Angela Burnett and Atoya George of the British Virgin Islands both work for the Conservation and Fisheries Department of the Government of the Virgin Islands, and have been working on a project in Cane Garden Bay since January for their organization.
Climate change has caused an increase heavy rains for their island and the storm water runoff causes flooding and deposits sediments and pollutants into the bay reducing water quality. Tourism is a major source of revenue for the island and this reduction in water quality has not only impacted a fragile environment–but has affected business.
|Cane Garden Bay hazard zones
Climate change is changing local rainfall patterns; an increase in the frequency of heavy rain events has been predicted for the Caribbean region and has been experienced over the past 7 years in Cane Garden Bay leading to flooding and increased pollution of the Bay from sedimentation and sewage.
|Poor water quality together with climate change induced bleaching events are rapidly degrading the Cane Garden Bay barrier reef which is an important defense against stronger storm surges predicted as a result of climate change.
[Problem 1] Frequent flooding
Drainage Maintenance and Improvement Programme [Solution to underlying cause: Lack of a master watershed management plan]
[Problem 2] Coastal water quality being degraded
Here is how students interact with the CSDI Development Community–a community of 600 development practitioners.
Angela Burnett’s Post:
Cane Garden Bay is experiencing frequent flooding and degradation of coastal water quality from more frequent climate change induced heavy rain events, and a lack of a master watershed management plan. These challenges reduce the beauty of the Cane Garden Bay beach, contribute to poor coastal water quality, poor swimming conditions and reduce tourism revenues through a loss in the number of repeat visitors. This is exacerbated by a degradation of the protective barrier reef through sedimentation and long-term beach erosion.
I post to ask if anyone one knows of a small island watershed with a mountainous terrain that has faced a similar problem and been able to successfully address it using a community approach. Right now the people of Cane Garden Bay only look towards the government to fix their flooding and water quality problem through expensive infrastructural drainage projects which the Territory may not be able to afford. I am interested in empowering the community to do actions that they can take on their own behalf to help fix the problem. If so, I would be interested in any report or links concerning implemented projects.
In exchange I would like to share a link to a great website that was share with me about watershed management http://www.cwp.org/ Sincerely, Angela Burnett
Read the reports: