in coastal regions and in small islands
CSI info 15
|4.||RESULTS OF THE BEACH-MONITORING CAPACITY-BUILDING ACTIVITIES|
results of the project have been grouped into two main sections: a synthesis and
an island-by-island review. The synthesis contains an overview and evaluation of
the results of the training and capacity-building activities in beach-monitoring. The island-by-island review describes the same activities in more
detail on an individual country/territory basis.
detailed information relating to all the activities is contained in Appendix
This includes for each country/territory a table summarizing the
Dates of the visits;
partner agency: name, address, contact numbers, e-mail addresses, and names
of Head/Director and/or persons closely involved in the beach-monitoring
Beach-monitoring programmes are in existence in
all eleven countries/territories covered by this project.
Local agencies are responsible for the data collection and analysis.
However, bearing in mind the individual characteristics of the
countries/territories, e.g. the size of the country and the capacity of
individual institutions, there are significant differences between the
programmes. Four criteria were used to assess the programmes:
Based on these criteria and out of the eleven
countries/territories, seven now have a vibrant beach-monitoring programme,
which are expected to continue beyond the life of this project.
These are: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat,
Nevis, St. Kitts. Details regarding these countries’ monitoring activities,
and their fulfilment of the criteria, are summarized in Table
The programmes in St. Vincent and the Grenadines
and in the Turks and Caicos Islands have been strengthened as a result of this
project; however, they are likely to need further assistance to become fully
self-sufficient (see Table 2).
The programmes in the British Virgin Islands and St. Lucia are slightly different. In the British Virgin Islands, monitoring with a new methodology is expected to start this year (2001). In St. Lucia, the CDB-UNESCO project was executed during a period when the country was reviewing its institutional arrangements for coastal management and the officer who had been in charge of beach monitoring was away on study-leave, thus it was difficult to assess the status of this monitoring programme.
Table 1. Characteristics of the beach-monitoring
programmes in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat,
Nevis and St. Kitts
of persons involved in the monitoring and main partner agency
currently being collected and analysed on island
partners involved/interested in the beach-monitoring activities
|Anguilla||1992-2001||4, Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources||Yes||Department of Planning|
|Antigua and Barbuda||1991-2001||6, Fisheries Division||Yes||Development Control Authority|
|3, Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division||Yes||Physical Planning Division|
|8, National Science and Technology Council||Yes||Fisheries Division; Lands and Surveys Division; Land and Water Resource Unit; Hillsborough Secondary School|
|4, Fisheries Division||Yes||Physical Planning Unit|
|Nevis||1988-2001||6, Nevis Historical and Conservation Society||Yes||Department of Planning and Development; Fisheries Division|
|St. Kitts||1991-2001||5, Department of the Environment||Yes||Physical Planning Division; Fisheries Division|
Table 2. Characteristics of the beach-monitoring
programmes in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Turks and Caicos Islands,
British Virgin Islands and St. Lucia
of persons involved in the monitoring and main partner agency
currently being collected and analysed on island
partners involved/ interested in the beach monitoring activities
|St. Vincent and the Grenadines||1995-1996 (St. Vincent)
|2, Seismic Unit
10 students, Bequia Community High School
|Yes (only in Bequia)
|Physical Planning Department|
|Turks and Caicos Islands||1995, 1997
2000-2001 (Grand Turk only)
|3, Department of Environment and Coastal Resources||Yes||Department of Planning; Coastal Resources Management Project|
|British Virgin Islands||1989-1994 (scheduled to recommence 2001)||4, Conservation and Fisheries Department||No||Town and Country Planning Department|
|St. Lucia||1990-2001 (with some gaps in the database e.g. 1992-1994, 1999-2000)||2, Fisheries Department||Yes||St. Lucia National Trust, Northwest Coastal
Conservation Project (Project ended in 2000);
Unit for Sustainable Development and the Environment
The Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources (DFMR)
is the main partner agency, and is responsible for beach data collection and
analysis. Within this CDB-UNESCO
project, the updated beach change database and
software were installed at the DFMR. Three persons from this agency were trained
in the data analysis and are considered competent in the use of the ‘Beach
Profile Analysis’ programme. The software and database have also been installed at the
Department of Physical Planning, and three officers were trained in its use.
Anguilla has a substantial database with
continuous coverage over the period 1992-2001, which includes the effects of
four hurricanes and one tropical storm (H. Luis 1995, T.S. Grace 1997, H.
