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Coral Reef Protection in Western Jamaica Thomas J. Goreau, Ph.D.

President, Global Coral Reef Alliance, Scientific Advisor, Negril Coral Reef Preservation Society Published: 1992, p. 39-65 in Protecting Jamaica's Coral Reefs: Water Quality Iss ues NOTE: This paper describes the ecological status of coral reefs along the entir e western half of Jamaica during 1992, identifies the major stresses taking plac e in each area, and makes specific recommendations regarding the management and conservation of all of them, with special attention to identifying those reefs o f special importance because of their high biodiversity, live coral cover, coral size, and roles as fish nurseries and in shore protection. Since this paper was written all the sites described have deteriorated significantly. ABSTRACT Jamaican reefs have high value as natural resources because of their high biodiv ersity and role in fisheries, tourism, and shore protection. The concepts of eut rophication, sustainable management of coral reefs, external reef nutrient load and human carrying capacity are developed in this paper. The environmental healt h and protection status of coral reefs around Western Jamaica from Whitehouse, W estmoreland to Discovery Bay, St. Anns were assessed during 1992. Factors compar ed included coral and algal species distributions, current threats to reef habit ats from sedimentation, sewage, pollution, boat and diver damage, over harvestin g, and both current and proposed land use and development. Sites were evaluated with regard to potential for bathing, snorkeling, diving, boating, fishing, mari culture, port use, fish nursery grounds, and scientific monitoring sites. Areas exceptional because of high species diversity, important fish nursery grounds, u nusually large corals and rapid coral growth rates, or remarkable underwater top ography, are recommended as no-use preserves. Most reefs near developed shores a re now seriously degraded by algal overgrowth of corals: their restoration requi res sharp and prompt decreases in sewage nutrient releases to the coastal zone. To protect water quality in remaining Jamaican reefs, still the most species-ric h in the Caribbean, and preserve them as perpetual resources for tourism, fisher ies, and shore protection will require strong conservation measures and developm ent restrictions near the best reefs. Extension of current patterns of "developm ent" will quickly degrade or destroy them. An integrated national coastal zone m anagement approach is urgently needed that prevents coastal development until af ter sewage infrastructure is in place. While local environmental non-governmenta l organizations have a critical role to play in decision-making and project impl ementation, current models for financing conservation are maladapted and need to be changed. INTRODUCTION: JAMAICAN REEF DIVERSITY AND PROTECTION Jamaica's reefs are regarded as the centre of marine species diversity of the Ca ribbean region (Goreau et al., 1979). This results from Jamaica's exceptionally high habitat diversity in a small area and its probable role as major refuge of the Caribbean reef fauna and flora during the Ice Ages. Jamaica's reef ecosystem s as a whole are therefore central to conservation of the Caribbean's marine bio diversity. Jamaica's reefs are currently under high stress in all developed coastal areas ( Goreau, 1992), and much of the remainder are near areas slated for development s oon. Unless the remaining reefs are assessed quickly with regard to environmenta

l protection needs, many of the best could be lost soon due to a wide range of p opulation dependent stresses or to temperature and climate channe (Goreau & Haye s, 1994). This damage could have been prevented because understanding of the many causes o f reef degradation and sound policies to counteract them were first developed in Jamaica. Many Caribbean countries lost much of their reefs because they didn't have local scientific expertise to recognize or document what was happening, but Jamaica had the longest and most detailed reef ecology data in the world, yet f ailed to build on it. Many islands have now been forced to recognize the need fo r coastal zone management and protection, and established effective research, mo nitoring, protection, and enforcement programs. For example, neighboring Cuba ha s several hundred times as many professional marine scientists and fisheries res earchers as Jamaica, and conservation of coastal ecosystems has kept the reefs i n prime condition except immediately next to major ports. Although the first coral reef marine parks in the world were planned in Jamaica in the mid 1950s, no action was taken by the relevant authorities for over 35 ye ars. Conservation related marine research and monitoring in Jamaica has deterior ated over the past 20 years, while destruction and degradation of reef habitats around the island has accelerated (Goreau, 1992). Serious and sustained work is badly needed to record and learn from the changes of the past, to understand the causes of the changes taking place at present, and to prepare for the future. ESTIMATING THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF JAMAICAN REEFS No detailed estimate has yet been made of the economic value of coral reefs to t he Jamaican economy. A recent assessment of tourism income statistics and FAO fi sheries data for 40 coral reef countries, including Jamaica, has recently been p repared (F. Chan, 1993). Jamaican reefs rank around the middle of those reported , with estimated reef economic values for tourism and fisheries being in the ran ge of several million US dollars per kilometer of reef crest. These values w ere estimated from international economic income statistics, corrected for such factors as income retention in the national economy and for the fraction of fish catch exported. The economic value of reefs in shore line protection is harder to determine than tourism and fisheries revenues, as this value lies not in direct income generat ion but in prevention of expenses resulting from destruction of coastal property , lives, and infrastructure. We can roughly estimate its value in terms of repla cement costs for just the damaged reef crests by ignoring the replacement value of the structures they protect, therefore making an under-estimate of the real c osts. Currently used technology to replace damaged reef crest in order to protec t shorelines in the Maldives costs around 10 million US$ per kilometer (Minister of the Environment, the Maldives, personal communication). Use of a new technol ogy, reef restoration by mineral accretion (Hilbertz, 1992), would cost roughly one tenth as much. We therefore roughly estimate total annual economic value of coral reefs in Jama ica from tourism, fishery, and shore protection as Lying in the range of million s of US$ per kilometer, if not more. With roughly 400 kilometers of reef, Jamaic an reefs therefore have a net value of billions of US$ per year. This preliminar y estimate is very rough, but it is approximately the correct order of magnitude , and will be more fully refined in the future when the next stage of Chan's stu dy is completed. Nevertheless, this early assessment suggests coral reefs are th e most valuable of Jamaica's marine ecosystems, perhaps even be more valuable pe r unit area than any terrestrial ecosystem in Jamaica. The nation therefore has much at stake in maintaining their ecological health and economic value. ASSESSMENT OF REEF USE AND SUSTAINABILITY

which undergoes se condary treatment before ocean discharge. It had clearly been blocked underground for some tim e when examined in July 1991. d. 1992). are low in biological diversi ty. By the critical reef nutrient criterion. With existing patterns of per-capita nu trient release. a South Pacific island with a population of only 4. which has been a major problem in eutrophication of Jamaican reefs (Goreau. This alga was seen nowhere else on Moorea. Unfortunately. this volume). the area has more than 10 times more people than the reef can st and. and dense growths of smothering green algae identical in appearance to Chaetomorpha linum. Club Med's 400 room complex is the only large tourist site on the island. Any marine ecosystem will undergo eutrophication. there was a tendency to uncritically adopt standards from cold developed count ries. sewage apparently trickled out through the beach sand. Turbin aria ornata. unpalatable to fish. until the recent establishment of appropriate nutrient standards for coral reefs . yet rarely in a way in whic h the concept is clearly defined or in which different forms of sustainability c an be identified and quantitatively compared with regard to their desirability. which range up to around 2 0 rooms. because the end of the pipe contained undisturbed marine sediments and was occupied by organisms which had settled and grown insid e. was found at all reef sites. A number of scientifically-sound criteria which are potential m easures of ecosystem and environmental sustainability are discussed in Goreau 19 92c. This evidence suggests that the human carrying capacity of Moorea reefs are to date exceeded only in front of the single largest resort. This species is tough. Algae were extremely rare in reefs all around Moorea. above which algae are observed to overgr ow corals. Without such definitions and criteria. whose spectrum includes many critical parameters of ecological and g enetic diversity. but coral reefs are the most sensitive of all marine ecosystems to excess nutrients. These habitats rece ive large amounts of runoff from spring snow melt.1 micromolar P (Lapointe. and adapted to live on very high wave energy shores and reef crests. Sustainability should be regarded as a multidimension al concept. Instead of emerging from the pipe. Only a single species of algae. and are dangerously inappropriate for tropical coral reef ecosystems. as well as measures of environmental quality with regard to li miting stresses. Wade 's measurements of nutrients in Negril's coastal waters during 1991 (this volume ) show that concentrations were more than 10 times above the acceptable limits. Nutrients inputs to the Bay are clearly way beyond those the reef corals can tol erate. stimulating growth of large slimy mats of cyanobacteria on the sand bottom. Negril is unsustainably overdeve loped by a factor of more than 10 times. are 1 micromolar N and 0. excessive prolifer ation of nuisance algae. when nutrient inputs are too high. the phrase "sustainable development" beco mes virtually meaningless.500. and its largest single source of sewage. An illustration of the effect of population density on human carrying capacity o f reefs is illustrated by the situation in Moorea. including in f ront of the sewage outfalls of other smaller resorts. Negril is about equivalent to 7 solid mi les of Club Med.. The resort's o cean sewage outfall pipe was buried beneath the beach and ran along the bottom t o a depth of about 20 feet. NUTRIENTS One measure of sustainability that is especially relevant to coral reef protecti on in a densely populated country like Jamaica is the level of nutrients in coas tal waters with regard to the acceptable upper limits required to prevent algal overgrowth. far less common than anywhere i n Jamaica today. except right in front of Club Med bathing beach. Consequently the reef's surviv . Those standards were developed for estuary ecosystems. In terms of po pulation density and sewage generation. The limiting values for tropical reefs.The phrase "sustainable development" is widely used. and is therefore likely to have a population density which exc eeds the reef human carrying capacity throughout.

