The Nature Conservancy (TNC), after putting together over 38,000 high resolution satellite images has now published detailed maps of important shallow underwater habitats throughout the entire Caribbean.
Now, for the first time ever, we can discover a clear picture of the habitats found around our islands.
These revolutionary maps will help as a guide for the sustainable use and protection of marine resources.
St Kitts and Nevis is also included in this Coral Reef mapping project.
These fully interactive maps are available to everybody, completely free of charge.
To access the Coral maps for the entire Caribbean region use this link. Use the dropdown menu on the left to choose your region.
“You cannot protect what you don’t know is there. Having access to these maps is a game-changing achievement for the Caribbean. Thirty countries and territories finally have access to better, more detailed information about their underwater habitats to help them better protect marine areas, support sustainable livelihoods and prioritize their adaptation to potential climate change impacts. Understanding and protecting natural resources is critical to the economic success of these countries.”Dr. Robert Brumbaugh, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Caribbean Division.
“We want to make the data accessible, and understand with each of the governments we work with how we can infuse these products into their decision-making process, If a development is proposed along the coastline, for example, the government will be able to easily see if it’s near a reef that’s important to the ecosystem. Governments can also use the map, and updated satellite data, to see if reefs have been damaged after increasingly large storms.”Steve Schill, lead scientist for the Caribbean division of the Nature Conservancy
Some Coral Reef facts.
- Coral Reefs in the Caribbean contribute $7.9 billion in economic activity in the tourism industry.
- This value is equivalent to 10% of GDP in the Caribbean region.
- Roughly half of all livelihoods in the Caribbean depend on healthy reefs for fishing and tourism.
- Read the 2019 Reef tourism study at nature.org.