in turn had a detrimental effect on turtle nesting habits, this project has the potential to improve not only the stability and ecological value of the coastal environment, it also has the potential to improve the habitat for turtle nesting sites.

List the strategies
1.1 Research ( X )
An external consultant will be engaged to research and assess the proposed planting sites and determine the feasibility of the project. The consultant’s recommendations will then be integrated into the final proposal.
The consultant will visit St Vincent for three days and conduct site inspections. They will then produce a report, which will include:
• Gather and consolidate historical and anecdotal evidence of mangrove distribution in St Vincent.
• Identify the two most appropriate sites (on either the leeward or windward sides) for restoration work on mainland Saint Vincent, based on community use, soil, water testing, currents, geology, geography, wave patterns, local knowledge etc.
• Make recommendations on the most appropriate coastal / riparian species to be used.
• Desktop review of previous mangrove projects in the Caribbean and lessons learnt. This will include lessons learnt from other mangrove restoration projects and other mangrove education campaigns.
• Advice on mangrove establishment including: amount of mangroves, technology (including reef balls), transport, practical advice, timing, ecological sites, maintenance, monitoring etc.
• Suggestions about education campaigns and educational material (including brochures, posters, handouts, media releases etc.)
1.2 Meetings (X )
Once the two restoration sites have been identified and confirmed by the consultant as appropriate sites, two community meetings will be organized and held in close proximity to the proposed planting sites. The aim of these meetings is to gather local knowledge about restoration sites, information about mangroves, and the willingness of the community to participate in this project. These meetings will have an emphasis on the benefits associated with mangroves and will include community leaders and community members. The community will also be invited to partake in a mangrove community planting event, once the final proposal has been approved.

 

Project Snapshot

Grantee:
Lions Club South
Country:
Saint Vincent and Grenadines
Area Of Work:
Biodiversity
Grant Amount:
US$ 2,559.26
Co-Financing Cash:
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 1,314.81
Project Number:
STV/SGP/OP5/Y3/CORE/BD/14/02
Status:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Gender Focus
The composition of the Organization includes 15 males and 8 females. The project seeks to include both gender and create equal capacity building for men, women and youths.
Emphasis on Sustainable Livelihoods
The project includes initial awareness for restoration of coastal vegetation and protection of beaches. This will be critical is protecting livelihoods of fish folk and employees and users of recreational facilities along the coast.
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Grantee Contact

Mr Michael John John
Email: mikesvg@gmail.com
 

Address

PO Box 537
Kingstown , Caribbean ,

SGP Country office contact

Ms. Tasheka Haynes
Email:

Address

P.O. Box 2338, SeaBreeze Bldg. Arnos Vale
KINGSTOWN, CARIBBEAN