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Issue 4

October, 2015

“Building Capacity for Coastal Ecosystembased Adaptation (EbA) in SIDS”


Inside this issue: The Launch of Grenada’s First Coral Nurseries


When Corals Lose Their Colour—About Coral Bleaching


From January 2015 to Now—Project Progress Report in Pictures


Acropora, The Backbone of Caribbean Reefs


The launch of demonstration activities at the Project pilot sites – Grand Anse, Grenada and Windward, Carriacou drew great interest from the wider Grenadian public. Both launches saw participation from

 Second training for Community Coral Gardeners from October 15-16, 2015

Island Developing States”. For the areas, coral reef restoration was the chosen adaptation option to be piloted as a strategy for Small Islands like Grenada in the fight against Climate Change.

 Upcoming Community Activity Days:

Both launches featured brief

Points of Interest:

 G r a n d

community members; private sector; civil society; students; and government officials. The ceremonies signified the start of demonstration activities for the project “Building Capacity for Coastal Ecosystem-based Adaptation in Small

Hon. Ministers Elvin Nimrod and Roland Bhola officially launch the Project Demonstration Activities in Carriacou with their coral pledges © 2015 Davon Baker



 Carriacou—December  Photo Essay on Grenada

at UNFCCC COP 21 in Paris in December 2015.

 Upcoming




 L e g a l

consultancy (republished)

 S p a t i a l Scientist


Many Windward community members attended the official project launch in Carriacou © 2015 Davon Baker

Minister Bhola; PS Jessamy and other government officials; and private sector and civil society representatives pledge to protect the reefs at the Grand Anse launch © 2015 Andre Joseph‐Witzig

importance of healthy reefs for coastal communities and the Caribbean people, but cautioned that bringing reefs back to a healthy state would take a coordinated approach that includes changing behaviours and implementing

Environment Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries & the Environment

overviews of the coral nursery designs and layout, given by Dr. Sherry Constantine who is the lead for The Nature Conservancy (TNC) team spearheading the technical aspects of the coral restoration work. She stressed on the effective schemes for management. To facilitate the restoration work, the TNC team installed 30 coral nursery trees in Grand Anse and 15 coral nursery tables at Carriacou (Mabouya Island).

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Grenada Coast-to-Coast


Each launch also showcased local talent through cultural performances by community members. Halim Abdul Wali , a member of the Grand Anse Taskforce Committee, delivered a striking excerpt from a play he is working on about the experiences of fishermen, which delighted the crowd. For Windward, a student of the Dover Government School, Perez Mc Gillivary, gave a captivating performance of a

Perez Mc Gillivary delivers a captivating performance of the poem, “Heave Away, Betsy” at the Windward launch © 2015 Davon Baker


poem written by the chairman of the Windward Taskforce Committee, Terrence Mc Lawrence, which brought much laughter and entertainment to those gathered. Culminating the activities were the feature addresses given by Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Hon. Roland Bhola, for Grand Anse; and Deputy Prime Minister; Minister of Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs & Local Government; and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Elvin Nimrod, for Windward. Both highlighted the serious implications of Climate Change for Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique—in particular the Grand Anse and Windward areas—and the need to respond. Minister Bhola emphasized that “more communitybased approaches, coupled with effective implementation of our policies and plans, [were] critical for a more holistic strategy and action plan for Climate Change.” To signify the official launches, we were

Attendees of the Grand Anse launch had the opportunity to take a glass bottom boat trip to view the coral nursery in the Bay © 2015 Andre Joseph‐Witzig

pleased to solicit support pledges for the nurseries from the Ministers; various government officials; and representatives from private sector and civil society present who were all pleased to be a part of launching the first coral nurseries in Grenada, and look forward to such efforts to restore our reefs! ♦ Leyana is the Technical Officer for the Coastal EbA Project, within the Environment Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries & the Environment.