and proceed first southwards to Whitehall. The carrying capacity is highly dependent on the type of technology employed to contain or prevent human impacts to the environme nt. Goreau (1959). The large mats break up into loose biscuit-sized lumps which are easily broken up during storms. and then from Bloody Bay eastwards to Discovery Bay (see map 1 for the location of each numbered zone discussed below). The weather was much cooler during 1992. Anns Bay. Goreau & Goreau (1973). seagrass. This paper concludes that so much of Jamaica's coastlines are now over-devel oped with regard to current environmental practices that marked technology impro vements in sewage treatment are needed to allow reefs in these areas to recover. and Discovery Bay. and the calm conditions which promote stagnant water circu lation and especially elevated nutrient levels were less common in the Bay than the preceding year. Sites described begin at Long Bay. All sites were e xamined between late 1991 and early 1993. so their assessment must be reg arded as especially provisional. which completely smothered large patches of the bottom. Ocho Rios. & Goreau (1992 a.al cannot be sustained in the long run unless there is at least a ten fold impro vement in the efficiency of technology used to intercept and remove nutrients be fore coral mortality becomes so severe that recovery is impossible. 1) LONG BAY Algal overgrowth continued to be the major problem in Long Bay reefs during 1992 . Sites were examined by a w ide range of methods. They are. Algal overgrowth of shallow sand flats. in effect. St. Areas not yet impacted need protection from damage by inappropriate "developmen t" because it will be far cheaper to protect their reefs than to restore them af ter they are degraded. Negril. low-flying aircraft. but sometimes only shallow snorkeling Investigations were possible. including diving. Despite the apparent improvement of many Negril reefs during 1992. either there needs to be many less people living in these ar eas. This was de nse growth of the nuisance green algae species Cladophoropsis macromeres. . In most places the height of Sargassum hystrix growth on the fore reef decline d considerably from the previous year. COMPARISON OF SITES In this section ecological changes observed in the past year and a half are cont rasted. and Halimeda tuna or Halimeda goreauii. These patches covered up to 70 % of the areas affected. glass bottom boat. from shor e. Dictyota species. or they need to adopt technology which treats and removes all excess nutrie nt inputs to the coastal zone. The situation is far worse than Negril in many other parts of Jamaica.b). The same is the case in most areas of tourism development in Jamaica and in most other coral reef countries around the world. a serious new algal problem emerged in both deep fore reefs (from 30 to 70 feet) and in some very shallow (5 to 10 feet) waters in the northern part of Long Bay. snorkeling. For th e reefs to recover. and from discussions with local divers. As many places as possible were invest igated. racing each other to capi talize off short term value of their reefs before they destroy them. Montego Bay. At most sites it had become generally subordinate in abundance to Lobophora varieg ata. and reef areas by Chaetomorpha linum was also g reatly reduced compared to 1991. Areas of Hanover east of Green Island and from the Montego Bay airport to eastern Trelawny were personally assessed along their en tire lengths only by viewing from shore and air. when they are washed into and fill the submarine sand channels which drain sediments from the fore reef area. Descriptions of long term change in reefs aroun d Jamaica are provided in Goreau (1956). especiall y near Kingston. the se as were much rougher. and remained high in many other areas.

this volume). and clams. short. sea cucu mbers. Howe ver. During 1992 seagrass beds in Long Bay and Bloody Bay looked poor. Because many caves had unusual deep water fauna living in them prior to tourism development. Around half the c oral cover survives in the better reefs of Negril. Seagrasses were pale. and true shallow reef structure is poorly developed. and few areas of Jamaica have so many c aves in so small an area. a process which could take centuries. would require settlement and growth of a wh ole new coral community. where so little live coral remains that if conditions again became favourable natural recovery could take centuries. Ocho Rios. and sparse. Anns Bay. and large mats of cyanobacteria were abundant on seagrass bed sediments in nort hern Long Bay and Bloody Bay. 1988). This increased markedly in some shallow seagrass areas of nor thern Long Bay. Although many coral heads ap pear superficially to be structurally sound. Mon tego Bay. and glass bott om boat transects showed reduced abundance of most species of starfish. this volume). and selected areas may provide some of the best r emaining snorkeling within the Negril tourist area. and sea urchins with the exception of the long black spined sea urchin. St. sponges. swimmers are comple tely unprotected from the high speed boats which occasionally whip around the We st End. they were strongly recommended for protec . cumulative algal overgrowth should reach the point of no return. and tunicates . where they have strongly reduced algal biomass within range of t he dead patch reefs where they shelter. similar to that passed in the Kingston. Large dead and live c oral heads which were toppled over near Booby Cay during the strong Norther of l ate March 1993 had largely had their bases severely structurally weakened by the burrows of boring organisms breaking along them..In reefs of Long Bay. Caves form the major natural attraction. and severely hurricane-stressed areas along the coast have had so much of the coral killed that recovery. Reef growth. which form pale rubbery mats that smother corals. 2) WEST END Corals in reef areas along the southern fringe of Long Bay near the mouth of the South Negril River have largely been overgrown by algae. worms. diversity. even i n the absence of all further stress. many coral heads are being overgrown by encrusting sponges and by Didemnid tunicates. Coral growth f urther westward on the West End consists mainly of coral communities growing on hard limestone bedrock. Recovery of reefs in the Long Bay area requires reducing current inputs of nutri ents by more than 90% for concentrations to fall below levels which stimulate ex cessive algal overgrowth of corals. only th e shallow Long Bay reefs. those near Booby Cay. Coral cover near the Lighthouse steadily improves with dep th down to about 60 feet. and so these reefs could reco ver if stresses to them from excessive nutrients and turbidity were abated. A more detailed as sessment of current and potential threats to Negril area reefs is included in th e accompanying paper (Goreau. D iadema antillarum. and Discovery Bay areas. However. Al l the dead and perhaps most of the remaining large live coral heads have been he avily infested by boring sponges. most are riddled out from within an d will within a few years eventually collapse into rubble. Cor al cover and growth improves with water depth and with distance from the River ( Goreau et al. and a boat lane should be demarcated and marked with floats. Although coral overgrowth by algae has been very marked in recent years. The West End is a centre for snorkeling and swimming because waters are accessib le by ladders down the cliffs. and fish populations are very low in those parts of th e Bay most affected by the brown plume of the South Negril River. unless this happens within the next few years. This mandates treatment of virtually all sew age in watersheds upstream of Long Bay (Goreau.