Georges 1998, H. Jose 1999, H. Lenny 1999).
One of the major problems encountered is the loss
of profile reference points during hurricanes, even when they are located a
considerable distance inland from the vegetation line.
When this happens, new reference points have to be located, which
obviously interrupts the data trend for that particular site.
Another problem encountered is staff mobility, e.g. one person from DFMR
trained in the first visit in January 2000, had been moved to another department
by the second visit in September 2000.
The beach change database obviously has the
potential for use in the design of sea defence/beach rehabilitation measures.
Following Hurricane Lenny in 1999 (and with the permission of the
Anguillan authorities), beach profile data for Maunday’s Bay and Rendezvous Bay
were supplied to Applied Technology and Management Inc. of South Carolina,
U.S.A., who were advising individual property owners on beach restoration
measures. Data were also provided (again with the permission of the Anguillan
authorities) to the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences,
University of Miami, who had been asked by the insurance company of Cap Juluca
to investigate the erosion at Maunday’s Bay.
An increase in hard structures (sea walls, rock
revetments etc.) on Anguilla’s beaches has been noted since Hurricane Luis in
1995. These will inevitably
compound the erosion problems already being experienced.
The need to implement the coastal development setback guidelines
developed in 1996 (Cambers,
1996) cannot be over emphasized.
Awareness about beach changes, hurricane impacts
and coastal development is an area that needs continual emphasis as beachfront
development continues in Anguilla. The narrow sandy barriers separating salt
ponds from the sea are prime sites for development.
During Hurricane Lenny many of these barriers were breached illustrating
their fragility, their vulnerability and their unsuitability for permanent
4.2.2 Antigua and Barbuda
The Fisheries Division (FD) is the main partner
agency and responsible for beach data collection and analysis. (They are also
developing the capacity for wetlands, seagrass and coral reef monitoring). The
updated beach change database and software were installed at the
FD within this CDB-UNESCO
project. Two persons were trained
in the data analysis and are considered competent in the use of the ‘Beach Profile
Analysis’ programme. The beach
change database was also installed at the Development Control Authority and
demonstrated to officers there.
Antigua has a substantial database with continuous
coverage over the period 1991-2001, which includes the effects of four
hurricanes and one tropical storm (H. Luis 1995, T.S. Grace 1997, H. Georges
1998, H. Jose 1999, H. Lenny 1999). The Barbuda database covers the period 1995-2000.
The beach change database formed the basis for ‘Coastal
Erosion Hazard Maps’ of Antigua and Barbuda, prepared on geographical information
systems (GIS) by Mr. Philmore James of the
FD, as part of an
Organization of American States/U.S.
Agency for International Development project on
Post-Georges Disaster Mitigation.
The accompanying technical and non-technical reports as well as the hazard
maps are available on the web (follow
the Hazard Mapping link).
As in Anguilla, one of the major problems
encountered is the loss of profile reference points during hurricanes, even when
they are located a considerable distance inland from the vegetation line. When
this happens, new reference points have to be located, which obviously
interrupts the data trend for that particular site. The
FD plan to fix the
position of their beach profile reference points with a geographic positioning
system (GPS) and while this may alleviate this problem, since lost reference
points can be located spatially after a hurricane with a fair degree of
accuracy, changes in the height of the point will not be reflected.
Fixing of the profile reference points with
GPS will, however, allow for linking of the beach-monitoring database
directly to the country’s geographical information system (GIS). Several agencies
in Antigua: the
the Development Control
Authority and the Environment Division, are interested in this area. The
FD, in particular (see
above), has the expertise to develop this linkage further.
The beach-monitoring activity used to be a joint
activity of the
FD and the Development Control
Authority (DCA). However, due to staff changes and difficulties with coordination,
the involvement of the DCA
ceased. Discussions were held on how to re-involve the DCA, since it is
recognized that the benefits of monitoring go beyond
data collection, and include observation and assessment of new structural developments,
changing beach uses, restriction of beach access, nature of beach dynamics
etc. So officers involved in monitoring become knowledgeable about all aspects
of their island’s beaches and can thus play an active role in beach management
and the enforcement of regulations.
One of the problems present in many countries is
the sectoral nature of government and the difficulties this poses for fields
such as integrated coastal management. While
there has been much talk about the sharing of information (findings,
conclusions, applications), the difficulties involved in actually sharing data
have yet to be fully resolved. For
instance, while many agree that the public should have to pay for such
information (e.g. information for environmental impact assessments), the
question arises whether the information should be freely given to other
government agencies. These issues
of data ownership and the value of data need further discussion.
