La Réserve naturelle de Saint-Martin est une aire marine protégée de 30km2 située au nord-est de l’île de Saint-Martin. Créé en 1998, cet espace préserve les cinq principaux écosystèmes de l’île : récifs coralliens, mangroves, herbiers de phanérogames, étangs et forêt sèche littorale. La Réserve gère également les 14 étangs du Conservatoire du littoral et ses 11 km de rivages terrestres naturels.

Journal-29

Téléchargez le PDF:
Download PDF - Télécharger le PDF

Journal-29

Daniel Gibbes, Président de la Collectivité de Saint-Martin
Daniel Gibbes, Président de la Collectivité de Saint-Martin

Next year, our Réserve Naturelle will celebrate its 20th anniversary.

For close to two decades, the energetic and highly motivated staff of the Réserve Naturelle de Saint-Martin has successfully reconciled local issues with the overall conservation of our island’s rich biodiversity.

In Saint Martin, we have often felt that economic development conflicted with environmental protection. Yet the two go hand-in-hand. Our island thrives from tourism: if we don’t provide our visitors with beautiful places to visit, clean beaches, and clear water for swimming, they won’t come back! Maintaining our biodiversity and preserving the various ecosystems on land and at sea are priorities in Saint Martin. With an eye towards continuing to improve our quality of life, I hope that, among other things, we invest wisely in the fight against climate change, while embracing sustainable development. For example, we need to continue the battle against invasive species, but also reclaim the shores of our salt ponds, with the creation of pedestrian walkways around these wetlands, which are not meant for garbage, but are wonderful natural resources to discover!

I also strongly support the Caribbean Island Biodiversity Institute, which will allow us to reinforce our thought process, our activities, and our strategies, in terms of management, urbanism, and energy use on the island. I hope that this innovative project, with its many advantages for our island and its population, quickly sees the light of day.

Better Knowledge About Protected Areas And Protected Species

L’équipe prête à poser une balise - The team ready to place a satellite beacon © Agence de l’environnement de Saint-Barth
L’équipe prête à poser une balise - The team ready to place a satellite beacon © Agence de l’environnement de Saint-Barth

The goal of Megara is to increase our knowledge about humpback whales, from every angle. The third Megara mission took place this year, on March 13-18, as the Réserve Naturelle de Saint-Marin coordinated Megara with the association, Megaptera, whose president is Michel Vély, along with the Territorial Environmental Agency of Saint Barthélemy, the association “My School, My Whale,” and the support of the government of Anguilla, which helped facilitate the authorization required for exploration within its territorial waters. During the five days of the mission, a team of 15 participants used a catamaran as their base camp in the waters of Saint Martin, Anguilla, and Saint Barth. Results: 25 underwater listening tests, 60% of which were positive, and nine visual observations, which allowed for the localization of 33 bottlenose dolphins and 18 humpback whales. In state of rough seas, the team aboard a semi-rigid dinghy were able to successfully place a satellite beacon —which unfortunately remains silent— and taking two samples of skin which were carefully kept in the freezer while waiting to be sent to University of Groningen, which has a database of over 8,500 biopsies of humpback whales in the Atlantic. The multiplication of Megara missions increases this data, as well as observations, photographs, and DNA samples, which are fairly limited in the French West Indies. But the first results indicate that “our” whales are from the same population observed in the waters near Cape Verde. Anyone who is interested can follow this adventure thanks to the videographer aboard the boat!

Herbier - Plant beds © Julien Chalifour
Herbier - Plant beds © Julien Chalifour

L’atelier - The workshop © Julien Chalifour

Share common experiences. Learn what is being done elsewhere. Harmonize methods and identify indicators. This was the scientific approach adopted on April 4-10, 2017 in Martinique, during an atelier organized by IFRECOR and the services in charge of the application of the European Parliament Water Directive on the subject of coral reefs and marine plant beds and nurseries. The goal was to better understand these fragile ecosystems in order to better protect them. Julien Chalifour, director of the scientific department of the Réserve Naturelle de Saint-Martin, exchanged views with his peers from the French Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, and even the Pacific, as New Caledonia was present, as well as representatives of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), IFRECOR, the Ministry of the Environment, various governmental services, and the consulting firm present to represent France. The idea is to standardize the protocols used to collect information, centralize all data, and allow for a better understanding on the part of the government as to the general health of the reefs and plant beds on various levels.

