Virgin Islands Natural Resources: Waves of Change – Description & Prescription by Marcia Taylor and Lihla Noori

UVI_Waves of Change_Taylor-Noori_2009_08.pdf

About Bruce

Work for sustainable development of small islands and the Chesapeake Bay; ex-Peace Corps (Volunteer and staff) in LA & Caribbean; cruised Caribbean on S/Y Meander for three years; like small tropical islands, French canals, Umbria, Tasmania, and NZ. Married 52 years to the late Kincey Burdett Potter (see President of the now-sunsetting Island Resources Foundation.
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2 Responses to Virgin Islands Natural Resources: Waves of Change – Description & Prescription by Marcia Taylor and Lihla Noori

  1. Michael O'Neal says:

    Just discovered via Bruce Potter’s blog.Great document!

  2. Bruce Potter says:

    A comment sent to the authors of Waves of Change, Marcia Taylor and Lihla Noori of the University of the Virgin Islands

    Marcia & Lihla —

    Congratulations on a great publication — this is a terrific educational tool, for both the target legislators, and also for the public-at-large. I hope that it is able to be maintained over time with periodic updates and revisions that continue to focus and re-focus attention on emerging priorities.
    In that regard, and in similar opportunities for natural resource advocacy, I’d like to ask/suggest/beseech you to put more emphasis on the importance (and for smart audiences, the extreme difficulty) of seeking RESTORATION of coastal wetlands, especially in light of sea level rise we can reasonably anticipate within our children’s lifetimes. I know the science is not [yet] iron-clad, but I really think — and the precautionary principle demands — that we recognize that a very large element in the continued crashing of Caribbean coral reef systems is the result of the loss of supporting coastal wetland services (which are well described in Waves of Change). (ICLARM, for example, in the BVI did some indicative studies that seem to show that access to coastal mangroves is even more important to health of reef populations than water quality itself). So to reverse reef death, we have to increase coastal wetlands.Now look at a detail topo map and draw the coastline one meter higher than it is now, and you begin to see the problem. Everything above one meter is already developed — and that includes for example coastal highways that now might be well inland, behind a nice fringing mangrove. But when global warming brings the water up a meter or so,that mangrove will die, and the highway will become part of the new hardened waterfront.
    In order to increase coastal wetlands, in the face of sea level rise, we are going to have to take really heroic efforts in terms of re-defining public necessity and in making great investments in property acquisition costs (as the real estate agents point out, we’re not making any more shoreline) to restore significant aspects of the Caribbean coastal ecosystems. I think Waves of Change is exactly the kind of tool that we need to use, starting right now, to educate the public and our political leadership about this issue.thanks bruce

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