The proliferation of hard structures, particularly
vertical sea walls, on the beaches in Antigua is another serious problem, and
one that needs addressing. However,
this will need a concerted effort involving several agencies.
Even in Barbuda, which has a low level of beachfront development, serious
erosion and loss of buildings took place in August/September 2000. The
implementation of the building setback guidelines developed in 1998
(Cambers, 1998a) would be an important first step in reducing the problems caused by
developments positioned too close to the active beach zone. Beach sand mining
continues to be a problem in Antigua; this activity is controlled by the
Ministry of Communications and Works. However,
the existing environmental laws are very ambiguous about the definition of where
the beach starts and stops.
4.2.3 British Virgin Islands
The Conservation and Fisheries Department (CFD) is
the main counterpart agency in the British Virgin Islands. Beach-monitoring data
were collected between 1989 and 1994; however, then the monitoring ceased.
Monitoring in other areas of the environment e.g. mangroves and coral reefs, also
ceased around this time due to staff changes and concentration on other
priorities. The ‘Beach Profile Analysis’ software was provided to the
Conservation and Fisheries Department and one officer was trained in its use
during this CDB-UNESCO
During 2000-2001, the CFD acquired a theodolite
and training in its use. During 2001 they plan to re-instate their beach-monitoring programme, concentrating on the north coast beaches of Tortola and
Beef Island, specifically: Cane Garden Bay, Brewers Bay, Josiahs Bay, Long Bay
Lambert and Long Bay-Beef Island. Permanent
markers have been established at these beaches.
The objectives of the monitoring are long-term beach change information
and an understanding of the sediment budget along this north coast of Tortola
and Beef Island.
The Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division (FWPD)
is the main partner agency and is responsible for beach data collection and
analysis. During this CDB-UNESCO
project, the updated beach change database and
software were installed at the FWPD. One person from this agency was trained in
the data analysis and is considered fully competent in the ‘Beach Profile
Analysis’ programme. It is
anticipated that the training will be extended to other persons in the Division,
who are involved in the monitoring programme. The software and database have
also been discussed with the Physical Planning Unit (PPU), although not yet
installed there. The PPU is interested in the application of the database to
coastal development setback guidelines.
Dominica has a substantial database with coverage
over the period 1987-1991 and 1994-2000; this includes the effects of several
hurricanes (H. Hugo 1989, H. Luis 1995, H. Georges 1998,
H. Jose 1999, H. Lenny 1999).
has a history of environmental monitoring
(rivers, wildlife) and this may have been an important factor influencing the
continuation of the beach monitoring since 1987.
In addition, the same officer has been involved in the monitoring
programme since 1987 and now has considerable expertise in many aspects of beach
management. For instance,
assessment reports were produced after Hurricanes Luis and Marilyn in 1995 and
after Hurricane Lenny (Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division,
It is anticipated that in the future such reports can be greatly
enhanced, e.g. by using profile graphs showing the ‘before and after
hurricane’ situation which can be easily prepared with the ‘Beach Profile
Analysis’ software programme.
As in the other islands, the infrastructure damage, especially to roads and buildings, resulting from recent hurricanes is a major problem. Several beaches, e.g. Toucarie, which in 1987 were wide sandy stretches, are now narrow strips of stones and boulders. Thus Dominicans have lost important recreational resources, and roads have lost natural barriers, which protected them from storm waves.
The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC)
is the main partner agency in Grenada. This agency coordinates the
beach-monitoring programme with the Fisheries Division, the Lands and Surveys
Division, and the Land and Water Resource Unit.
The updated beach change database and the software were installed at the
NSTC. Within the scope of this
project, six persons from the four agencies were trained in the data analysis;
four are considered fully competent in the use of the ‘Beach Profile
Analysis’ programme and two will require further training. The software and
database were also demonstrated to officers from the Physical Planning Unit, who
readily perceived its relevance to forward planning and development control, and
propose to get it installed in their agency in the future.
In addition to these government agencies, the
Hillsborough Secondary School in Carriacou is involved in the monitoring
programme. Since 1996, students
from the third and fourth forms have been collecting data regularly, with the
support of the Fisheries Division in Carriacou.
The data are then sent to the
NSTC for analysis. However, in order for the students to fully benefit from the data
collection, training in data analysis needs to be provided in the future.