this volume). new coral settlement is oc curring in selected spots. are now present at no more than a few percent of t heir former abundance almost anywhere in Jamaica. and Bryothamniu m triquetrum. Ph ysical damage depends strongly on bottom slope and orientation with regard to wa ves and can vary strongly over short distances. but a few sheltered sites have good coral growth. Some show intense settle ment within the past two years by hundreds of young colonies of the common "lett uce" coral. and steep. including that from populated hill areas as well as from the coastal road s trip. These two species. but biomass is moderate and species are typical of relatively oligotrophic (low nutrient) conditions (primarily Dictyota. were largely destroyed at the end of Hurricane Gilbert. Penicillus. Some reefs from 20 to 50 feet are in very good condit ion. Fringing reefs which had been composed of lushly developed staghorn and elkhorn. which had played the major role in Ja maican shore line protection. when winds swung around from the south. being very well . are taken into the sewage collection system for full tertiary treatment be fore their effluents are released to the environment (Goreau. and Dictyosphaeria cavernosa) are fairly common near mouths of l arge caves that are sources of groundwater flow and nutrients. 3) LIGHTHOUSE TO LITTLE BAY The coastline along this area is rocky. Several caves are currently regarded by local residents to be polluted from sewage. so it is likely th at the majority of cave fauna are no longer pristine. Nevertheless. If nutrient levels can be kept low and physical damage minimized. Halime da. Except for those which are bleached. and very high coral species diversity. Large piles o f coral rubble are seen in shallow water. Udotea. The greatly increased de velopment now planned for the West End could threaten these reefs with eutrophic ation unless all sewage is prevented from entering the underground cave system. Many areas between 10 and 40 feet are dominated by large de ad coral heads overgrown by Sargassum hystrix. and encrusting coralline red algae. Bryothamnion. and coral recovery has been fairly poo r in most areas shallower than 20 feet. corals are largely healthy. unlike the large caves formed by dissolution of limestone along cracks by freshw ater flow. Turbinaria tricostata. with nearly 100% hard coral cover. Anady omene stellata. Protecting the reefs of the West End will be increasingly more important as more hotels and villas open in this area.based on ecol ogical studies. Wave erosion along the cliff has created large numbers of small caves beneath fo ssil reef limestone cap rock. Agaricia tenuifolia. Dictyota species. there is an ex cellent chance of West End fringing reefs recovering and becoming more attractiv e for snorkelers. rough. a fast growing species which commonly settles o n hurricane damaged reefs in Jamaica (Goreau. and on examination of the composition of coral rubble and of dea d standing coral heads. A lgal species diversity is high.tion as habitats of rare natural beauty in the Negril Marine Park proposed to th e Negril Green Island Land Authority and the Beach Control Authority (Goreau. These two speci es had formerly been the most abundant shallow species in the area. The eastern half is no w undeveloped because it lacks shore road access. Most areas along the West End show evidence of high physical damage to corals fr om hurricanes and northers. Many erosion caves have been scoured bare of life. Some sites also show incipi ent recolonization by Acropora cervicornis and Acropora palmata. and some are the origin of ear infection complaints. Algae which are known nutrient indicators (Bryopsis plumosa. and some are still barren while others are in various phases of recovery. These caves are usually small and have dead ends. Rocky shores less than 10 feet i n depth subject to strong wave pounding during northers are overgrown by the wav e resistant algae Sargassum polyceratium. and Avranvillea species). 1959). 19 60). Keeping cave waters clean for swimmers and divers requires ensuring that all sew age. although they wer e absent or very rare at adjacent coastal sites away from such caves.

by pumping and tanking of septic tank effluents to the new sewage treatment plant at Sheffield. Extensive bulldozing of shore sand in dicates that there is a clear intent by the owners to subdivide and develop the entire beach shore east of Homer's Cove Jamaican geological maps show that this coast is made up of the same limestone f ormation as Negril Hill. but this interpretation can not result from actual stud y of the site. the sewage is likely to be discharged into the ground. which are derived from weathering and erosion of s oils in the Georges Plain and non-limestone hills of central and northern Westmo reland. and many fish species are likely to have been over harvested. but a r oad has been built along the shore from Little Bay almost all the way to Solomon 's Point (also known as St. As sewage treatment will not ex tend to this area. no further development should be permitte d along this coast until provision is made for treatment of all sewage generated in the area. conch. 4) HOMER'S COVE TO SOLOMON'S POINT Except for artesian fishing from Little Bay and Homer's Cove. by provision of solar composting toilets. Unfortunately it was not p ossible to survey most of this area directly except that between Hogg Heaven and Secret Paradise. altho ugh it is likely that these are mostly in good condition except that black coral . A detailed ecological survey of this area is needed t o identify the characteristics of the reef habitats and to establish areas in ne ed of protection. The propose d new Negril sewage line ends at the Lighthouse. Certain sites in the area may provide first rate diving and sn orkeling if suitably delimited and marked by moorings. and who se sewage is ultimately discharged alone this coastline. The coast is composed not of limestone but of a brown quartz and clay beach backed by a brackish margined swamp on clay soils. This area is a major area for fish trap fishermen based in Negril. It sh ould also include the large resident populations on the southern slopes and shor es of Negril Hill who commute to Negril or engage in farming or fishing. The coastline along this area is primed for rapid land clearance and development . Reefs are said to b e best developed around headlands and to improve from Hogg Heaven eastward to Li ttle Bay. Sewage treatment should not be limited to new coastal developments. Becaus e the ecological status of neighboring reefs may deserve high protection status under the proposed Negril Marine Park.pigmented and apparently protected from excess sediments and nutrients by virtu e of being located along an undeveloped limestone shoreline. there is reason to believe some of the better reefs in the Negri l area may be found there. No reports were available on diving on the deeper reefs. and it is likely that wall diving and deep reef fauna are present close t o land. This can be accomplished by extending sewage collection lines from the Lighthouse to serve the population beyond. The flat flood pla in is derived from sediments washed into the area from the New Savanna River and Cabaritta River to the east. this area has had little shoreline development. John's Point). large tracts of land along the coasts. Marine charts suggest offshore topography in the Eastern part of this zone is among the steepest in Ja maica. Most of t he shore up to Hogg Heaven. according to knowledgeable local fishermen. so offshore fis hing has been more common. and all up th e hill have been cleared or are about to be cleared for development. Turbidity is transported westward by prevailing currents from the mouth of the N . Steep offshore topography and submarine canyons pr ovide relatively little area for fore reef fish trap deployment. Although inadequate information is now available to fully assess quality of reef s in this area. The high amount of fine grained clays makes near shore waters extremely muddy. The majority of the coastline is undeveloped. Housing density roughly decreases with distance from the Lighthouse. and by development of small-scale tertiary sewage trea tment.

Live corals in Homer's C ove generally appeared healthy. T his could have been due to local freshwater and mud stress events during the sev ere rain and flooding events which took place in 1991 and 1992. and Dictyota. This stre tch of coast is the most turbid in Westmoreland since it receives the major eros ion sediment load of the parish. with the rest largely bare or sediment covered dead coral. Halimeda. severely eroded coral heads. beca use of the deterioration of shallow reefs. Old charts show a well-d eveloped barrier reef offshore. Fishermen of the area specialize in fishing bet ter reefs further away. well past the terminus of the quartz sand beach. It was not possible to examine this reef structu re directly. The water at Hope Wharf was extremely turbid. deep water line fishing. as the watershed has been used for intensive sugar cultivation for over 300 years. and the Savanna la Mar urban area. and if the erosion problem in all of central and northern Westmoreland is brought under control. So me corals had not been seriously damaged by hurricane caused physical fragmentat ion. Georges Plain. The condition of the offshore barrier reef structure and of corals in deeper wat er needs to be evaluated to determine if there exists any possibility of their r . and did not include seagrasses or Gr acilaria. Any development of the beach th at results in water sports. and probably clears only rarely. which lies to the east of Solomon's Point. Algae cast along the beach wer e largely Dictyota washed in from offshore. they are unlikely to be attractive for swimming or snorkeling. De velopment here should be strictly controlled to prevent damage to the reefs down stream because this area has the most muddy and unstable sediments in the propos ed Negril Park region. but satellite images suggest it has been seriously damaged by sedim entation because the area is hidden in the muddy plumes from the Cabaritta River . suggesting inshore conditions are too muddy for either to survive. B each sediment is largely quartz and clay transported from the New Savanna river to the west and the Cabaritta river to the east. C oral reef structures offshore were made of dead. although many Montastrea annularis appeared to h ave patchy bleaching which was rare in Long Bay and most other sites examined.ew Savanna River. Limestone fragments in the sand comes from shells of sediment dwelling bivalves. It is not possible to tell at present when these corals were kil led. was moderate. 5) BROUGHTON/ HOPE WHARF TO SAVANNA LA MAR The area off this shore has been mapped in detail for nautical charts because Sa vanna la Mar has been a major port since Spanish times. dominated by Hypnea musciformis. the reefs offs hore from the rocky limestone by Homer's Cove had only about 30% coral cover on hard ground. reefs in this area appeared to have mainly been killed by excessive sediments transported from the east. i ncluding species of Gracilaria terete ("Irish Moss") suitable for mariculture. There was little sign of eutrophication. will increase water turbidity downstream all the way to Little Bay. Mud is swept around the Point and along the shore to Little Bay. or use o f groins. Nevertheless. Seawater near Solomon' s Point was so opaque with pale suspended clays that visibility was only a few i nches. As visibility improved eastward. and high nutrient indicating s pecies were not seen. dredging. New Savanna River. Algae abundance. The bottom was densely covered with algae adapted to turbid conditions. Recovery of reefs will only be possible if physical alter ation to the beach and shallow zone is prevented. live coral cover increase d. or fishing offshore banks. Although clearly subject to Hurricane damage in shallow exposed sites. Because these coastal waters are l ikely to be highly turbid except during unusually calm and dry conditions. This ind icates that the muddy river plume had influenced reefs well beyond the range to which quartz sand had been transported along the shore. inappropriate shore construction. Br yothamnion. Lack of livin g reef protection for coasts offshore from these muddy areas places future beach housing at risk from damage from storm waves and surges. and dead coral surfaces as deep as 60 feet in Homer's Cove were mostly bare and covered with sediment.