Fanny Kerninon, interlocutrice IFRECOR pour le suivi de l’état de santé des herbiers en outre-mer, débute une thèse dont l’objectif est de produire une boîte à outils “suivi des herbiers”. Elle a réalisé sa première mission dans le cadre de cette thèse à Saint-Martin où, avec le concours des agents de la Réserve, elle a lancé le protocole sur trois stations : le lagon de Tintamare, la baie du Galion à proximité de l’étang aux Poissons et enfin au Rocher Créole, station historique où la Réserve naturelle a m
Fanny Kerninon, interlocutrice IFRECOR pour le suivi de l’état de santé des herbiers en outre-mer, débute une thèse dont l’objectif est de produire une boîte à outils “suivi des herbiers”. Elle a réalisé sa première mission dans le cadre de cette thèse à

Fanny Kerninon, interlocutor for IFRECOR for a study on the health of overseas plant beds, has started a thesis whose goal is to create a scientific toolbox to study plant beds. She competed her first mission for this thesis in Saint Martin, where, in concert with agents from the Réserve, she tested her protocol at three stations: the lagoon in Tintamare, Galion Bay close to the Etang aux Poissons, and Rocher Créole, an existing station where the Réserve Naturelle began a scientific study in 2009. Three dives at each station permitted the observation of several parameters in a 50 meter-long corridor: the number of plants and the eventual presence of flowers, algae, or various species of animals. Samples of water and sediment were also collected. Kerninon plans to assemble all of the information available and to test the standard protocol, which she is helping to improve.

Managing The Impact Of Human Activities In Protected Areas

Opération contre la pollution aux hydrocarbures - A Plan To Fight Hydrocarbon Pollution

What can we do about hydrocarbon pollution? Who is doing something about it and how? Training by experts from France and the Service of Lighthouses and Buoys in Guadeloupe has increased the competence of several people on the local level, who are now capable of intervening and providing the appropriate response should a layer of hydrocarbons threaten the shores of Saint Martin. The entire staff of the Réserve Naturelle participated in this training, along with gendarmes from the nautical brigade, the SNSM, the staff from both marinas in Marigot, and personnel from the Collectivité. The prefecture and the Direction de la Mer coordinated the operation from a crisis center created for the occasion. The training, both practical and theoretical, was based on the deployment of floating barges comprised of synthetic foam, less fragile than inflatable barges, but more voluminous to store. On the practical side, the barges were successfully tested near Marina Fort Louis, but met with more difficulty in the access channel to the bridge at Sandy Ground, due to strong currents. It is important to note that this equipment will be stored in Guadeloupe, but owners of sites potentially at risk, such as fuel depots and the EDF plant, should keep this kind of equipment on hand.

Atelier en Martinique en avril 2017 Workshop in Martinique in April 2017
Atelier en Martinique en avril 2017 Workshop in Martinique in April 2017

What happens to data stored in our computers? Where will it be in 20 years? And beyond? A big question to which IFRECOR and the government have found an answer concerning French coral reefs and the plant beds. At the end of the atelier organized in Martinique in April 2017 (see article page 21), a technical solution was provided as a new tool for managers of protected marine zones. This tool, managed by IFREMER, allows secure storage of all data collected individually, but also facilities date exchange and allows for better exploitation and interpretation of information, all on a national level. This method has been tested for a year in La Réunion and has now been launched in the Caribbean region, where this data is not necessarily the same as in Indo-Pacific region. For Julien Chalifour, this technological advance guarantees that the results of the scientific studies done for the past several years on the underwater milieu in Saint Martin do not risk getting lost, and can now be shared more easily.

Trois petits poussins repérés sur le radeau aux terres Basses - Three baby birds seen on the raft in the Lowlands © Caroline Fleury
Trois petits poussins repérés sur le radeau aux terres Basses - Three baby birds seen on the raft in the Lowlands © Caroline Fleury

Our readers most likely remember that in October 2016, the Réserve placed a raft on the Grand Etang in the Lowlands, to promote the nesting of small terns, of which there were 75 on this site. In theory, this was a great idea, except there are black-necked stilts that have appropriated the space on the raft. Caroline Fleury, specialist of the land and wetlands milieu, who conceived and designed the raft, spotted three baby birds with her binoculars. The experience has proved that several species can live together on the same raft and the Réserve has not lost hope that the small tern, which is a protected species, will still be seduced by this nursery, where their eggs will be protected from a sudden rise in water levels or the appetite of a rat or someone’s pet.

