Government agencies collaborate to redeploy coral reef early warning systems buoy


As climate change continues to threaten the lives of humankind and ecosystems, a multi-stakeholder approach is the most effective way to address the issues. Against this backdrop, a team of officers from the Departments of Environment, Physical Planning, Marine Resources and the St. Kitts and Nevis Coast Guard joined forces in ensuring that the Coral Reef Early Warning Station, also known as CREWS was redeployed on Thursday, May 21, 2020.

The CREWS Buoy was originally deployed in April 2018 at Paradise Reef, Sandy Point with technical support not only from local agencies but also experts from the National Oceanic and Administrative Administration (NOAA), Environmental Mooring Institute (EMI). In the middle of 2019, however, the buoy experienced some technical problems and was subsequently removed from the water.

Cheryl Jeffers, Conservation Officer in the Department of Environment, further explained the role of the installed buoy.

“The CREWS buoy measures not only meteorological parameters such as wind speeds, wind gusts, wind direction, air temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure and precipitation, but also marine data such as sea temperature, salinity and algae content. This will allow us to better understand the biological mechanisms in the area, as well as to better predict coral bleaching over time,” said Ms. Jeffers.

She expressed profound gratitude on behalf of the Department of Environment to the Departments of Physical Planning, Marine Resources, St. Kitts Nevis Coast Guard and St. Kitts Meteorological Services for their respective role in ensuring that the buoy was able to be redeployed and transmit data.

“The work was executed to ensure that the buoy became operational and redeployment was truly a team effort and evidence that if we work together we can achieve more,” she said. “With the changing climate, partnerships and collaborative efforts such as these between government departments and agencies are extremely important and most welcomed to tackle the impacts of climate change.”

In terms of the way forward, Ms. Jeffers stated that “a multi-stakeholder committee will be established to regularly monitor the buoy, as well as execute any maintenance when required.”

Photo: Buoy Being Towed to Paradise Reef

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