Grenada has a substantial beach change database
covering the period 1985 to 2001 (with one two-year gap, 1991-1993).
Database management was one of the main issues
that arose in Grenada. With five
agencies involved in data collection, questions regarding location of the
database and responsibility for its update, arose.
It was decided that the database should be stored at two agencies: the
NSTC and the Fisheries Division. Responsibility
for collecting and analysing data from the south, west and north coasts should
remain with the
NSTC, the Lands and Surveys Division and the Land and Water
Resource Unit. Responsibility for
collecting and analysing the data for the northeast and east coasts would remain
with the Fisheries Division. However,
logistics for sharing the two databases have not been completely resolved.
The west coast of Grenada experienced serious
erosion during Hurricane Lenny in November 1999.
In many ways this was a wake-up call for Grenada, since the previous
hurricane to hit Grenada was Hurricane Janet in 1955.
Thus, unlike the northern islands, the database in Grenada does not
reflect several hurricane events. Furthermore,
without recent hurricane experience, there was considerable local concern about
the erosion of vital tourism beaches such as Grand Anse.
Responding to this concern, a visit was made to
Grenada two weeks after Hurricane Lenny to assess the damage and make recommendations
for rehabilitation. (This visit
was funded by the CDB-UNESCO
project and the Organization
of American States). Following
several meetings, a report was produced (Cambers,
1999a) advising the Grenadian authorities not to rush to construct
remedial structures, but rather to wait for natural beach recovery.
After the visit, a committee was organized, comprising the Board of Tourism,
the Forestry Department, the
NSTC, the Organization of American States, several hoteliers and
others, to implement the recommendations of the report which included a beach
planting programme and the removal of certain damaged structures.
As predicted, the beach recovered following the hurricane; this can be
seen visually and in the monitoring data, although more time will be required
to determine whether the beach fully recovers to its pre-hurricane size.
The main partner agency in Montserrat was the Agricultural
Engineering Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture, Trade and Environment. However,
during the volcanic crisis (1995-1998), beach monitoring ceased as many people
fled the island. Following a visit in 1998, the monitoring programme was re-established
in December 1999 with the Fisheries
Division (FD) as the main partner agency. Additional field monitoring equipment
(Abney level) was supplied to the
FD through the UNESCO-CSI
regular programme. During this project, training in field techniques was provided
beach change database and
software were installed
there. Two persons from the
FD were trained in the ‘Beach Profile Analysis’ programme, one of whom is considered
fully competent in the use of the programme. The ‘Beach Profile Analysis’ programme
and the beach change database were also installed at the Physical Planning Unit
and demonstrated to one officer there.
The reduced population of Montserrat (around 5,000
people) is a serious constraint that may influence the long-term continuation of
any monitoring programme, especially since there has been recent volcanic
activity; in 1999 and 2000 there were reports of a growing dome on the volcano.
Montserrat has a substantial database covering the
period 1990-1996; this includes the recovery period after Hurricane Hugo in
1989, as well as the impacts of the 1995 hurricanes. Monitoring has now been
re-established since December 1999. Montserrat has also expressed an interest in
tying in the beach monitoring programme with the geographical information system
The beach-monitoring database was used by the Physical
Planning Unit during the period 1992-1995, when a programme was established
to stop the mining of beach sand at all beaches except Farms Bay, and to use
quarry sand for all construction purposes except the final plastering/finishing
of buildings (see article on the ‘Wise Coastal Practices
for Sustainable Human Development Forum’ entitled ‘A
viable solution to beach sand mining? / Montserrat’ by Gillian Cambers,
the user name = csi, password = wise).
However, due to the volcanic crisis, people have had to relocate to the
northern third of the island. There
is considerable new construction taking place and the supply of sand has become
a major issue once again, especially since the quarry is in the ‘unsafe’ part
of the island. The monitoring of
beaches again becomes an important tool to effectively manage the sand supply
Nevis Historical and Conservation Society (NHCS) is the main partner agency
in Nevis and is responsible for beach data collection and analysis.
Within the CDB-UNESCO
project, the updated beach-change database and software were installed at the NHCS. Four persons
(three of whom were interns) from this agency were trained in the data analysis
and are considered competent in the use of the ‘Beach Profile Analysis’ programme. The software and database have also been installed at the Department
of Planning and Development and two persons there trained in its use.