and most remained completely barr en of life. Al gae cover was generally fairly low except in patches which are protected by terr itorial damsel-fish. This seriously compromises shore protection for the port of Savan na la Mar from storm waves. none of these areas had been recolonized by corals. broad est. Almost the entire coastline along this zo ne remains in undisturbed mangrove. The shallow offshore barrier reef structure was probably once the largest. a nd inadequate sewage facilities for upstream rural populations make it a potenti al locus for a cholera epidemic. and it is protected from the much smaller plume of the Paradise River by Bluff Point. In contrast to the devastation and barren conditions seen on the barrier reef cr est. made of huge interlacing Acropora palmata colonies. with the result that raw sewage was said to be discharged straight into rivers.ecovery. deeper reefs were in good to excellent condition. The broad reef flat. This watershed is currently the site of a persistent typhoid outbreak. Areas which have been dynamited do not recover their fish populations . kindly provided by Tony Clarke. The importance of restoring this reef structure is r . and were forming actively growing reef buttress and canyon formatio ns. and algae species indicative of eutrophic conditions were r are. The reef tract as a whole should be a national protected area because it may be the best developed and largest offshore barrier reef in Jamaica. This coastal watershed receives the major p art of the parish's sewage and garbage. and shallow reef corals have barely returned on the top of the dynamit ed reef crest. Although observations were made to only around 60 feet. although a few were covered by large mats of Stochiactis anemones or by algae. Around Bluff Point itself a small but surpris ingly diverse fringing reef is found. showed that characteristic circular crater marks practically covered the entire reef f lat. Although healthy young Acropora palmata and Acropora cervicornis were seen in deeper waters. Corals were extremely lar ge. At present the shallow reef crest structure is being actively eroded by boring o rganisms. The reef top was obse rved to be covered with circular blast craters of pulverized coral rubble. and west to Savanna la Mar. This area normally lies up current from the sediment plumes from the Cabaritta River. Local fishermen using these reefs are notorious for their widespread use of dynamite. protecting the coastal zone from sediment ru noff. there is good reason to believe that deeper reefs are at least equally good. as at time of writing all s ewage treatment facilities in Westmoreland were said to have ceased to operate p roperly. The entire reef should be surveyed in detail. A shallow expanse of muddy water lies betw een Bluff Point and the River mouth. Close inspection o f an aerial photograph of the reef crest. but was severely damaged during Hurricane Gilbert. healthy. The chances of reef recovery would seem remote because it requires chan ges in the land-use practices of both the large sugar plantations and small farm ers in the central hills and plains. The area probably has m any excellent potential dive sites which could be marked by moorings. this area is need of protection. had dramatic vertical relief on all sides . Lush sea grass beds stretch both east acros s Bluefields Bay. and most of its fertilizer and pesticide usage. If shallow areas we re to recover. As one the largest and healthiest stretches of coastal mangrove in Jamaica . so perhap s a half century free of further stress might be required for their recovery. especially deeper parts. and best developed such reef in Jamaica. there is only a tiny fraction of their former cover. Bathing should not be permitted without full wa ter quality assessment and public health monitoring. These relatively favorable conditions for reef regeneration should remain i n force as long as the mangrove shoreline vegetation is preserved intact. and so are never deliberately dynamited again by fishermen. 6) SAVANNA LA MAR TO BLUFF POINT An extremely well developed offshore barrier reef exists from south of Savanna l a Mar towards Bluff Point. the barrier reef could become a major attraction for snorkeling.

bu t conditions in shallow areas suggest that those areas are likely to provide exc ellent diving. the excellent reef growt h. Halimeda opuntia. Beautiful beaches. sloping towards deep offshore reefs. into w hich a river empties. beaches. nutrient levels providing near maximal coral reef biological healt h and productivity. and is only moderately pop ulated. Currently these shallow reefs must be regarded some of the best in Jamaica because their unusually good water quality conditions provides excellent prospects for long te rm recovery. Because of unsuitable conditions of the muddy shallow zone for bathing . and the high potential for mariculture in Bluefields Bay make protection of t his region's great natural beauty from sewage. was damaged du ring Hurricane Gilbert but is recovering with vigourous growth of branching stag horn and elkhorn corals. sediment. The reef crest. Acropora cervicornis. composed lar gely of Acropora palmata. a local non-profit organi zation seeking sustainable development which protects the area's natural resourc es. safe for swimming an d boat traffic even when it is very rough offshore. protected. The shore i s fringed by mangroves. Current development plans for Whitehouse Bay include establishing large (reporte dly more than 400 room) all-inclusive hotels plus numerous villas. the richness of the nursery grounds in shallow bays. and brain corals. Scores of freshwater springs occur in the Bay. From the south end of Bluefields Bay along the coast a nearly continuous offshor e reef crest parallels the entire coast of the Surinam Quarters south to Whiteho use Bay except for passes near river mouths. and coral species diversity is high. and other tourism developments along the shore and hills near Au chindown. Problem indicating algae species were not present and algal biomass was moderately high. Nevertheless. and Acanthophora spicifera growing ar ound some of these springs suggest that waters near springs have adequate. The reef crest grows right up to th e surface. The beach is made of quartz sand and mud rather than of white coral reef sand. restaurants. fringing reefs a re sufficiently far offshore that they are still in fairly good condition despit e episodic moderate sediment stress. Udotea. clear water. Bluefields Bay seagrass beds and the smaller bays along the coast to Whitehouse Bay are important fish nursery grounds according to knowledg eable local fishermen. but n ot excessive. Deeper offshore reefs were not examined during this work due to lack of time. Dredging in this area w . The diversity of marine habitat s. The speci es composition and the pigmentation of algae such as Gracilaria terete. Water quality in the Bay is poor because of turbidity from suspended river-transported clays in shallow water. smaller hotel s. much i n depths between 2 to 3 metres. derived fr om water percolating underground from nearby forested mountain slopes. over-fishing and other forms of inappropriate development a major national conservation priority. Efforts to do so should be done in co njunction with the Bluefields Development Association. and exceptional coral growth near s hore give shallow reefs in this area high potential for snorkeling if suitable a reas are delimited.einforced by the occasions recorded in Jamaican history when unexpected storm su rges destroyed all buildings and killed the entire population of Savanna la Mar. Bryotham nion triquetrum. Waters in Bluefields Bay are exceptionally clear and thought to have ver y little pollution. no effort should be made to dredge out the area in order to deepen it for moto rized water sports such as water skiing and parasailing. marked. 7) BLUEFIELDS BAY/SURINAM QUARTERS/WHITEHOUSE BAY Bluefields Bay is largely occupied by extremely productive seagrass beds. and interior lagoon waters are clear. and protected. and should be surveyed in detail. and limestone rocks. and the seagrass beds are po orly developed in shallow water due to turbidity. The major source of sediment in the entire region is from Whitehouse Bay.

Extensive development is planned for Bloody Bay by UDC after divestment. They have been seriously impacted since 1960 by the dredging of the Orange River Canal. with well developed parallel b uttress formations starting in around 15 to 20 feet depth. During the rainy season. and in deeper waters. Water sport activities that generate a wake. The protected conditions could allow rapid algal eutrophication unless exce ss nutrient inputs are strictly controlled. and the resulting mud plume would probably seriousl y damage the entire reef tract down current along the Surinam Quarters to Bluefi elds. protected waters are ideal for bath ing. 9) NORTH NEGRIL POINT TO ORANGE POINT Reefs in this area fringe a steep exposed rocky shore which is entirely unpopula ted. reefs along the shore appear to be in fairly good condition. and most erodable parts of the watershed. Sus pended sediments are transported into the Orange River from the East Morass cana l which drains most of the Morass. The area may be subject to leakage of nutrients under the beach from the UDC sewage plant outfall across the road in the adjacent Morass. Seagra ss beds near Bloody Bay beach were unhealthy in appearance. with very high gorgonian biomass and unusual abundanc e of large colonies of the uncommon coral Eusmilia fastigiata. Shallow ree fs at the mouth of the Bay are in poor condition due to hurricane damage and ove rgrowth by Sargassum hystrix and other algae. with extensive patch es of blue green algae on the bottom near the more developed shores. The reduced water tr ansparency which would be caused would further reduce its quality as a bathing b each and the health of its corals and sea grass beds. This discharged large amounts of peat and soil onto reefs which had previously been free of land-derived sediment before the river's diversion. but the fore reefs from 30 to 70 f eet are in good condition. water skiing. especially deeper areas. This area may contain some good dive sites. High nutrient indicating algae were not prominent. where there . Enteromor pha sp. The fact that such development is co ntemplated around Bloody Bay even though the sewage line ends short of the area to be developed bodes ill for future water quality in the Bay. mostly not coloniz ed by algae.ould kill the reef offshore. Large amounts of easily resuspended peat sediments are often seen o n the bottom. 8) BLOODY BAY Bloody Bay continued to show signs of excessive nutrient stress during 1992. depending on current directions at the time. especially in winter. or jet skis. Coral growth at Little Blo ody Bay should be protected for snorkeling and glass bottom boat viewing. Large areas of bare dead coral are seen near the canal mouth. such as fast boats. These areas are the highest. rainiest. The central area is strongly affected by brown fresh water runoff. This has caused flooding of low ground by the vendor's craft market near the effluent discharge area where a now-blocked culve rt had previously allowed direct drainage under the road into Bloody Bay.. There is little i nformation available on reefs of the area. except after heavy storms. Lar ge amounts of the high nutrient indicating algae species Ulva lactuca. Chaetomorpha linum. th e reef is often hidden below a tea-colored brown plume extending up to a quarter mile offshore. All further devel opment in this area should be subject to a moratorium until the sewage line is e xtended to serve the Bloody Bay area. and Dictyosphaeria cavernosa were cast up and raked away on the bathing beaches along southern Bloody Bay. p arasailing. as well as from limestone and non-limestone h ills of interior Westmoreland via the Orange River. Further away from the river mouth. should not be allowed in Bloody Bay as they will cause a turbidity problem by resuspending fine grained sediments. but they would need to be well marked by buoys because th e area is open to swells from the North. because the beautiful white sand beach and shallow.

and more large future developmen ts are planned in the next wave of satellite expansion of the Greater Negril tou rist region. garbage could be washed in to the Bay by storms. The reef is recovering well from damage done by Hurricane Gilbert. The reefs at the mouth of the bay provide first rate snorkeling conditio ns because of excellent reef vertical structure. se rving Negril and Lucea. and a ir pollution. and other marine organisms for sale as curios in Negril. far better than Negril. and many parts of it should be set aside for marked snorkeling trails. and parts of several wrecks which appear to date fr om roughly 200 years ago based on the maximum size of corals growing on them. and much of it should be preserved as part of a terrestrial park. chain. so alg ae in the area need to be watched carefully to determine if a serious algae prob lem may just now be developing. and if the mangroves are not protected. and the presence of the anchor. ballast. The shoreline mangroves need to be preserved in their entire ty in order to maintain the Bay's clarity and ecological value as a fish nursery and turtle hatchery. C orals are large and healthy. The garbage dump. and remains protected as a diver attraction and for archaeological study. Although the plant is due to be closed in late May 1993. These include both touris t villas and housing for Negril area employees.is thought to be a good deep reef drop-off. is a current or potential source of solid. Its high abundance at this site was unexpected. At that time Orange Bay had been a sugar port. yet it may be subject to dev elopment speculation because of its rocky cliffs. well-developed forests with hu ge old trees. as it had been in Long Bay in 1991. A moratorium on development along this coast should be enforced until sewage in frastructure is provided. The deeper reefs have not been examined. The shoreline is at present completely undeveloped. which formerly entered t he south end of the Bay. Valuable and slow growi . Orange Bay is at present the focus of intensive harvesting of shells. and pollution is likely to be far lower due to smaller population and better water circulation. Orange Bay reefs present a nearly complete range of habitats and submarine reef topographies for snorkeling. starfish. liquid. A detailed ecological survey of the area is needed. 10) ORANGE BAY Orange Bay has a nearly complete and intact fringe of mangroves separating the w ater from the garbage dump and from the town of Orange Bay. w ith meter long streamers. Orange Bay has very rich seagrass beds and very well developed parallel reefs at its mouth. The wat er clarity also results from protection from eroded sediments by the undeveloped shoreline mangroves and diversion of the Orange River. Orange Bay has exc eptional potential for diving and snorkeling if suitable areas are clearly marke d by moorings and if excellent water quality can be maintained. There are no sewage lines connecting these areas to the proposed Sh effield treatment plant. The population of Orange Bay is under going considerable expansion from new housing schemes. This species was nearly equally abundant in Orange Bay fore reef waters near the mai n channel from 10 to 50 feet in late 1992. the algae which was a serious problem in deep Long Bay reefs in 1991. a n alternative site has not yet been named. 1960). The area was recommended for protection ( Goreau. but very well dev eloped reef buttresses at 20 to 50 feet depth suggest that deeper reefs may also still have the first-rate diving sites they had in the past. which was subsequently abandoned. buttresses. All wrecks shoul d be mapped. but there are signs of a problem with Sargassum hys trix. Water transparency is very good. The ecological and environmental history of the area should be reconstruc ted from study of coral growth records. and was diverted westward into the Orange River Canal i n 1960. and proximity to Negril.

