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DeeFer Diving Center
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Mapping the Grenadines waters
This Summer, a marine habitat mapping research cruise will be led by Kim Baldwin, a PhD student of the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) at the University of the West Indies. This three-week research cruise in the Grenadine Islands is major collaboration effort between multiple organizations and will result in a first of its kind underwater geographical and ecosystems map of this part of the Eastern Caribbean.
From August 16 to September 5th 2009, Kim and her crew will identify and map critical marine resources such as reefs, seagrasses, and mangroves. In addition, local communities will also be consulted to identify other areas which are important for conservation and the livelihoods of the Grenadine people.
Data to be collected on the research cruise includes marine habitats, which will be recorded using a combination of ground-truthing for the shallower coastal waters and a live-action drop camera will be deployed off the stern of the catamaran in deeper waters up to 250 ft. on the Grenada Bank. Moreover fishing knowledge will also be collected in regards to marine habitats and the quality of fishing grounds. This information will be used together with ESRI ArcGIS software to create a baseline 3-dimensional map of the Grenada Bank seafloor.
The MarSIS research crew consists of two Grenadines fishers Kester Douglas and Albert Hanson - also a marine park ranger from the Tobago Cays Marine Park, a local Grenadian captain George Steele, two fisheries biologists from CERMES, UWI Renata Goodridge and Kim Baldwin as well as two deckhands husband and wife Fabian and Amy Peters.
The official declaration was made at the Carricou Regatta Festival 2010
The MPA Patrol boat and their watchdog?
Kordel Simon and Jody Placidpart of the MPA initiative were hired
as Environmental wardens to patrol and protect the marine protected area.
Saturday, July 31st at 6:30 pm.......
the official launch of the Sandy Island/Oyster Bed Marine Protected Area (MPA).
The MPA, which has been a long time in coming, is expected to bring tremendous benefits to the twin-isle parish.
It is projected that within a few years, there will be a significant increase in the size and quantity of fish species in the area.
Additionally, the expectation is that the MPA will lead to increased recreational opportunities
and social and economic activities in the area, and will protect the mangroves,
that are important to the fish nursery and act as a guard against storms.
Over the past few months MPA Officer Roland Baldeo and members of his management team
have been engaged in series of sensitisation programs,
meeting residents – including school children – trying to raise their awareness of the Marine Protected Area.
Carriacou will now join islands like St.Vincent & the Grenadines and Tobago,
which have well-functioning MPAs. Among famous MPAs are the Tobago Cays and Bucco Reef.
Members of the public are being urged to participate in the MPA launching ceremony at 6:30 pm. As a part of Carriacou Regatta
SANDY Island and MarinePark area NEWS
Visitors to the famous Sandy Island will soon be required to pay a fee for use of the island. Minister with responsibility for Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs, Senator George Prime made the disclosure during the sitting of the Senate two weeks ago but did not give any idea of the fee structure.
Sen. Prime announced that the near two-year old National Democratic Congress (NDC) government took the decision to levy a charge on persons visiting the island as part of the Sandy Island Oyster Bed Marine Park Protected Area Project that will be launched on July 31. “This is a new exercise that has now been declared where a zone in Carriacou is now protected and people who now use that area will have to pay certain fees”, he told the Senate session.
According to Sen. Prime, the area will now have as part of its main attribute what is called moorings for boat owners and users. “If you want to come and anchor as is now being done in Carriacou whether in Harvey Vale, you use the Tyrrel Bay maintenance protection area or the Sandy Island terrain which is widely used as all of us know by yacht people and people from all parts of the world (and) that as it stands now is done free...”, he said.
“...We are now saying that these areas are now protected and declared so if you now want to come to use those facilities now you will have to pay a small fee of whatever it is, he added.” Sandy Island which is located approximately two miles off the coast of mainland Grenada is uninhabited with sparse vegetation and features an interior lagoon. The island is surrounded by pristine waters and coral reefs, with an extensive white sand beach which is popular to both locals and tourists.
The island has become a favored site for yachters, shore parties from cruise boats and SCUBA divers. In an attempt to protect Grenada’s treasured sites, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government passed the National Parks and Protected Areas (Amendment) Act, 2009. The Congress regime’s stance on protecting Grenada’s heritage prior to assuming office of government was voiced loudly during the 2008 campaign.
The passing of the National Parks and Protected Areas (Amendment) Act, took away the power from the Governor General for allowing the sale of these protected properties and has been seen as a fulfillment of government’s promise to the Grenadian people.
GOOD NEWS for the Sandy Island/Oyster Bed marine protected area (MPA).
At a meeting on Monday, October 5th, at Sea Wave Upper Level Conference Room,
officers were elected to a Stakeholders Management Committee for the protected area.
Officers elected included Luther Rennie as chairman of the
Stakeholders Management Committee,
with Allison Caton as secretary.
Ms. Allison Caton is also the
Tourism Development Officer for Carriacou & Petite Martinique.