Coastal Habitat Mapping Project– St. Lucia
The main marine habitats of concern along Saint Lucia’s coastal zone include coral reefs, sea grass beds, mangrove swamps and beaches. These marine habitats are significant in the coastal zone management process, since anything which impinges on them can reduce: (i) their integrity and subsequently affect shoreline stability; (ii) their relative levels of marine productivity; (iii) the feasibility and viability of commercially important species; and (iv) the habitats and life cycles of important marine species.
Working with WS Atkins with funding provided by the EU we helped determine the baseline data on the island’s coastal habitats as a tool towards the long-term planning and development of the coast. The information acquired under this project showed that many of the island’s vital coastal habitats are under stress and in some instances are degrading rapidly providing the justification for the introduction of a number of measures to arrest this degradation. Our work included: Review of aerial photographs; habitat image classification; ground truthing of habitat images; database development and map production; ICZM reporting framework design; training and capacity building; and recommendations and final reporting.