It is not yet known if local fishermen are already aware of pas t or potential species extinctions. et al. old. Orange Bay is slated for major development in the near future. which covered about half the surface of buttress reefs. and Avranvillea species are especially abundant. The back-reef seagrass beds and the reef crest areas off er exceptional snorkeling because reef growth is unusually vigorous. and was long proposed as a scientific reserve (Goreau. Because the exceptional shallow reefs could deteriorate significantly if unwise development follows the path of Negril and other parts of Jamaica. 11 ) SAMUEL'S BAY Samuel's Bay. especially the Acropora palmata and Acro pora cervicornis zones. protected nursery zones. and the development of mariculture alternatives for gr owing high quality marine organisms are urgent priorities for Orange Bay if it i s included in the proposed Negril Marine Park. Dredging and shoreline construction which causes turbidity should be banned. 1988) These reefs are among those Jamaic an reefs most in need of protection on grounds of exceptional growth rate. Corals here are unusually larg e. by ensuring that the environmental deterioration which has occ urred in other "developed" parts of the island be avoided in Orange Bay. but the shallow fore reef areas were s eriously impacted by Hurricane Gilbert. and none should be pe rmitted until adequate sewage infrastructure is in place. it is essent ial to extend the sewage line to Orange Bay. The ecological status of the area calls fo r especially stringent controls on shore line development. the most rapid growth rates were found in Samuel's Bay The sites stud ied are shown in Map 2 (Goreau. and productivity. The Prime Minister. These reefs escaped damage from Hurricane Allen . 1960). although suga r plantations lie inland of a forested coastal strip. It is especially important that developments in Orange Bay are conducted in a way which fully protect the living natural resources on whic h they are based. and rapidly growing. The preference for large shells removes those individuals responsible for mo st of the spawning. Public education. which adjoins Orange Bay to the north. The possible presence of eutrophication on the fore reef in Samuel's Bay needs t . and of the need to allow populations to reco ver from overharvesting if they are to be managed sustainably. and there a re many buttresses and canyons. and proximity to the main road make it a likely spot for future development. Penicillus. The area is a site of high subsurface groundwater discharges. and deserve the highest status of protection as part of the proposed Negril Marine Park. and the strictest moratorium should be enforced until sewage infrastructure is in place. i ts charming beaches. in his speech at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. Bryothamnion triqetrum. and free from high nutrient indicating algae. pointed out the frag ile nature of Jamaica's ecosystems. The beauty of the shore. The Samuel's Bay fore reef from 20 to 60 feet was observed in late 1992 to be de nsely covered by mats of Cladophoropsis macromeres. has long been regarded as h aving some of the most diverse and best developed reefs in Jamaica. are being kill ed. and the particular need to protect reefs as the basis of tourism. In a survey of coral growth rates in the Negril are a in 1986. which naturally reach very large sizes in Orange Bay. The immediately adjacent shoreline is almost entirely undeveloped. Shallow reefs and turtle grass beds are in extre mely good condition. and leaves species vulnerable to local extinction or genetic impoverishment. and the Prime Min ister has decreed that it be the next development focus in northeastern Jamaica. diver sity.. The absence of signs of eutrophication in shallower reefs and the appearance of these patches around possible subsurface nutrient so urces. Halimeda.ng species. Udotea. excellent swimming. Laurencia. which affected most of the north coast. could suggest that the alarming growth of this high nutrient indicating a lgae may be driven by ground water nutrients entering the reef framework via und erground caves.

The brown quartz sand beaches and muddy water would seem to have mod est potential for water sports. Any of the future developments which are being planned in Green Island that coul d increase turbidity would have a negative impact on local reefs if they are don e without due caution. The fact that the area had for merly been a major conch breeding ground was indicated by a long line of dead sh ells where many dozen conch had apparently been found while on spawning migratio n. 12) HALF MOON BAY Half Moon Bay. I nshore and seagrass areas are unexceptional. which could be derived from sugar cane fertilizer us e south of the main road. Beaches in this area should be checked to determine if they are turtle nesting beaches. Although there is rubble present indicating that corals were destroyed by recent hurricanes. away from the Bay's muddy plume. and discuss ions are held with Green Island Fishermen regarding potential marine park bounda ries and management zones. Those nearest the Ba y may have suffered from high turbidity and from algal overgrowth. and the bottom largely consists of bare hard limestone bed rock. The sources of nutrients for the Cladophoropsis mats needs to be determined. but good dive sites may exist in deeper water to the west and to the east of the Bay. 14) NORTHERN HANOVER . Deeper reefs were not investigated. and all other activities except glass bottom boat rides and bathing in demarcated ar eas should be banned. A beautiful white sand beach is being developed for bathing. just north of Samuel's Bay. Excessive dredging land clearance and marl dumping has vis ibly affected water clarity in near shore areas. and Orange B ay as well.o be investigated further. is very different in shallow areas. It was not po ssible to directly investigate the reefs in the region between Green Island and Half Moon Bay. the a rea needs to be more thoroughly surveyed. Algae did not appear to b e a problem down to 40 feet of depth. However. and there are ship and airplane wrecks in the area which could be moored as dive sites. and interstitial sediment and reef structure pore waters. T he lack of reef framework might be due to the area being open to damage during n orthers because of steep deep fore reef orientation and topography which may foc us wave energy from the north around the nearby point. 13) GREEN ISLAND AREA Green Island Harbour is extremely muddy. Development should only proceed with cauti on until more detailed environmental impact assessment is conducted. and Chaetomorpha a long the shore line. When conch hunters find such large numbers of their prey they extract the mea t and discard the shell on the spot to avoid carrying it's weight. Samuels Bay. and appears to be polluted based on the high abundance of green algae similar to Ulva. and could impact Half Moon Bay. but based on studies in 1960 and discussions with local fishermen and divers. Enteromorpha. several well dev eloped reef crest structures occur at the mouth of the Bay. groundwa ter. The whole area should be a scientific monitoring reserve. The deep reefs ne ed to be studied. Conch are rep orted to subsequently avoid those sites. There seems little potential for snorkeling or diving in the a rea unless deep reefs are very much better than the shallow ones. These may be receiving nutrie nts from submarine springs. There is little reef development sh allower than 30 feet. and there are clear signs of eu trophication and algae overgrowth of deeper reefs. it is thought that some good reefs may exist around nearby headland s. Although the Bay is unsuitable for corals. although not yet we ll known. there is little sign of recovery or of dead reef structure. and the possible presence of high-nutrient freshwater in puts to the fore reef needs to be investigated by analyzing reef water.

sedimentation. His data suggest that the reefs were in very poor condition. Lucea. The outer reef parts of this region. and this needs to be fully documente d. There is still little tourism or diving except at the easter n end near Montego Bay. Steep topography suggested by nautical soundings s uggest that excellent diving sites may be found along this shore. because of very low coral cover and very high abundances of algae which are indicative of high nutrient conditions. Further development should be permitted only after suitable infrastructure i s in place to protect the area's great marine and terrestrial natural beauty. Official action was delayed until 1991. an d it is likely that illegal bilge tank flushing takes place in port. 15) BOGUE/ MONTEGO BAY MARINE PARK The Montego Bay National Marine Park covers the region from the Great River on t he Hanover border to the western corner of the airport. Although the reefs were viewed in 1992 only from low flying airplane and from sh ore rather than by diving. and both land based and marine sources of pollution. and Sandy Bay are turbid and appear to be polluted with nutrients based on the large amount of Ulva and Enteromorpha obser ved along the shore line and in shallow waters near towns. An oily sur face slick is visible in the harbor area from land. sea. Coastal water s near Green Island. There appear to be excellent reefs offshore along all th e limestone headlands. their seagrass beds are unusually lush. along the north facing wall near the airport. often found in parallel. and park range rs report that most marine life is dead in the inner areas. were first officially proposed to the Beach Control Authority as a m arine park in the mid 1950's by T. These waters are probably th e second most polluted in Jamaica after Kingston Harbor. and air. Montego Bay Marine Park waters include the port of the City of Montego Bay and t he cruise ship terminal. where development is impossible d ue to low flying planes. sediment. and problem algae are ab sent from the shorelines. Cruise ships have recen tly been charged fines by Park rangers for discharging garbage while at dock. It would be a shame if the remarkably clear coastal waters of Northern Hanover wer e ruined by inappropriate development as has happened in the other coastal areas of Jamaica. Northern Hanover now has very limited tourism. insecticides. and industrial pollution. Good reefs were repo . along with reefs near Ocho Rios which were in excellent condition a t the time. Some good reefs are still said to occur on the northernmost edge of the park. Nearshore waters along limestone coasts are excep tionally clear. fertilizer . Sewage treatment provision is urgently needed in all coastal towns in Hanov er. A recent description of the best reefs in the northernm ost part of the park was made for the Montego Marine Park (J. This area is an alleged locus of ear infection complaints. but the interiors of the larger bays are muddy from sedim ent carried by rivers draining non-limestone shale hills in the interior of the Parish. 1992). The many small coves in the area may be important fish nursery grounds. well developed reef crest structures are clearly pres ent. Except for areas imme diately adjacent to river mouths and towns. The Marine Park regulations which were then adopted were virtually unchang ed from those drafted over 35 years before. water quality appears to be excellen t along most limestone shores. Littau. The region nee ds to be surveyed ecologically to establish which zones are in need of managemen t or protection. so a detailed baseline survey of the area is an urgent prior ity. Water conditions are nearly always muddy in Lucea Harbour.Few direct observations are known of changes in northern Hanover reefs over the past three decades. F. Goreau. although they were not so interpreted by him. During this interval. but is slated fo r future expansion. reefs at both proposed parks were largely destroyed by dredging. and receive the bulk of the Parish's sewage. where there is intense tourist boating activity and dense hotel development. Surviving corals are found on the northernmost fringes of the Park. Hopewell.

