Coral reefs old nemesis- anthropogenic runoff
Jack, Moise Jente Reshevski
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South Coast Marine Park (SCMP) is a marine conservation area with extensive coral reefs in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). My study evaluated the land-use changes adjacent the SCMP and the impacts of pollution and sedimentation from terrestrial runoff on the health of the SCMP coral reefs. A mixed method approach was utilized using three data types. These included direct survey interview questionnaires (SIQ), marine water quality data which was requested from the National Park Rivers and Beaches Authority, which included physical-chemical parameters. Household and population census data for the SCMP communities were provided in the form of a report by the SVG Statistical Office. Results indicated that there were similarities in the findings between anthropogenic activities, pollution and the health and status of coral reefs within the SCMP. There were three prevalent forms of pollution and sedimentation within and on the SCMP coral reefs were solid waste, building and construction, and erosion along with farming. It was determined that pollution from runoff affected coral reefs by smothering, algal growth, and coral mortality. Key recommendations to reduce pollution and sediment runoff within the SCMP are public education, enforcement, as well as biophysical research and monitoring programs. Keywords: coral reefs, land-use, pollution, marine environment, sedimentation, St. Vincent, Grenadines, South Coast Marine Park, SCMP.
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