Restoration of seagrass and coral reefs are an important part of the Resilience, Sustainable Energy and Marine Biodiversity Program (RESEMBID) of Lac Cai. As seagrass restoration is a big challenge in dynamic coastal systems our BESE-elements are used to transplant the seagrass. We spend time on site – a beautiful site- for practical workshops with STINAPA rangers as well as sea grass transplantation.
The importance of seagrass
Seagrass meadows are highly productive and rich in biodiversity. They are a vital food source, carbon sink, fish nursery and important for sediment stability. With a stable sediment all sorts of organisms can settle on the seabed. But without, the seabed becomes a moving dessert. In Lac Cai Bonaire, STINAPA focusses on transplanting native Thalassia testudinum to areas with instable sediment.
Training Marine Park Rangers
In December 2022 Karin Didderen of BESE and WUR environmental joined the STINAPA team to train the Marine Park Rangers of STINAPA in the practice of seagrass restoration. A group of 15 Marine Park Rangers learned to identify different seagrass species, restoration of seagrass using BESE-elements and learned how to monitor the restoration progress.
For this practical training everyone got fully equipped in snorkel gear and was able to touch, see the natural seagrass bed. On two separate days we installed seagrass in Lac with the enthusiastic aid of the STINAPA Marine Park Rangers. Now the rangers are capable of seagrass transplantation and will start monitoring the project. And for the seagrass transplantation: let it grow!
Workshop partners: STINAPA, WUR environmental, Coastal Dynamics. With special thanks to the great crew of volunteers on Bonaire, Mangrove Maniacs, fishermen and local enthusiasts.
Want to learn more?
Why BESE-elements help seagrass transplants in dynamic conditions: read the scientific paper in Nature Communications
Lac Cai Bonaire is a unique bay with mangroves, seagrass meadows, coral reefs and marine species like turtles, nurse sharks and conch that rely on its preservation. You can read more about the project on the STINAPA website.
This project receives funding from The Caribbean OCTs Resilience, Sustainable Energy and Marine Biodiversity Programme (RESEMBID), a €40M programme financed by the European Union and implemented by Expertise France, the development cooperation agency of France.