Urgent reminder: It is important not to let dogs roam around the edge of the ponds, in order to protects the nests and baby birds. The legal rules about the biotope forbid dogs not on leashes within the territory of the Réserve Naturelle and around the ponds located outside of the Réserve Naturelle.

Police Activity

La tortue blessée - The wounded turtle
La tortue blessée - The wounded turtle

Points de suture sur le cou - Stitches on the neckOn Sunday, March 12, a local resident informed the Réserve that a loggerhead turtle was in trouble on the beach of Grandes Cayes, having been injured by an arrow from a harpoon gun. The Réserve took the animal to the Hope Estate veterinary clinic, where the arrow was removed from the turtle, and the wound was stitched up. The reptile was put back into the water a little later. Knowing the hunter, the Réserve wrote an official report, which was followed by a hearing for the guilty party at the gendarmerie. The poacher admitted his guilt and said that during a picnic on the beach, one of his friends did not eat meet, so he tried to catch a fish instead. And as it happened, the unlucky turtle was just swimming by at the wrong moment, and ended up with an arrow in his neck that was meant for the fish ! The hunter was found guilty of illegal fishing in a natural reserve and required to pay a fine of 150 Euros and another 500 Euros in damages and interest to the Réserve, as part of a civil action proceeding. The sentence could have been worse for the capture and mutilation of a sea turtle: a fine up to 150,000 Euros and two years in prison.

Les poissons saisis - The fish seized
Les poissons saisis - The fish seized

Seized

100-meter Fishnet at Galion

Fishing is forbidden in the Réserve, but that did not stop a poacher from French Quarter to regularly put a 100-meter-long fishnet in Galion Bay. Trying to be accommodating, the guards has asked him four different times to stop his illegal actions, but he persisted. On March 3, 2017, after threatening the guards that he would find out who they were and come after them, he was the subject of an official complaint that the Réserve Naturelle transmitted to the nautical police.

300-meter Fishnet Seized

On May 13, 2017 at around 5pm, an eyewitness called the Réserve to report that an individual was in the process of placing a fishnet at the outlet of the bay in Cul-de-Sac, right in the middle of the nature reserve. The guards verified the activity from the shore and decided to act before nightfall to limit the number of fish caught in the net. They confirmed that they removed and seized the 300-meter net, but several fish were already caught and dead.

Double Trouble For Two Fishermen

First, on February 18 in Grandes Cayes, then two weeks later at Rocher Créole, guards from the Réserve seized harpoons from two fishermen, as well as at least 30 fish each time. The fishermen were informed that fishing is strictly forbidden in the waters of the Réserve and they were warned that they would be fined if the incident were repeated

Photo IOTV
Photo IOTV

In late April 2017, a group of cruise ship passengers who rented quads in Philipsburg didn’t have anything better to do than cross the shallow channel that links the whale observatory site on the Route de Coralita, with the little island about 200 meters away. Immediately informed by eyewitnesses who were shocked by this violation on a protected site, the Réserve questioned the person who had rented them the quads, who had been informed and was aware of the rules and regulations. He admitted that another party had been involved in the rental and had not transmitted the rules that must be respected within the Réserve Naturelle. The Réserve identified the rental company and filed a report against them. The manager of the company has since posted the regulations at his rental agency.

Restoration Of Degraded Areas And Populations

À la pêche au poisson-lion - Fishing lionfish
À la pêche au poisson-lion - Fishing lionfish

Do lionfish in Saint Martin carry ciguatera or not? On May 23-26, two researchers from the University of Guadeloupe caught these fish in situ, with logistical assistance from the Réserve, and we are awaiting their results. These scientists had hoped to catch 30 of this invasive species at different sites in order to detect the presence of ciguatera in their flesh. They could only capture 16 specimens, as the density of lionfish is much lower in Saint Martin than in Guadeloupe. Why? Perhaps this invasive species has more predators in Saint Martin. The Réserve also gave the researchers another 15 lionfish that had been caught earlier and kept in the freezer. According to Julien Chalifour, director of the Reserve’s scientific department, the answer could be complex, in light of tests done last year by the Réserve. Not only does the place where the lionfish are caught and their age play a role, but also the development of the micro-algae that causes the toxin depends on several factors that are not always present at the same time: the saline content and temperature of the sea water, as well as the general conditions of the milieu, as the algae has a better chance of developing on dead coral.