and squatter communities. F. James probably do. Goreau in the 1950s before dredging took place. This has now fortunately stopped during 1992. probably stimulated b y the large amount of raw sewage entering the Montego River from the city. and was the major area in the island for collection of corals for sale to tourists. The shore along this zone has long been subject to severe fishing pressure from fish traps and spearfishing (Aiken. all the other coastal zones of S t. It was not possible to check these reefs directly. A larg e number of dead coral heads. The dead coral was covered with sediment or dense mats of algae. hotel s and villas all along the shore. and it would not be possible for that species to survive there now. but there are expanding numbers of i ntense foci of hotel development. and Gracilaria species. Pollutio n abatement in Montego Bay Harbour should be urgently enforced under the Port Au thority Laws. if not actually medically unwise. A park is inviable i f existing ecosystems are of little value and cannot be protected against extern al threats. indicating that waters had formerly been clear. Acanthophora spicifera. to swim in most of it. Unless nutrient releases into the Montego Bay Marine Park are drastically curtai led. and from fertilizer runoff from the extensive sugar cane fields inland. Most of the co astline is still undeveloped or in pasture. The reef appeared to have been killed by sedimentation fro m the Great River and the Barnett River. although many areas are still suffe ring sediment damage from the dredging and land filling which built up these sma ll mangrove islands into a hotel. were foun d fringing the shore in 5 to 10 feet depth. with spectacular canyons and caves. The Park does not yet have a pollution and nutr ient monitoring program in place. after the police began to enforce NRCA rulings resulting from Jamai ca's ratification of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species . 1992). 16) ST. including Chaetomorpha linum. where the highly motivated Marine Park Rangers can do a more effective job of protecting Jamaica's most valuable marine ecosystems instead of one of the most damaged.rted by Montego Bay Marine Park Rangers to exist on the fringes of the artificia l (dredge-dumped) Bogue Islands development. and sets an embarrassing precedent for future Marine Parks. subjected to intense boring and erosion. The area from the airport east has a well developed reef crest along most of the shore. Nor does it yet appear to exercise legal authority to co ntrol all sources of pollution or erosion in the watershed. The area does not appear to now contain ecosystems of ecological significan ce. but a detailed ecological survey is desirable because detailed studies were made of the area by T. algal overgrowth. the remaining reef surviving in the Park could be overgrown within a few ye ars. and it is subject to extreme pollution and turbidity. The Chalet Caribe area nearby had excellent diving reefs only five years ago . but sport diving operations have been abandoned there due to severe reef deter ioration. Ree fs near these areas are likely to be subject to nutrient stress. making it unattractive . many indicative of high nutrients. Water in the area was extremely turbid. and so is poorly placed to identify all but th e most obvious sources. and steep outer reef topography pr ovides excellent wall diving. This reef had been dominated by Acro pora palmata in the past. JAMES/TRELAWNY If most of the marine ecosystems of the currently demarcated Montego Bay Marine Park do not appear to deserve protected status. and industrial area. and there are good photographic records of the excellent reefs which occurred there at that time. Detailed pollution an d microbiological studies should be made of the entire Park waters to determine if swimming should be permitted. Cera mium nitens. The Marine Park should be moved to a more suitable site. The area along the Bogue coast east of the Great River mouth was checked. housing estates. They are not subject to pollution from Montego Bay because they are located up current from it. cruise ship port. The bottom was blan keted in large amounts of dead algal fragments and seagrass detritus from offsho re.

but turns red with mud during flood rains. However Falmouth Harbour receives ma jor mud discharges from the Martha Brae River and sewage from the town. including poor neighborhoods. Coral reefs in this region have great potential for diving. Anns. While the coral trade took place. The entire Bay and town. East Rio Bueno deserves the very highest national priority for fully protected s tatus because of its remarkable reef structures and excellent snorkeling and div ing. Adjacent land areas should be protected as Arawak Indian and early Spanish archaeological sites. Submarine topography of Rio Bueno is unique because exceptionally rapid outward growth of the reef has produced in credible caves. Hughes. so that very little live coral is now to be seen (T. with its remarkable hi storic architecture. were pristine in the 1960s and 1970s. probably the most important alone the central north coas t of Jamaica. It is imperative that this area avoid t he serious deterioration which has taken place in nearby Discovery Bay. large number of ancient Arawak Indian graves and artifacts. Only an aerial and shoreline based survey was possible during 199 2. and a pl . Trelawn y shores are slated for large numbers of development schemes which could adverse ly affect the health of the reefs unless appropriate environmental safeguards ar e first taken. so that the marine resources can be kept attractive for both fishing and ec otourism and avoid the fate of reefs in Montego Bay. it targeted the two most important reef cres t corals. and the phosphorescence took around 25 years to recover. and swim ming. Acropora cervicornis and Acropora palmata. which is reco vering well. and excellent wall diving is found. which shoul d be protected as Global Heritage educational and scientific sites because they are one of the best places in the world to understand the effects of climate cha nge. should be protected along with the Bay's marine habitats as a National Ecological/Historical/Cultural Treasure. The east side. and so did serious damage t o local shoreline protection from hurricane and storm waves. No further coastline development should be permitted. Coral populations are very diver se and exceptionally brightly colored and healthy in appearance. and overhanging reefs. Unwise d evelopment schemes in the 1960s killed the coastal mangroves which nourished the naturally luminescent plantonic microorganisms that made the area a unique natu ral attraction. snorkeling. both show incredible vertical relief. and more detailed assessment is needed. and existing houses s hould be required to have full sewage treatment. was spared serious damage by both hurri canes because of its orientation. 17) RIO BUENO The mouth of the Rio Bueno forms the boundary between Trelawny and St. The river normally runs clear or green. it is critical that full sewage treatment capacity for the entir e population of the area. The area also has some of the b est developed fossil reefs and ancient sea level notches in Jamaica. where Columbus killed the first Arawaks in Jamaica in orde r to seize their water and food. Nevertheless. grottos. and large deepwater fish are common visitors. precede further developm ent. Rio Bueno Bay i s a major fish nursery. especially Maria Buena Bay. with Acropora species returning. and more recent slave burial grounds. in contrast. falli ng from as little as a few feet deep straight down to over 400. except in the shallow fore reef. Fully pro tected scientific reserve status is needed for the East Rio Bueno Reef and all a rchaeological and rare geological sites.. Reefs to the west of the river have been seriously affected by sediment and floo d waters from the river. and they were also devastated by Hurricane Allen and Gi lbert. ma king reefs on the west side of the spectacular submarine canyon very different f rom those on the east. As the area is the likely future axis for expansion for the Montego Bay to urist industry. These sediments are normally transported westward by strong coastal currents. Reefs along Trelawny. It may also be a tur tle-nesting site. personal com munication).

