Barbuda Ocean Club aligns with nature to build a community that is environmentally, socially and economically resilient.
Barbuda Ocean Club engages the best science and technology to develop science-based solutions that will protect and sustain Barbuda through transitions including from sea level rise. We use ecosystem-based solutions and an adaptive approach.
Barbuda Ocean Club’s science and environment consultant, Dr. Deborah Brosnan, leads a team of scientists and expert peer-reviewers. She has worked closely with the Antigua & Barbuda Department of Environment to develop a process that uses the best available science to shape the development while restoring and protecting the natural environment. The team continues to work with the regulatory and environmental agencies, the Barbuda Council and the Community.
There is little scientific information available to help the Island navigate changes and craft a sustainable future. We are conducting critical scientific analyses, making knowledge widely available and useful in decision-making
Barbuda Ocean Club:
We invite you to explore the key elements of our science and environmental plans, which include hydrodynamic modeling and vulnerability analyses to identify risks and guard against future storm surge and sea level rise, remote sensing and on the ground monitoring to help provide clean water, protecting habitat for fisheries and sensitive species, a sea turtle conservation program, and reducing human-caused pollutants. We will be updating our scientific findings as they become available, please check in with us.
Key Elements of the science and environmental plan:
Decades of sand mining removed the protective dunes and native vegetation. Scientific analysis following Hurricane Irma showed how the loss of dunes contributed to storm surge damage including to agricultural lands. Barbuda Ocean Club is working to restore the dune ecosystem to safeguard against future storms and sea level rise. Other environmental initiatives, including a native plant nursery, and enhancement of natural resources, such as fisheries will further protect the environment and create jobs. Currently, Dr. Deborah Brosnan and her team are on the ground in Barbuda, conducting scientific analyses, including hydrodynamic modeling, vegetation mapping, and other studies to determine criteria for dune recovery, sustainable development and climate change adaptation Dune and native plant restoration will be an integral part of our ecosystem-based approaches to development.
Sea Turtle Monitoring
Three species of endangered sea turtles nest on Barbuda. To ensure their safety, the Barbuda Ocean Club has developed a sea turtle program to identify, monitor and protect nests on the site, and to track the movements of Barbuda’s sea turtles. We are working with local community and our scientific advisory team to implement this effort. Monitoring will take place each year and the program will continue to grow and evolve in order to ensure the long-term health of the nesting sites. A team of local Barbudans are being trained to manage the sea turtle monitoring program on Barbuda.
Water Quality Assurance
Barbuda Ocean Club is developing a tailored water-quality program. Using high tech remote sensing, we are evaluating the historic water conditions and monitoring current ones. Runoff from the site will be strictly controlled to mitigate impact on the surrounding ecosystem.
Fresh water is precious on Barbuda. The property will use low-impact development (LID) practices to capture and store as much rainfall as possible.
Our plans call for the use of native and drought-resistant plants throughout Barbuda Ocean Club to further reduce the need for water. Other options for securing quality water sources with low environmental impact are being studied.
Knowing the depth and shape of the sea floor is critical to understanding how waves and storm surge affect the coastline and communities. This knowledge allows us to envision how sea level will change the Island, plan developments that are resilient, and identify flows necessary for high water quality standards, and natural resources. Our teams are using modern field analysis e.g. single and multi-beam side scan sonar to map the seafloor, LiDAR drone imagery and topography studies, GIS mapping and building sophisticated hydrodynamic models to identify risks, vulnerabilities and design solutions.
Storm Surge Analyses
Our scientific team is conducting state of the science studies to analyze, monitor and determine potential hazards from wave and surge events. We are modeling the combined effects of storm surge under different sea level rise scenarios, and storm strengths, on the coastal zone and community and designing solutions to reduce the risks. These efforts will allow Barbuda to better assess risks and prepare for future possibilities.
Climate Change/Sea Level Rise Resilient Design
Based upon scientific analysis of different sea level rise scenarios, the engineering team, in conjunction with the environmental team, are providing design guidance regarding site resiliency options and sea level rise adaptation strategies. Ecosystem restoration coupled with smart construction based upon sea level rise and storm surge data can greatly mitigate risks to Barbuda Ocean Club and neighboring communities.
Native Vegetation and Invasive Species Cleanup
Our scientific team has just completed a first of its kind LiDAR drone topographic imagery and on the ground vegetation analyses for Barbuda. The resulting GIS map shows in detail the types and locations of different plants on Palmetto Peninsula and the associated land use. These GIS maps are being used to inform the development plan on the Peninsula and to help restore native vegetation. This study engaged local personnel in the field work, analyses, and reporting.
Barbuda Ocean Club has identified replanting native vegetation as a priority for restoring the environment and protecting the island during future storm events. We are in the process of setting up a native plant nursery, using these species as the primary landscaping throughout the development.
Locally invasive Acacia has replaced some 90% of native plant assemblages and are preventing recovery of native species. One of the first jobs identified by the scientific team was the removal of invasive species. The Barbuda Ocean Club hired and trained 51 local Barbudans to remove invasive plants and conduct environmental site cleanup. This effort is already providing employment for local Barbudans and helping in the recovery of the natural environment.
The Barbuda Ocean Club is fully committed to supporting the efforts of the Barbuda Council, the Codrington Lagoon National Park and the environmental and natural resources agencies and organizations to gather critical data, protect endangered species and implement environmental stewardship. Our support includes the recruiting and training of local citizens in sustainability and environmental management jobs to advance stewardship and awareness locally.