Wardens visit Tobago Cays Marine Park
February 8, 2011
Wardens visit Tobago Cays Marine Park

Park rangers and wardens from Tobago Cays Marine Park, Sandy Island/Oyster Bed Marine Protected Area and Moliniere-Beausejour Marine Protected Area met in St. Vincent and the Grenadines last week for a site visit to the Tobago Cays Marine Park.{{more}}

This marks the first activity for the new Grenadines Network of Marine Protected Areas.

After arriving at Union Island, the park wardens from Carriacou and Grenada visited the Tobago Cays Marine Park head office where they saw the park’s interpretation centre and office facilities and had the chance to meet the park manager and administration staff.

Boarding the park’s main patrol boat, the visitors headed first to Mayreau Gardens in the conservation zone of Tobago Cays Marine Park. Part of the group scuba-dived on the coral reefs of Mayreau Gardens, which are home to the best-conserved coral reefs of the park, and are rated among the best coral reefs of the Eastern Caribbean region.

Upon emerging from the water the visitors were excited about what they had seen.

Jody Placid, warden at Sandy Island/Oyster Bed Marine Park, remarked: “The coral coverage here is amazing; we saw reef walls thick with coral and home to many fish and other reef creatures.”

Meanwhile, others in the group snorkeled with the sea turtles that feed on sea grass beds. This is one of the popular tourist attractions in the Tobago Cays Marine Park.

The visitors then joined their colleagues from Tobago Cays Marine Park as they patrolled the Cays and checked on yachts and day-trippers. Moliniere-Beausejour Head Warden Coddington Jeffrey explained, “We shared with our counterparts how we deal with the public and we learned more about the conservation efforts and maintenance work that is ongoing in a longer established marine park.”

“We look forward to the next opportunity to meet and exchange experiences about our conservation and environmental protection work,” commented Lesroy Noel, Project Manager at Tobago Cays Marine Park. “We’re pleased to now be in contact with each other and to have established a spirit of collaboration between the neighbouring parks,” said Noel.

The visit was organized by SusGren and made possible with support from the UNEP-Caribbean Environment Programme, through the Small Grant Programme co-ordinated by CaMPAM and GCFI, with funding from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support the Caribbean Challenge initiative.