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.
As science and environmental consultant for Barbuda Ocean Club, Dr. Deborah Brosnan leads a team of scientists and expert peer-reviewers. Her team has developed a process in conjunction with the Antigua & Barbuda Department of Environment to shape the development while restoring and protecting the natural environment: The team is taking an adaptive management approach to environmental restoration and management.
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:
Barbuda’s coastal dunes provided protection against storms and habitats for unique biodiversity. Decades of sand mining eliminated the once tall dunes on Palmetto reducing elevations to sea level and impacting the aquifer. The result is a peninsula and community more vulnerable to storm surge and sea level rise. The unique plant communities and habitats on the dunes were also lost during sand mining, such that by 2008 scientists reported that up to 90% of some biological communities had been lost. We are working to restore the dunes and native vegetation as an integral part of our ecosystem-based approaches to development. The first efforts on Palmetto Peninsula are underway and involve using 4-four metrics to measure the change in resilience as a result of this integrated development approach.
Sea Turtle Monitoring
Three threatened species of sea turtles nest on Barbuda shores. BOC learned that there was no consistent monitoring program on the island and immediately started a program as one of our flagship environmental efforts. Now in its second year, the program has hired and trained members of the local community who run a scientifically advanced GPS/GIS based monitoring program. This year the program joined the international widecast tagging effort (run through U. West Indies) with two or our local turtle team now qualified in sea turtle tagging.
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 and designing solutions to reduce risks. These efforts will enable 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 adaption strategies. Smart construction, coupled with ecosystem restoration, can greatly mitigate risks to Barbuda Ocean Club and neighboring communities.
Ecosystem-Based Environmental Monitoring and Management Plan
In 2019, the science team began to put together an ecosystem-based environmental monitoring and management plan to address conservation of land and marine resources. In early 2020, the plan was finalized and will be rolled out spring 2020. This effort will include coral reef monitoring leading to conservation and restoration plans; sea grass monitoring; mangrove monitoring for restoration; water quality monitoring. The effort is designed to protect the environment through construction and into the long term. The program starts with a comprehensive understanding of the baseline conditions and will develop ecosystem health goals and metrics.
Water Quality Assurance
Using high-tech remote sensing, Barbuda Ocean Club is evaluating historic water conditions and monitoring current ones. Runoff will be strictly controlled to mitigate impact on the surrounding ecosystem. Additionally, the property will use low-impact development practices to capture and store as much rainfall as possible. Use of native and drought-resistant plants throughout the club will further reduce the need for water.
Early Efforts: Native Vegetation Mapping and Invasive Species Clean-up
Our scientific team completed the first of its kind LiDAR drone topographic imagery and on-the-ground vegetation analysis for Barbuda. The resulting GIS map is being used to inform the development plans and restore native vegetation. The study engaged local personnel in the field work, analysis and reporting.
We are in the process of setting up a native plant nursery and will be using these species as the primary landscaping throughout the development. Further, Barbuda Ocean Club hired and trained 51 local Barbudans to remove invasive plants and conduct environmental site cleanup.
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.