Over 280 mangrove trees planted at Canash Beach and Great Head Bay
On Monday September 17, 2018 the National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority (NPRBA) through the South Coast Marine and Coastal Rehabilitation Adaptation Project to Improve Ecosystem Health and Build Resilience to Climate Change (SCRPCC) executed the planting of over 280 mangroves seedlings at Canash Beach & Great Head Bay. The various mangroves seedlings included three species of Red Mangrove, White Mangrove and Buttonwood.
This mangroves restoration was executed in the South Coast Marine Conservation Area (SCMCA) which is the only marine conservation area on mainland S. Vincent. The SCMCA is located in southern most section of the island and encompasses five bays namely White Sands, Canash, Calliaqua, Villa and Indian Bay inclusive of Young Island. This multi-use area is rich in biodiversity and is well known for tourism, restaurants, dive shops, heritage sites and a fisheries centre. It is currently being targeted for upgrade to a marine park covering some 218 hectares.
The SCRPCC is at its penultimate stage and the NPRBA engaged Denzel Adams, a Marine Biologist and Coral Nursery Expert from Grenada to spearhead the execution of the Mangroves Restoration component.
The planting of these mangroves facilitated practical training of over fifteen (15) local persons from various government and non-governmental organisations. This practical aspect was held following a previous training session that covered various techniques used to propagate mangroves, proper planting and management of techniques for growth and colonization of mangroves species, which was held on September 10th, 2018 at the Kingstown Fisheries Complex Conference Room.
Some persons may ask, why plant mangroves?
In an effort to build more resilient coastlines and marine ecosystem, mangroves are important as:
∑ They act as a buffer against high winds and eroding waves of storms.
∑ They trap sediments and prevent building up further out to sea, which is damaging to other ecosystems like coral reefs and sea grasses.
∑ Mangrove wetlands provide habitat, feeding, breeding and nursery areas for a wide variety of plants and animals, including endangered species.
∑ Mangroves filter out pollutants like nitrates, phosphates and petroleum based products that are present in run-off.
∑ Mangroves contribute to our economy; they have a big influence on our fisheries as many commercially fished species breed or develop there.
Thus, the next time you think of chopping a mangrove tree to make firewood at Canash beach, think about the importance of these trees.
The NPRBA thanks the Project’s partners, stakeholders and training participants for their support.
Furthermore, the general public is asked to do their part in building resilience to climate change by not destroying the plants when they visit these restoration sites.