MGI is providing expertise to the National Works Agency (NWA) on how various coastal hazards impact Jamaican roads. Major coastal roads such as the Michael Manley Boulevard have deteriorated over the years from the adverse effects of storm surge, swells and sea level rise. Sections of the shoreline are undercut, broken away or eroded, damaging these roads that form vital access ways to city centres, airports, shipping ports, hotels and other major shoreline industries. The goal of discussions is to provide solutions for rehabilitating and stabilising these sections of shoreline, especially in light of sea level rise projections.
Mr Kevin Arbouine, standing, (NWA) presents on the MGI-NWA coastal roads stablisation collaboration. To Mr Arbouine’s left are Dr Ava Maxam (MGI) and Dr Kioshi Mishiro (MGI),
Dr Maxam’s presentation – The Great Terrain Robbery – My piece of the Rock versus SLR! – was delivered at the Jamaica Institute of Environmental Professionals Annual General Meeting Tuesday November 20, 2015. With much of the island’s population, properties and livelihoods at stake with projected sea level rise, Dr Maxam charged environmentalists with the challenge to create a more balanced form of environmentalism in Jamaica that sees sustainable, practical ways of achieving goals of preserving our environment while allowing the various sectors to flourish. She highlighted those parts of the island’s shoreline that will undergo the worse impacts of sea level rise inundation, including the water resources, critical infrastructure, populations and low-income areas that will be in direct area of inundation.
Hurricane Patricia, the strongest recorded Saffir Simpson Category 5 storm in recent history, developed on Oct 22, 2015, to full strength in the eastern Pacific Ocean near the southern coast of Mexico. In general – as was the case with this storm – hurricanes are driven and strengthened above warm ocean waters. The storm’s strength is thought to have been powered by the unusually strong El Nino event developing over the past year. With the El Nino, sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are increased in the eastern Pacific. El Nino is generated by weakened vertical upwelling circulation just off the west coast of South America – a process which minimises cold water coming to the surface. As hurricanes impact land, however,
The journey taken by passive, water-borne organisms, such as the marine plant Sargassum recently causing havoc to the Jamaican coast and other Caribbean countries, is controlled mainly by offshore and onshore current flow as well as water quality changes over time. The dense proliferation ofSargassum in our coastal areas causes environmental problems for local marine ecosystems, as well as the livelihood of people relying on these resources. The sudden growth of these plants, for example, results in a change in water quality that may not be conducive for the survival of marine life, or may destroy the seascape for tourism and other industries – impacts which interfere with the revenue potential and economics of the area. A number of reasons are presented for the sudden growth in coastal areas,
The conference of the Coastal Ocean Modelling (Gordon Research Conference, GRC) was held at the University of New England, Biddeford, Maine. Where Mona Geoinformatics Institute (MGI) presented on the research poster (seen below) which included our ‘Current Marine’ research. Here, the Numerical Hydrodynamics Modelling was applied to the Jamaican southeast coast, including Kingston Harbour (major shipping port) and Portland Bight (includes protected area and industrial port), for characterizing the current structures. Our results were cross-referenced with other researchers for current and future studies.
Dr. Ava Maxam, Deputy Director at Mona GeoInformatics Institute (MGI) and Dr. Kioshi Mishiro oceanographer from Japan who also works at MGI spoke to the Gleaner about sea level rise in Annotto Bay and Morant Point.
Annotto Bay in St Mary and Morant Point in St Thomas, both in the eastern section of the island, are the Jamaican communities most at risk of devastation by sea-level rise, a situation researchers at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, have linked to the poor socioeconomic conditions that prevail.
The analysis carried out by the Mona GeoInformatics Institute included poverty-implication mapping, which shows an urgent need for major investments to ease pressure on water resources. It also points to a need for proper housing development and for attention to be given to other areas in the built and natural environments,
The lecture was staged at a time of heightened discussions relating to the disappearing beaches around the island with notable examples being Alligator Pond in St. Elizabeth and the Negril Seven Miles Beach. While most of these actions have been attributed to global warming and rising sea levels, the impact is significant to a nation whose economy depends highly on tourism.
EFJ’s 10th Annual Public Lecture at the Montego Bay Community College: click here