Marine Area Survey: an inventory of the natural and cultural marine resources of St. Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles
The purpose of this survey was to describe and map the natural and cultural resources of the marine environment with a view to sustainable development of these resources for tourism.The following main habitat types were identified: coral-encrusted rock, true coral reefs, sand with algal beds, and artificial habitat (wreck sites). The most important areas for recreational use and further tourism development are the reef complex south of the city pier, the reefs of Jenkins Bay and the archaeological sites in Oranjebaai.
In addition to describing and mapping the resources, an inventory of uses of the marine environment was made, being fisheries, diving and snorkeling, anchoring and ship's traffic. Individual uses were mapped and these maps were overlayed to show areas of conflict between uses. The overlays formed the basis for a zoning plan for the marine environment. This plan identifies certain zones for different uses, so as to avoid conflicts between users. The zoning plan proposes two marine park
zones, two archaeological zones, a large anchorage/harbor zone, traffic zones and a fisheries management zone. Since the institutional structure for managing the marine environment and enforcing the regulations of the zoning plan is not available at present, creation of a new non-governmental body is recommended for management. All interest groups should be represented in such a body. Once the Island Government approves the recommendations and the proposed zoning plan, a detailed
project proposal and budget need to be drafted and submitted for funding.