Nevis has a substantial database with continuous
coverage over the period 1988-2001, which includes the effects of five
hurricanes (H. Hugo 1989, H. Luis 1995, H. Georges 1998, H. Jose 1999, H. Lenny
1999) as well as several lesser storms. The beach change database has been used to prepare Coastal
Erosion Hazard Maps for St. Kitts and Nevis (see section 4.2.8).
One of the major problems encountered, as in some
of the other northern islands, is the loss of profile reference points during
hurricanes, even when they are located a considerable distance inland from the
vegetation line. When this happens, new reference points have to be located,
which obviously interrupts the data trend for that particular site.
Nevis is one island where a non-governmental
organization (NGO) is the main partner agency in the beach-monitoring activity.
This illustrates the important role that a dedicated NGO, through its members,
can play in environmental management. A
series of volunteers from the NHCS
have collected beach-monitoring data, and for
the past three years, two volunteers have been solely responsible for data
collection. The role of the NHCS
in continuing and coordinating the monitoring
effort is to be commended.
The Department of Physical Planning has been
closely involved in the beach-monitoring programme during the early 1990s. As
in other islands, there has been a proliferation of hard structures on the
beaches which, together with the frequent hurricanes are compounding the erosion
problems and restricting access along the beaches (Hanley,
1998). Concern about this problem has been voiced for several years,
and several management options were discussed in a position paper in 1998
(Cambers, 1998b). New coastal
development setback guidelines were also prepared in 1998
(Cambers, 1998c), and
while these are being implemented ‘informally’ the setback distances have
not yet been included in planning regulations.
However, the problem goes beyond the need for regulations, as illegal
unapproved sea defences are being constructed. An assessment of several
unapproved coastal defence structures in Nevis was prepared for the Department
of Physical Planning early in 1999 (Cambers,
1999b). Thus there is a need for
planning, sensitization and awareness, and enforcement.
4.2.8 St. Kitts
The main partner agency in St. Kitts is the
Department of the Environment (DE). The updated beach change database and software were installed
at the DE during this CDB-UNESCO
project. Two persons from the DE
in the data analysis and are considered competent in the use of the ‘Beach
Profile Analysis’ programme. One of these persons is from a newly established
Parks and Beaches Unit, which has been set up to maintain and enhance the
island’s parks and beaches. The
software and database have also been installed at the Physical Planning Division
and one person there is competent in its use.
St. Kitts has a substantial database with
continuous coverage over the period 1992-2001; this includes the impacts of four
major hurricanes (H. Luis 1995, H. Georges 1998, H. Jose 1999, H. Lenny 1999) as
well as several lesser storms.
The beach change database formed the basis for ‘Coastal
Erosion Hazard Maps’ of St. Kitts and Nevis, prepared on geographical information
systems (GIS) by Mr. Edsel Daniel of the Physical Planning Division (at present
studying at Vanderbilt University), as part of an Organization of American States/U.S.
Agency for International Development project on Post-Georges Disaster Mitigation.
The accompanying technical and non-technical reports as well as the hazard maps
are available on the web
(follow the Hazard Mapping link).
Like several of their neighbours, St. Kitts has
also seen a proliferation of hard structures on and adjacent to the beaches over
the last few years, especially since the 1995 hurricanes. In particular, the
removal of some low sand dunes and the construction of a seawall at North
Frigate Bay in the second part of 1999, have caused considerable public concern,
as access along the beach was restricted during a seasonal erosion episode, (St.
Christopher Heritage Society Newsletter, October-December 2000).
Coastal development setback guidelines have
recently been prepared for St. Kitts within the project ‘Planning for
coastline change’ (Cambers,
2000b). Implementation of these guidelines will ensure that erosion
problems are not compounded as new development takes place, and will reduce the
need for further hard coastal defence structures in front of new properties.
However, during discussions with the St. Christopher Heritage Society (February
2000), concern was expressed about a lack of transparency in the permitting and
approval process, combined with a lack of public involvement in the planning
4.2.9 St. Lucia
The main partner agency in St. Lucia is the
Department of Fisheries (DF). This agency has been monitoring several beaches in
St. Lucia since 1990 with the assistance of various NGOs, e.g. the Soufriere
Marine Management Area and the St. Lucia National Trust. However, it is very
difficult to get sustained assistance from other agencies, and the data received
is often not continuous and/or unreliable. The officer in charge of the
monitoring programme was away on study-leave (from the end of 1999 until the end
of 2000), so during this period, monitoring ceased. However, the monitoring has
since restarted from the beginning of 2001. During this CDB-UNESCO
‘Beach Profile Analysis’ programme was installed on computer at the DF and
demonstrated to two other officers from the Department. The beach-monitoring
database dates back to 1990. A second beach-monitoring database, focusing only
on the northwest coast, was established as one of the activities of the
Northwest Coastal Conservation Project (Phase 2). Three years data were
collected by this project, which terminated in March 2000.
