Impact of Increased Nutrient Input on Coral Reefs on Bonaire and Curacao

Coral reefs are one of the most sensitive ecosystems and are under enormous human pressure. Since a relative short period of time the impact of nutrient pollution is understood. On the Caribbean islands human, local population and tourists, pressure is getting worse. Bonaire and Curacao, and in a later stadium Saint Lucia, are monitoring the nutrient pollution on their reefs.

This monitoring program includes water sampling, reef cover analysis by video transects, chlorophyll < analysis, nitrogen isotope analysis from algae and fish stock counts. The preliminary results are showingreasons for concern. The reefs of Bonaire are at the thresholds of polluted values found by Lapointe. The situation on Curacao is even more concerning; the sites at the Mega Pier and Piscadera Bay are polluted higher than the thresholds.

Well waste water management is needed on both islands and for Curacao a reduction of the impact of pollution for the two polluted sites is necessary. These measures are needed to guarantee a healthy coastline, beautiful coral reefs and a sustainable tourist industry.

The data of the study can be found here

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