MGI Teams up with French Government in Coastal Protection

Technology for Shoreline Protection

Jamaica will benefit from coastal and coral reef monitoring studies to be carried out under the Caribbean-wide project CARIB-COAST: Caribbean Network for Coastal Risks Related to Climate Change. The project will provide the necessary equipment, training and expertise in deploying state-of-the-art ocean and shoreline monitoring technology.

Eroded coastline – Black River, St Elizabeth, Jamaica (Natural Hazards Atlas – Jamaica, Lyew-Ayee & Ahmad 2011)

Parts of the Negril shoreline in Jamaica will be tracked for erosion and how reef systems act to protect important coastal ecologies such as beaches and nurseries for marine life. With climate change posing a big threat to natural and man-made coastal resources – threatening populations of 45 million across our small-island states – it is crucial to map our shoreline features. This offers important baseline and continuous data for tracking the level of damage as sea-level rises and coastal flooding and erosion intensifies.

CARIB-COAST Goals For Better Resilience

 CARIB-COAST is managed by the French Geological Survey (BRGM – Bureau des Recherches Géologiques et Minières) through funding from the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) under the INTERREG Caraïbes Program. It will be implemented during 2018 to 2020 across 6 countries including Saint Martin, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Jamaica and Trinidad. Main activities include developing: a regional hydrodynamic observation and modeling platform; erosion-monitoring and mitigation network; and a decision-support tool for management, risk prevention and adaptation practices.

Caribbean Unity in Combating Climate Change

Dr Maxam, Head of MGIBlue and Deputy Director of MGI, participated in the kick-off meeting for the project held in Guadeloupe, France, January 16-17, 2019, representing MGI as signatory to the Regional Agreement. As stated by Dr Maxam at the inception meeting: “The Sargassum invasion – as just one of many issues affecting our island states – does not care about different languages, governments and maritime borders. We are all part of a Caribbean area that faces the same environmental and climatic pressures.  We must work hard at removing any barrier to cooperation on these serious issues.  The CARIB-COAST Project is a superb example of such collaboration.”

The CARIB-COAST Project is managed by Yann Balouin, who commented that: “The main objective of Carib-Coast is to strengthen the capacity of Caribbean territories to manage present-day and future risks and anticipate natural disasters. Marine environmental problems and coastal risks are trans-boundary issues and setting cooperative network of experts to share methods and shared solutions is crucial. Carib-Coast project will provide a unique opportunity to develop regional research and explore adaptation solutions for the Caribbean coastal areas”.

(L) Dr Ywenn De La Torre – Regional Director BRGM Guadeloupe;
(C) Dr Ava Maxam – Deputy Director MGI;
(R) Yann Balouin – Project Coordinator CARIB-COAST