Coral reefs are fragile ecosystems that grow extremely slowly. They require very specific conditions to function and thrive. These include:

Corals and Zooxanthellae, A Symbiotic Relationship

 sunlight for photosynthesis;  a narrow water temperature range, between 23°C—29°C;

 clear waters to allow light to penetrate and reach the coral surface; and

 a

specific salinity range; are usually found in very environments.

they salty

Healthy section of the Grand Anse coral reef system showing vibrant coral colours due to symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae © 2015 Kijana Romain

Corals are animals and can feed on live prey such as small fish and tiny creatures. However they have a closely linked relationship with microscopic algae, called zooxanthellae, which live within their hard limestone skeletons. The corals provide shelter and protection to the zooxanthellae, as well as other materials for manufacturing food, and in return the zooxanthellae provide the corals with some of the food they produce. Corals get the majority of their

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nutrients from this liaison. Zooxanthellae also provide the corals with oxygen and assist in their removal of wastes. The symbiotic relationship between the corals and zooxanthellae is essential to the continued existence and productivity of coral reefs. 90% of the organic materials created by the zooxanthellae through photosynthesis are used for the growth and health of the corals. Zooxanthellae are also responsible for the many beautiful colours of corals.

Coral Bleaching – Losing Zooxanthellae In recent years, climate change has caused notable changes in the parameters that corals need to Coral Bleaching Infographic from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [Source: NOAA 2015] thrive, including water temperatures. When the waters warm, overheated Coral Reefs in Peril? corals become stressed and expel their recovery of zooxanthellae by the corals. Corals that still have some colour left, pigmented zooxanthellae, becoming pale Because of the different zooxanthellae to white. This is called coral bleaching. If but seem pale, are still alive and feeding species, coral reefs may be able to the thermal stress is severe and but appear to be 'sick'. When the corals’ adapt to temperature changes. Yet the prolonged, the corals may be unable to white skeletons are completely exposed likelihood of this occurring decreases due and there is no colour left, their tissues recover and often die. to the strain the corals face from the rate become completely damaged and they at which sea surface temperatures are Yet, bleaching is a process, and can will experience mortality. rising, and likewise from the pressures sometimes be reversed through the Coral bleaching does not typically affect of our activities lowering their resilience. an entire coral structure, nor a Without some meaningful intervention particular species. Many different therefore, corals will continue to bleach species of zooxanthellae are able to as further warming of our oceans occur, thrive within one structure under a leading to more damage and destruction variety of conditions. Each species has a of our coral reef systems. Thus, we must different tolerance level to temperature find a way to help our reefs persevere changes. So, while some may be unable amid the shifting climatic conditions. ♦ to deal with the increasing temperature, others will be able to endure it. For this Tara is a Senior Coral Gardener with the Coastal reason, bleaching often appears to be EbA Project mainly working with the Grand Anse Coral fragment in the Grand Anse coral nursery showing signs of conspicuously patchy when seen in reef Pilot Site. She, along with her team of Community bleaching © 2015 Coastal EbA Project Coral Gardeners, is responsible for the coral systems. nursery in Grande Anse Bay.

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FROM JANUARY 2015 TO NOW— TNC was contracted to provide technical services for the Project. Specifically, TNC will: (a) establish coral nurseries and conduct the first out planting onto the reefs; (b) build local capacity for the coral nursery programme; (c) assist with education and awareness; and (d) d e v e l o p a l o n g - t e r m sustainability plan. The TNC Team is led by Dr. Sherry Constantine, Programme Manager for the Eastern Caribbean.

Interviewing a fish shop owner from Grand Anse © 2015 Coastal EbA Project

Interview with PM Dr the Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell at the PM’s residence, Mt. Royal © 2015 Coastal EbA Project

UNEP contracted photojournalist Kadir Van Lohuizen to capture problems Grenada currently faces from Climate Change, in particular sea level rise (SLR), and some of the solutions we have adopted so far. Interviews were conducted, among others, with fishermen and public sector officials, and especially the Prime Minister, Dr the Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell. The Photo Essay will be featured at the UNFCCC COP 21 in Paris, a landmark meeting of the international community to determine our collective global actions to address Climate Change.




Suitable locations for coral nurseries were identified during a Scoping Mission from May 18—21. The chosen coral nursery sites are (a) off Quarantine Point in Grande Anse Bay, Grenada, and (b) off Mabouya Island adjacent to Hillsborough, Carriacou.

Successfully installed tree in Grand Anse coral nursery © 2015 Kijana Romain

Heading off to explore for potential nursery sites in Carriacou © 2015 Coastal EbA Project

The Project Office; TNC team and dedicated community members worked from June 23—July 2 to construct and install coral nursery trees in Grenada and coral nursery tables in Carriacou.