Responsibility for coastal management is being transferred to the Department of
St. Lucia has seen a
proliferation of hard structures on the beaches, particularly along the
northwest coast, but also other areas in the south, and concern has been
expressed about the effects these were having on beach dynamics.
Now that new coastal development setback guidelines have been prepared
for St. Lucia (Cambers 1999c), the next stage is to ensure that they are used by
the Physical Planning Division of the Ministry of Finance and Planning, so that
‘safe’ setbacks can be included as conditions for development approval.
Another coastal problem in St. Lucia relates to
beach sand mining, which again has become a serious issue.
Sand mining is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Communications
and Works. Considerable efforts
were made in the early 1990s to ensure that this Ministry was fully aware of
the adverse impacts of beach sand mining. However,
with a very high staff turnover at this Ministry, such efforts have to be
continued, so that the impacts of activities such as sand extraction at river
mouths are fully understood and remedied.
4.2.10 St. Vincent and the Grenadines
The Seismic Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture
and Labour was designated by the government as the main partner agency for the
beach-monitoring programme in 1995. However, despite several visits between 1995
and 1999, data were never collected on a regular basis. During the first visit
of this CDB-UNESCO
project, in January 2000, the ‘Beach Profile Analysis’
software was installed at the Seismic Unit and one person was trained in its
use. However, further training will be necessary.
Discussions were held with the Ministry of
Agriculture and Labour as to the possible nomination of another partner agency,
but no decision has been taken to date. The
Ministry did, however, express their interest in the monitoring activity
especially in view of the damage to the islands’ beaches and infrastructure
caused by Hurricane Lenny in 1999. The
Physical Planning Department also expressed the need for such monitoring
information and referred to the erosion at Lower Bay in Bequia, and the
destruction of a coastal road at Hamilton, Bequia, both a result of Hurricane
In January 2000, beach monitoring was started in
Bequia with the assistance of third form students from the Bequia Community
High School and their teacher. Training was provided in field monitoring methods and several
sites were established and measured. The
‘Beach Profile Analysis’ programme was installed on computer at the school
and training was provided in its use. It
is anticipated that these students will continue the monitoring activity over
the next two years and through this activity they will learn about beach
dynamics, scientific monitoring and environmental management, and at the same
time establish a valuable database which can be used by the island in the
effective management of Bequia’s beach resources.
4.2.11 Turks and Caicos Islands
The main partner agency in the Turks and Caicos
Islands is the Department of the Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR). The
software and updated database were installed at this agency within this CDB-UNESCO
project. One person from this Department was trained in the ‘Beach Profile
Analysis’ programme and is considered competent in its use; in addition, the
programme was demonstrated to four enforcement officers. The software and
database was also installed at the Department of Planning, and one person trained in its use;
and at the Coastal Resources Management Project, based in Providenciales, where
four persons were trained.
Monitoring was started in the Turks and Caicos
Islands in 1995 (in Grand Turk and Providenciales); however, the activity has
not been continued and only two data sets exist (one set for 1995 and one set
for 1997). As a result of this
project monitoring was conducted regularly in Grand Turk in 2000 by the DECR.
Discussions are underway to re-start the monitoring in Providenciales, possibly
with the assistance of students from the Clement Howell High School.
Beach monitoring is very much needed in Providenciales, with its high
level of coastal development and vibrant tourism industry, which is very much
Beach sand mining is a serious problem in the
Turks and Caicos Islands, and has reached crisis proportions such that sand
importation from the Bahamas is being considered.
The Turks and Caicos Islands, while receiving little damage from Hurricane Lenny in 1999, did receive considerable impact from other hurricanes in the 1999 season, e.g. Hurricane Floyd. Particularly in Providenciales, where coastal development is taking place at a very rapid rate, the need for ‘safe’ coastal development setback guidelines and control of hard structures on or near the active beach zone is of particular importance. (As a positive sign, it should be noted that in 1998, construction setbacks had been increased from 60 feet from the high water mark to 100 feet from the vegetation line.)