Destruction du centre équestre - Demolition of the equestrian
Destruction du centre équestre - Demolition of the equestrian

Comme annoncé dans notre précédente édition, le centre équestre du Galion rouvrira, dans le cadre d’un appel d’offres qui sera prochainement lancé au niveau régional et national. En attendant, le Conservatoire du littoral a décidé de raser le site existant et de transférer le centre équestre sur le site tout proche du refuge pour animaux, illégalement installé sur une parcelle classée en réserve naturelle. Le 10 juin, une société locale de travaux publics a démoli les anciens bâtiments et transporté les gravats, le bois et les métaux à l’écosite de Grandes Cayes, où ces matériaux ont été triés dans les règles de l’art.

Le perforateur sous-marin - The underwater drill
Le perforateur sous-marin - The underwater drill

17 Buoys In Tip Top Shape at Tintamare

The 17 mooring buoys placed at Tintamare by the Réserve Naturelle have all been repaired. The guards were waiting for an underwater drill to be available locally to do this work, which was completed in late May 2017.

New Interactive Signage

Summer 2017 is a good time for replacing all informative signage within the Réserve Naturelle. The new signs have a QR code that allows anyone with a smart phone to connect directly to the Réserve Naturelle de Saint Martin’s website

Better Means For Better Missions

Bye bye Romain!
Bye bye Romain!

Romain Renoux, who started at the Réserve Naturelle in 2010, is leaving Saint Martin behind for Monaco, where he will soon be in charge of the funds dedicated to the protected marine areas (AMP) of the Mediterranean, as well as putting into place the mechanism to attribute subventions to these AMP. His experience working with the European BEST project, which has a similar objective, and for which he was responsible for the Caribbean hub, will be very useful. Also the correspondent for the Agoa sanctuary in Saint Martin, he is pleased that the coordinated efforts led by Saint Martin are recognized by all of the partners on the role that the island plays as the regional hub in terms of protection of the oceans and seas. On the eve of his departure, he thought fondly of the highpoints of his experience in Saint Martin, such as the first partnership agreement signed with an academic institution —the middle school in Quartier d’Orléans— in 2010; the creation of the discovery path at the Etang de la Barrière in collaboration with the Conservatoire du Littoral; the identification of 818 marine species during a scientific mission in April 2012; and especially the promotion of the regional cooperation that took him throughout the Caribbean basin. “We must remain vigilant on a daily basis for the preservation of the natural heritage of Saint Martin, and maintain our capacity to react against any threats to the environment,” he told us before leaving.

36ème congrès des réserves de France - 36th conference for French Nature Reserves
36ème congrès des réserves de France - 36th conference for French Nature Reserves

300 people participated in the annual conference for French Nature Reserves (RNF) that was held on May 29-June 2 in Schoelcher, Martinique. Nicolas Maslach, director of the Réserve Naturelle de Saint-Martin was present, accompanied by Julien Chalifour, scientific director, and Franck Roncuzzi, head of the Nature Police. This large assembly of nature reserves in France is the time for the annual election of the board and the creation of various commissions. Franck Roncuzzi will participate on the police commission and Julien Chalifour on the scientific commission. Maslach will join them both on the overseas commission, which celebrated its 10th anniversary. The conference also provided the occasion for the Réserve Naturelle de Saint-Martin to exchange ideas with their colleagues from France, discuss common problems, as well as projects underway or on the drawing board, where the issues go beyond the local level.
The overseas commission debated the overall role of its jurisdiction and was particularly interested in the compensatory measures a reserve could exact against a developer that causes negative environmental impact. The commission also discussed the type of compensation possible and how to best use such monies for the general benefit of natural sites. A final atelier included all of the reserves in order to examine their management status: until recently, 60% were association-run. Today that figure is just 40%.

Environmental Communication And Education

© Franck Roncuzzi
© Franck Roncuzzi

Thirty high-school students from the Cité Scolaire now know the small island of Pinel like the back of their hands. On Friday, May 19, they spent the afternoon at this idyllic site, both on land and in the water. On dry land, they enjoyed a guided tour with Ashley Daniel and Caroline Fleury, who showed them the local flora, explained how sea turtles lay their eggs on the beach, and told them about the large numbers of an invasive species of iguana on the island: Iguana iguana, which today is outnumbering the native species, Iguana delicatissima. In the water, Amandine Vaslet and Julien Chalifour took over and revealed the ecosystem made up of plant beds, coral reefs, and resident fauna that the students could observe with their masks and snorkels. An awareness campaign for students is an important mission for the Réserve Naturelle, in which certain teachers also participate as part of this initiative.