All these species are high nutrient indicator spec ies. Lagoon areas had large amounts of Dictyosphaeria cavernosa. and innermost lagoon areas were taken up by U lva lactuca and Enteromorpha. there is little prospect of short or medium term recovery. This algae. but by late 1992 almost the entire fore reef was occupied by waving mats of Sargassum Hystrix. The ecological devastation that has been obs erved in Discovery Bay over the past 40 years is so severe and accelerated so qu ickly that there is now no ecological merit in establishing West Discovery Bay a s a scientific reserve or research park for the study of coral reefs. and their ecological zones have steadily ex panded outwards. By late 1992 Chaetomorpha linum. after having been severely battered by a decade of hurrican es. Bay waters have become hyper-eutrophic and exce ptionally turbid with phytoplankton. the alg ae which overgrew corals and killed sewage-impacted reefs in Kaneohe Bay.. and high incidence of ear in fections among tourists indicates that bathing in Discovery Bay waters may incur public health hazards. which were once teeming with fish and rivaled Rio Bueno (Goreau et al. formerly extremely rare in Discovery Bay. Algae have continued to proliferate. has become a virt ual biological desert as a result of over collecting by both the Discovery Bay M arine Lab and local fishermen.. had moved its range out on to the top of the reef crest. On the shallow fore reef some small scale Acropora palmata recovery is taking pl ace. and mass bleaching. Increasing urban development has accelerate d the amount of raw sewage discharged into the Bay. The purpose of this construction is not to prot ect the species diversity of the remaining reef but to hasten its depauperizatio n by using research submarines to remove large numbers of slow growing deep sea organisms for research experiments. Hawaii . Because nutrient sources include both local polluti on and that transported from the centre of the island via underground rivers (Go reau et al. Coral cover was only a few percent as deep as 90 feet on a video transect taken by B. The p ace of coral overgrowth has become so severe in Discovery Bay that there is now little prospect of recovery. excess nutrients. Reefs along un developed coastlines are still in good condition unless they were severely damag ed by hurricanes or strongly affected by river sediments. or both. 1988). unusual . 18) DISCOVERY BAY Discovery Bay reefs.anned and orderly development process should be initiated to focus on preserving the remarkable historic. appear to have largely passed the poin t of no return in the last year. with Ulva and Enteromorpha marking the most extremely polluted sewage sites . once confined to the innermost springs and then to the back reef. sedimentation stress. The Discovery Bay fish nursery grounds. cultural. as has bee n proposed in the PARC project in reactivation of the original Discovery Bay Mar ine Lab proposal made 30 years ago. The object lessons of reef destruction at Di scovery Bay should be thoroughly learned so they can be avoided elsewhere GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR JAMAICA COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT AND PROTECTION Coral reefs along all commercially developed shores examined in Western Jamaica show visible stress during 1992 from algal overgrowth caused by excessive levels of nutrients derived from sewage. and scientific importance of Rio Bueno for p osterity. L arge scale construction of a rubble and soil dock at the lab are about to delive r the coup de grace to the back reef zone by elevating mud levels and blocking c irculation of the nursery areas. Lapointe in late 1992. No trace of the original rich nursery now remains except for a pathetic handful of damselfish and squirrel fish hiding in the mos t remote crevices. about 50 cm or more high. Many Western Jamaican reefs have exceptional conservation value because of high biodiversity. 1986). is now found in large en crusting masses throughout the back reef area. Inner reef areas also had large a mounts of Ernodesmis verticillata.

spectacular reef growth and topography. Preserving these remaining reefs and realizing their tremendous pote ntially sustainable value for fishing. In practice. from thumb to fist s ized pieces to colonies the size of a football in two years. but there has been little meaningful progress towards this to date. and other fa st growing reef species for regenerating reef crests at sites in need of shore p rotection. Reefs all around the island need to be thoroughly surveyed with regard to their current health. Reef restoration would be beneficial at exposed coastal sites where the shallow reef has been largely destroyed. I n Negril and Ocho Rios these may be watersports and dive operators. mariculture. ongoing and potential threats. oysters. Acropora cervicornis. ensu re that local water usage and land management does not abuse the reef environmen t. Admirable existing fisheries laws are known n ot to be enforced. cuttle fish. Strict controls are nee ded on all activities in the water and its watershed which could damage nearby r eefs. Any effective coastal zone management regime must reflect fully the interests and cooperation of all major resource users in each area. and provided shelter for fish. all activi ties are now permitted unless they are specifically and enforceably prohibited. but it is surely in the long term interest of both. water sports. environmental protection. large coral sizes. Corals in identical habitats nearby grew very slowly or died from being overgrown by algae. Corals readily cemented the mselves onto the structures and grew exceptionally rapidly. It would be better to have the opposite situation: in which all coastal waters a re zoned on the principle that no activities are allowed unless they are express ly permitted in that zone. but in most o f Jamaica it will be locally resident fishermen. Such a regime may seem utopian in light of the well-known anarchic impulses of J amaican developers and fishermen. settled naturally onto the structure. sea cucumbers. This shoul d be under the leadership of the National Resources Conservation Authority. Such artificial reef structures could b e used as bases for growing Acropora palmata. Acropora palmat a. The dominant reef crest coral. in Montego B ay it would be commercial port operations and cruise ship docking. and conservation needs. or fish nurseries. At present the two factions are competing to destroy the reef for short si ghted gain when they need to cooperate to protect what they could both lose thro ugh lack of foresight. snorkeling. but decision making should be in the hands of local NGOs focusing on regional enviro nmental protection and management. This is best achieved through increases in nutrient re moval efficiency from sewage effluents. diving. and other species. All coastal zones should have a grass-roots local organization which establishes a regional effort to identify and protect the most crucial local habitats. A long term environmental monitoring program has long b een urgently needed. are routinely and openly violated without sanction. and develops a local consensus for these values based on public environmental . scientific research. The str uctures created a small thriving reef community containing half a dozen coral sp ecies. and other uses for future generations. and are u nwise because they lead to contempt for laws in general. maintaining prolific growth of the sand producing algae Halimeda tuna and Jania rubens. boating. requires that development in high conservation pri ority zones avoid taking the environmentally disastrous course which has been fo llowed so far in Jamaica. Development in all environmentally-sensitive areas should therefore not be permi tted until after all sewage infrastructure is completed. sea urchins. A nationwide integrated coastal zone management regime is imperative. A suitable approach could be techniques develop ed by Hilbertz and Goreau on the North Coast. bathing.growth rates. Corals were attached to or settled naturally on underwater structures on which magnesium and calcium minerals were precipitated from sea water by electrical currents. current and potential uses.

. Larry Smith. A cooperative outreach program could be developed to provide them with periodic scientific expertise to identi fy local reef problems and design solutions to them. This approach holds that environmental management is best conducted on a "self income generating capacity". a service for which the individual does not need to pay). especially forests and reefs. Peter Goreau. Peter Graham. REFERENCES Aiken.education. Craig Travis. by those who could clearly see quick pr ofits but who have left behind a ruined or degraded landscape for the next gener ation A fundamental change in public attitudes is needed if Negril is to avoid t he fate of Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. funding for environm ental protection should be provided on a national basis. such as the Ne gril Coral Reef Preservation Society. degraded). Following this appr oach. fishermen. Clive Maxwell. Cyril Connell. the opposite of real long term conservat ion needs. ipso facto. the Bluefield Community Association. and others. and many others. Terry Willi ams. Fatta. Because marine environmental protection is currently regarded as a free public g ood (i. Fabian. Th is approach. Fisheries and Marine Conservation. leav es reefs off undeveloped shorelines with the least potential to raise the capita l urgently needed for their protection. Gee. especia lly Jamaica. While this approach may have advantages with regard to managerial efficiency. Sharon Russell. i. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I gratefully thank a large number of other divers. Most environmentally s ensitive zones of Jamaican coastline still lack such effective local groups. which led to the establishment of the Montego Bay Marine Park. Karen McCarthy. as a private business. sewage treatm ent. and boat ers. William Hogg. The se organizations could help monitor changes in the local environment. Cy MacFarlane. rather than on maximizing short term financial profit. rather than in those areas which are most in need of conservation for scientific reasons. and create a more beautiful island for our children's children. Ceylon Clayton. 1992. parks are most likely to be declared in areas which have high existing cap ital investment in tourism (areas which are. and so does not provide an adequate basis for sound and sustainable long term ecosystem management. the Montego Bay Marine P ark Rangers. As a public good such as water supply. for sharing their knowledge about specific sites.e. Lowan Lawrence. and designed to max imize environmental protection. swimmers. and other public services. management o n a private-sector model inherently misallocates resources where they are least needed. Dalt on Sutton. restoration. it results in conservation priority being placed on those areas most likely to be readily abl e to generate excess capital for infrastructural investment. Recently several local orga nizations which could play such a role have developed in Jamaica. and organizations with greater access to funds and expertise need to f ind ways to share these resources with groups which are less fortunate. and regeneration of Jamaica's natur al resources. Nadine Loeb. Tony Clarke. health services.71-82 in Protecting Jamaic a's Coral Reefs: Final Report of the Negril Reef Mooring Buoy Workshop and Insta . has become dominant in planning agencies in developing countries. The Portland Environmental Protection Asso ciation. These include Katy Thacke r. Dev elopment of new local environmental protection organizations badly needs to be s upported. They should be headed by residents who are frequently in the water a nd who have a firm commitment to bettering their environment for the future. p. Jackie Lewi s of Jackie's on the Reef. It should be allocated where most needed according scientifically-sound priorities.e. and take r outine samples for long-term monitoring programs. Over the past decade a new paradigm for conservation. Past and cu rrent paths of Jamaica's "development" have led to the raping of the Jamaican en vironment. the "private sector park m odel". education. K.

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