Blue Marine Foundation launches new partnership with Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance
Ocean conservation charity, Blue Marine Foundation, makes initial grant to marine parks on six Dutch Caribbean islands. Award will fund projects including coral protection, and training youth marine rangers.
The ocean conservation charity announced it is awarding $90,000 in funding to support marine conservation in the Dutch Caribbean. A range of projects run by protected area management organizations on six islands will each receive a grant of $15,000. The funding is the first step in a longer-term partnership to support the islands and help secure sustainable financing through the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) Trust fund.
Unique ecosystems on the islands are vulnerable
Unique ecosystems on the islands are vulnerable to threats such as feral livestock causing sedimentation on reefs, and invasive species, including lionfish and coral diseases. They are also at risk from overfishing, climate change, coastal development, erosion and the build-up of harmful algae caused by waste water.
The islands of the Dutch Caribbean are also home to important “blue carbon” habitats – ocean ecosystems such as seagrasses, mangroves and other marine plants that suck up and lock away carbon from the earth’s atmosphere. Seagrass is so efficient at this it can capture and store carbon dioxide up to 35 times faster than tropical rainforests.The management and protection of these blue carbon habitats is vital in the fight against climate change.
Current marine conservation measures in the islands include a 25,390 square km mammal and shark sanctuary- Yarari sanctuary- across the Exclusive Economic Zone of Bonaire, Saba and St Eustatius. All six islands have inshore Marine Protected Areas ranging in size from 10 to 60 sq km.
About the Blue Marine Foundation
Blue Marine Foundation is dedicated to restoring the ocean to health by tackling overfishing, one of the world’s biggest environmental problems.
This dynamic charity is working all over the world to protect huge areas of ocean and restore marine biodiversity. In the coming decade Blue Marine aims to see at least 30 per cent of the ocean protected, and the other 70 per cent sustainably managed.
About the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance
The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance is a nonprofit organization created to safeguard nature in the Dutch Caribbean through supporting Protected Area Management Organizations.
The Dutch Caribbean consists of the Windward Islands of St. Maarten, Saba, and St. Eustatius and the Leeward Islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. The pristine nature of the Dutch Caribbean contains the richest biodiversity in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The diverse ecosystems are a magnet for tourism and at the same time the most important source of income for residents of the Dutch Caribbean. Nature on the islands is unique and important but it is also fragile.
The lack of sustainable funding, policy support and adequate spatial planning pose the most significant threats.