Collecting coral fragments for Carriacou coral nursery © 2015 Deefer Diving

Constructing PVC trees for Grand Anse coral nursery © 2015 Kijana Romain

Installing coral table in Carriacou coral nursery © 2015 Deefer Diving

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PROJECT PROGRESS REPORT IN PICTURES 13 persons have been hired to date to be Community Coral Gardeners (CCGs). CCGs tend the corals in the nursery—cleaning off algae and sediments overwhelming them—and remove coral predators that would harm the corals. This job will be extended to work on the reefs after out planting. All CCGs were SCUBA trained and received their PADI open water certification in July.

The coral nurseries will be marked off to regulate and restrict access, with 1 mooring buoy each and other marker buoys. So far, the Grand Anse Pilot Site has been demarcated, with Carriacou still pending.

Demarcating Grand Anse coral nursery © 2015 Coastal EbA Project

New CCGs in Carriacou © 2015 Coastal EbA Project Windward community consultation in May © 2015 Davon Baker

June Consultation with Grand Anse community © 2015 Coastal EbA Project

Consultations were held in May/June to continue exploring sustainable livelihoods options for the local communities in the Pilot Sites.


Grand Anse CCGs display new PADI Open water certificates © 2015 Coastal EbA Project



The start of demonstration activities in the two Project Pilot Sites was officially launched on July 7 and July 9 in Grand Anse, Grenada and Windward, Carriacou respectively.

Fragments of Staghorn coral suspended from nursery trees in the Grand Anse coral nursery are striving and showing promising rates of growth © 2015 Coastal EbA Project

Mr. Abdul Wali captures the audience at the Grand Anse launch © 2015 Andre Joseph‐Witzig

Leading the National Anthem of Grenada at the Windward launch © 2015 Davon Baker

3 months after establishing the nurseries, the corals are doing well, and in many instances show encouraging signs of growth!!!

Elkhorn coral fragments placed in the Carriacou coral nursery have done extremely well with growth © 2015 Coastal EbA Project

ACROPORA, THE BACKBONE OF CARIBBEAN REEFS Acropora corals are among the most important of Caribbean corals. They are a type of stony or hard coral, and like other stony corals they build massive formations of hard limestone skeletons for protection. The difference between Acroporids and other stony corals is the many limbs they show in their structure. Because of this, they are also referred to as branching corals. They are fastgrowing and found in shallow waters where there is high wave action.

reef ecosystems. What’s more, they are especially necessary in order for the reef to provide protection to the coast from strong waves, and they encourage the formation of islands.

Staghorn coral are loosely branching and cylindrical and look like the antlers of a male deer © 2015 Kijana Romain

There are only three species of Acroporids found in the Caribbean:

 Staghorn coral, called Acropora cervicornis;

 Elkhorn coral, or Acropora palmata; and

 Fused Staghorn coral, Acropora prolifera, which is a cross of the two. Acropora corals are especially vital to the overall structure and health of Caribbean coral reef systems. Staghorn and Elkhorn are two of the top three species necessary for building up and growing the reefs. The three-dimensional structures they

Project Office; Environment Division; Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Fisheries, Forestry & the Environment; Third Floor, Ministerial Complex; Botanical Gardens; Tanteen, St. George’s; Grenada, W.I. Phone: +1-(473)-440-2708 ext. 3005 Fax: +1-(473)-440-4191 E-mail:


Elkhorn coral, with its thick and rounded or flat branches, grows to resemble the antlers of the Elk © 2015 Coastal EbA Project

form play a critical role in providing habitats to support the many fishes and other creatures that live in these

However Acroporids are especially under threat in the region, including in Grenada. They are critically endangered and have experienced over 90% decline since the 1980s, mainly due to disease outbreaks and increased covering when sediments are deposited. Other stressors include nutrient run-off and sewage discharge; dredging and coastal development; increased water temperatures; and overfishing. A number of these threats are due to our daily actions; various activities we conduct on the island impact sensitive species like Acroporids. So, in order to save our reefs, we must re-evaluate how we manage our activities and embrace more sustainable practices. ♦ Kerricia is the Project Manager for the Coastal EbA Project, within the Environment Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries & the Environment.

Grenada coast coast issue 4  

Government Informatrion Service (

Grenada coast coast issue 4  

Government Informatrion Service (