On Wednesday, March 23rd Ocean Spirits Incorporated launched an ecosystem resilience project aimed at strengthening and conserving the Ramsar site in Levera St.Patrick’s. This initiative is implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment in collaboration with UNDP-ICCAS project.
The Ramsar site is the only one currently in Grenada and has the largest area of mangroves on the island. There are 5 conservation zones in total. The wetland conservation zone consisting of a 23 acre freshwater pond, surrounded by red, white, black and buttonwood mangroves. There are the two transition zones consisting of the Levera resort development and the Bedford point, both areas consist of dry forests. There is the turtle conservation zone consisting of the 750m Levera beach area and finally the fisheries management zone which includes coastal water consisting of sea grass and reef areas.
This project aims to:
- Develop and implement monitoring protocols for each ecosystem
- Create social economic surveys to be conducted using methods developed by the UWI, CREMES in surrounding communities
- Assess the health of mangroves, dry forests and the reef within the RAMSAR area
- Build capacity for ecosystem management of the Levera area and RAMSAR site
- Develop Education and awareness programmes to engage the community
- Stabilize the coastline to protect against sea surges and natural disasters
This project will provide opportunities for environmental education and interpretation and also contribute to the livelihoods of persons in the surrounding communities of River Sallee, Rose Hill and Levera. In addition, the recreational and cultural use of the area will be managed to ensure all activities are carried out sustainably with little/no negative impacts on the general surroundings. The long term goal of the project is to start the process of developing mechanisms to allow the Ramsar area to be designated into a Marine Protected Area (MPA) and through close community collaborations community members will be empowered to benefit through proper management of the Ramsar area and create a solid management structure to ensure effective future conservation. The ICCAS project is part of the International Climate Change Initiative funded by the German government to assist Grenada to adapt to climate change and is executed through the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and the Environment.