Coastal region and small island papers 3: Saba, Netherlands Antilles

In comparison to other CARICOMP sites, the tiny island of Saba, in the Windward Islands arc of the Lesser Antilles, can be described as atypical in terms of its topography, geology, and marine environment. Saba has a small human population and anthropogenic impacts on the nearshore marine environment are limited. Sedimentation, dive tourism, and fishing are the three main impacts in coastal waters. Saba is devoid of mangrove stands; Thalassia seagrass beds and coral communities are restricted to a narrow shelf and offshore seamounts. CARICOMP sampling occurs only at one reef area on the leeward west coast. Physical oceanographic data are available for this site, and meteorological data are available for the island. Benthic composition is described based on CARICOMP surveys carried out to date and on a baseline monitoring program that was executed in 1993 as part of a study for the Saba Marine Park

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