Nageoire caudale d’une baleine à bosse dans la Réserve naturelle de Saint-Martin - Caudal fin of a humpback whale in the Nature reserve of Saint Martin © Michel Vély
Nageoire caudale d’une baleine à bosse dans la Réserve naturelle de Saint-Martin - Caudal fin of a humpback whale in the Nature reserve of Saint Martin © Michel Vély

In keeping with its management objectives, the Agoa sanctuary has made recommendations and indicated proper behavior for boats during high-caliber nautical events, in order to reduce any potential impact on marine mammals and the risks of collision, disturbance, or harassment. In 2017, five regattas and a great number of boats benefitted from this advice: the Heineken Regatta in March with a fleet of 220 sailboats; The Bucket in Saint Barth, also in March, with 40 super yachts; Les Voiles de Saint-Barth, where 70 sailboats competed in April; the Mini Bucket in April, with 80 participants; and finally the Hippocup in June with 32 boats sailing between Saint Martin, Anguilla, and Saint Barth. The race organizers and local authorities were consulted and an information sheet was slipped into the race packets for each participating regatta. This was possible thanks to Agoa’s close partnership with the new Direction de la Mer de Saint Martin, the prefecture, the Territorial Environmental Agency in Saint Barth, and of course the Réserve Naturelle de Saint-Martin.

Reinforcement On A Regional

Vue sur le Marine Park d’Aruba - View of the Aruba Marine Park © Romain Renoux
Vue sur le Marine Park d’Aruba - View of the Aruba Marine Park © Romain Renoux

Enact a protected marine zone. That was the challenge met by the Dutch Island of Aruba with the creation of its new Marine Park. Located on the edge of the most recently protected coastal areas on this highly touristic island, the Aruba Marine Park is a continuation of the Arikok National Park, the Spanish Lagoon —wetlands with RAMSAR classification— and Mangel Halto Beach. The project, led by the Department of Nature and Environment, an official government agency in Aruba, benefits from financing from the European BEST program for Overseas Territories, which provided 300,000 Euros out of a total budget of 350,000 Euros from May 2016 through April 2019. Aruba has also received funding from BEST to define the perimeter of this zone intended to protect the island’s marine biodiversity, and to develop its management structure. Romain Renoux, coordinator of the BEST program for the Caribbean islands, met with the local creators of the Marine Park when he visited Aruba on February 20-22, in order to check in with them on the progress of their project, identify any potential difficulties, and be brought up to date on their early results. Coming from Saint Martin, where the Réserve Naturelle was created in 1998, he was able to explain to his hosts about the work accomplished, without hiding the obstacles they met with before the park was completely accepted by the population.

Les participants au Forum - Forum participants
Les participants au Forum - Forum participants

Every year, the European Union invites overseas countries and islands (PTOM) from around the world to a large forum designed to review the support that Europe brings —and could bring— to these territories. The most recent forum was held on February 23-24, 2017 in Aruba and allowed the delegations that came from the Atlantic, the Caribbean, the Pacific, the Indian Ocean, and even the Antarctic, to meet with representatives of the European Commission and four of its member states (Denmark, France, Holland, and the United Kingdon). Romain Renoux, coordinator of the European BEST project for the Caribbean island, was there of course, and was able to highlight concrete examples of biodiversity preservation in the 12 overseas islands in the Caribbean, all of which were represented

Mission de reconnaissance sur le terrain.
Mission de reconnaissance sur le terrain. De gauche à droite : Stuart Wynne (directeur du Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources), Janecka Richardson (gestionnaire du projet) et Élise Queslin (chargée de projet BEST, basée au CARSPAW) - Reconnaissan

Two projects presented by Anguilla were selected by the BEST program and are currently being developed. Romain Renoux visited his island neighbors on April 11-12, 2017, along with Elise Queslin, director of BEST at Car-Spaw, in order to evaluate the progress of these projects.

