Trinidad to Launch Comprehensive National Coastal Monitoring Program

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Destruction along the main access road isolated the Manzanilla/Mayaro community (CPU Photo)

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – The Trinidad and Tobago government says it will launch a comprehensive National Coastal Monitoring Programme (CNCMP) aimed at combatting the ravages of coastal erosion and flooding.

The government said the CNCMP will provide a comprehensive approach to monitoring the state of Trinidad and Tobago’s coastal areas while serving as a much-needed central repository for coastal data. It said through this programme, the Coastal Protection Unit (CPU) of the Ministry of Works and Transport, aims to mitigate the risks of coastal erosion and flooding by equipping coastal managers with relevant information to assess overall risk and to inform sustainable shoreline management decision making.

“This programme seeks to position Trinidad and Tobago as one of the regional leaders in shoreline monitoring and management practices,” the government said, adding that the effects of coastal erosion and flooding have been felt extensively throughout Trinidad and Tobago.

Five years ago, the eastern coast village of Manzanilla/Mayaro was cut-off from the rest of the island after facing three days of persistent rain, that left the coastal zone submerged destroying several points along the main access road.

“In the area, critical infrastructure was severely damaged and residents grappled with flooding of their homes and agricultural plots. In Tobago with its smaller land mass, there is a greater dependence on the coast to support the livelihood of people in communities.

“Consequently, the effects of climate change and sea level rise cannot be ignored. Most notably in 2016, the threat of coastal flooding to Tobago’s tourism product was felt when waves inundated the iconic Pigeon Point Heritage Park rendering the closure of the facility at a time when cruise ships were in port,” the Ministry of Works and Transport noted. – CMC

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