Shaping Tomorrow’s Shores: The Future of Coastal Habitat Restoration 

All DC islands

A new partnership between World Wide Fund for Nature – Netherlands (WWF-NL) the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) and Coastal Dynamics will spearhead an initiative to define future conservation and restoration projects within Dutch Caribbean coastal habitats. Centered around mangroves and seagrass beds, this ambitious feasibility study aims to craft a portfolio of forward-looking projects. The objective is to fortify these areas against escalating threats like climate change, pollution, and unsustainable coastal development, ensuring their sustained health and resilience. 

The Dutch Caribbean is home to unique island ecosystems facing challenges from overdevelopment, climate change, and other environmental pressures. Coastal ecosystems represent critically important areas, particularly in regards to their biodiversity, climate resilience, and cultural heritage. The proposed feasibility study seeks to bridge gaps in expertise, resources, and collaboration across all six of the Dutch Caribbean islands (Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Saba, St. Maarten and St. Eustatius). 

Goals 

 

Black Mangrove roots- Photo credit-Henkjan Kievit (SHAPE-DCNA)-all rights reserved.

The primary goal of the project is to conduct an in-depth feasibility study under the DCNA’s Conservation and Restoration of Key Habitats Program. Key components of the study include assessing the current status of mangroves and seagrass beds, stakeholder engagement, and conducting an overall resource assessment. 

 

Nature-Based Solutions 

 

The study will focus on coastal area restoration, specifically targeting mangroves and seagrass beds in collaboration with Dutch Caribbean Park Organizations. The aim is to develop a nature-inclusive approach with nature-based solutions to enhance resilience and sustainability.  Overall, this project has two main objectives: 

  • Feasibility Study: Assess the viability of conservation efforts, including technical, financial, and human resource requirements. 
  • Knowledge Sharing & Capacity Building: Present findings, address knowledge gaps, and build capacity among Park Organizations for effective restoration initiatives. 

Forward Planning 

 

Red mangroves and seagrass beds-Photo credit-Christian König (SHAPE-DCNA)- all rights reserved.

The feasibility study’s success is crucial for creating a comprehensive understanding of coastal habitat conditions, fostering collaboration, and laying the groundwork for future restoration programs. By unifying efforts, the study aims to enhance communication, knowledge sharing, and resource utilization across all six islands.

 

DCNA 

 

Green turtle feeding on sea grass. Photo credit- Kai Wulf- all rights reserved.

The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) supports (science) communication and outreach in the Dutch Caribbean region by making nature-related scientific information more widely available through amongst others the Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database, DCNA’s news platform BioNews and the press. No rights can be derived from the content. DCNA is not liable for the content and the in(direct) impacts resulting from publishing this article.  

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