First project : Protect Anguilla’s Sea Turtles

Une plage restée naturelle, idéale pour la ponte des tortues marines - An undeveloped beach, an ideal place for sea turtles to lay their eggsAnguilla is worried about the future of its sea turtles, whose number has considerably declined due to over exploitation of natural resources, as is true elsewhere in the Caribbean. In an attempt to reverse this trend, Anguilla’s Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources set five goals in May 2016 to try and achieve by April 2019:

  • Identify and evaluate the sea turtle population as well as the sites they frequent;
  • Identify threats to sea turtles and create strategies to combat them;
  • Define and put into place a framework and activities to help protect sea turtles and the evolution of their population;
  • Provide technical expertise on a local level for the protection of sea turtles and increase the amount of knowledge on the subject;
  • Create better public awareness campaigns, locally and off-island, emphasizing the importance of protecting sea turtles and the coastline;

Among other initiatives is the training of 20 or so guides —including some fishermen— to lead eco-tours about the subject of sea turtles. With a total budget of 440,000 Euros, this project received 400,000 Euros from BEST.

Second project : Protect the Lesser Antillean Iguana

Iguane des Petites Antilles - Lesser Antillean Iguana

The Lesser Antillean Iguana — Iguana delicatissima — is in danger of extinction, displaced by the common iguana — Iguana iguana — an invasive species with which it reproduces, and as a result after several decades the endemic species is disappearing. Anguilla is lucky in that its Lesser Antillean Iguanas are still present on the island, which is no longer the case in Saint Martin. As a result, Anguilla had to quickly take action to preserve this precious natural heritage. The solution is radical: it is necessary to isolate the reptiles on an island far enough away from other islands to make it inaccessible to the common iguana, which is a good swimmer. The capturing of the Iguana delicatissima has begun, but genetic testing must be done to make sure they are not hybrids. Only such a genetic test can provide 100% certification, as morphologic characteristics can be misleading. These reptiles are then placed in an enclosure while awaiting the results of the test, and if they pass, they are relocated to Prickly Pear, where no common iguanas have been sighted. A study is underway to examine the transfer of these iguanas, as well as the evolution of their population on their new island, their reproductive habits, their nutritional regime, and their overall wellbeing. The conclusion so far is that by all indications the Iguana delicatissima will prosper on Prickly Pear. The common iguana also poses a threat to the Lesser Antillean Iguana on the islands of Saint Barthélemy and Sint Eustatius, which have created a partnership through the Territorial Environmental Agency in Saint Barth and the Statia National Parks Foundation.

 

Les participants à l’atelier - Workshops participants
Les participants à l’atelier - Workshops participants

Michel Vély expose les résultats de Megara - Michel Vély presents the results of MegaraLast April we talked about a project to create a network of protected marine zones in all countries that border the northern and southern sectors of the Atlantic Ocean. Led by the European Commission, the idea came to fruition after Romain Renoux, coordinator for the European BEST project for the Caribbean islands and representative of the Agoa sanctuary for the protection of marine mammals in Saint Martin, went to Brussels to present the actions taken by Agoa and the Réserve Naturelle as part of the Megara mission, on the corridors of migration for humpback whales, who do not recognize international borders as they migrate. Convinced by the project, the European Commission decided to finance the creation of workshops with the protected marine zones that are already dealing with this subject, as well as with countries interested in improving their knowledge about the Atlantic Ocean migration corridors. The first of these workshops was held on May 15-17 in Saint Martin at the Beach Hotel. Saint Martin, Sint Maarten, Saint Barth, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Bermuda, The United States, The Netherlands, and Cape Verde were all able to share their experiences and their know-how. All of the countries and islands linked by the migration corridors used by the humpback whales are well aware how important it is for each of them to do their part in providing efficient protection for these large marine mammals. Representing Saint Martin, Julien Chalifour, director of the Réserve’s scientific department, and Michel Vély, president of the Megaptera association, presented the results of the three Megara missions in 2014, 2015, and 2017, emphasizing the importance of the reproductive zone between Saint Martin, Anguilla, and Saint Barth.

Best, Voluntury Sceme for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Territories of European Overseas
BEST

The European BEST program has launched its third and final call for projects to improve the biodiversity of the Overseas Territories of the Caribbean, and has pre-selected eight dossiers. As creating such a dossier can be complicated, a workshop was held in Saint Martin on June 15-16 at the Beach Hotel in Marigot to help candidates with the process before submitting their final versions. Anguilla participated, as well as Bonaire, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Curacao, Saint Barthélemy, Sint Maarten, and the Turks & Caicos. A committee of experts will evaluate the proposed projects, and the European Commission will select the best.

? Top