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United States
Environmental Protection
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Administration And
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United Nations
Environment
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CARIBBEAN
CURRENTS
Volume 4, Number 3
January 1996
EPA/220/N-96-013
Welcome...
...to CARIBBEAN CURRENTS, Volume Four, Number Three. This newsletter
is edited by INFOTERRA/USA in its capacity as the Regional Service Centre
(RSC) for INFOTERRA National Focal Points (NFPs) in the English and
French-speaking Caribbean. Although the CURRENTS is assembled at
INFOTERRA/USA, the content belongs to you, the readers. You are
encouraged to send in any questions, comments, problems, or interesting
issues relevant to the Region for inclusion in the CURRENTS. Please see
the Guidelines for Contributions on page 4 for more information.
Each issue will feature a Directory of NFPs in the Region so that anyone with
international environmental questions can contact their nearest resource.
Please feel free to contact one another as well as your RSC for assistance
or materials.
Publication of this issue has been delayed due to circumstances beyond the
control of INFOTERRA/USA. As well, budget constraints prevent us from
distributing as many copies as usual. Please feel free to share CARIBBEAN
CURRENTS with your friends and colleagues, and to make as many copies
as needed. The Currents should serve as an informational forum for anyone
who lives, works, or is involved in environmental issues in the English and
French-speaking Caribbean Region.
MANAGING NATURAL DISASTERS
Last issue, CARIBBEAN CURRENTS featured publications focusing on women and the
environment. Our next issue will look at disaster planning. The disasters, caused by natural hazards such
as floods, hurricanes, landslides, desertification and geologic hazards such as earthquakes, generate a
demand for enormous amounts of capital to restore what is destroyed and damaged. The development
community should address this issue because it affords, among environmental issues, the most
manageable of situations: the risks arc readily identified, mitigation measures are available, and the
benefits that are obtained from vulnerability-reduction actions are high in relation to costs.
If you have any comments on this topic, or would like to contribute a short article or have a resources guide
to share, please submit your contribution following the guidelines on page 4. Any information you can
provide is useful. Please feel free to fax, write to, or call the RSC with any questions or comments you
may have. Share any information you have and we will include it in the next or a future issue of the
CURRENTS. Thank you for your assistance.

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MANGROVES
Mangroves are found on almost every coastline of the wider Caribbean. They serve as wildlife habitat and breeding
ground for many kinds offish and shellfish. Mangroves stabilize and protect the shoreline, and maintain water quality.
Mangrove is a generic term referring to salt-tolerant and salt-excreting trees and shrubs that inhabit tropical
coasts and shorelines. The four most common mangrove species found in the wider Caribbean are: red
mangrove (Rhizophora mangle), black mangrove (Avicennia germinans), white mangrove (Laguncularia
racemosa), and buttonwood (Conocarpus erecta).
With their pencil-like root structure, these trees colonize muddy, anaerobic shores and flats, forming areas of
open water such as lagoons and small cays. These open water areas function as an interface between aquatic
and terrestrial ecosystems. Mangrove prop-roots provide protection for juvenile shrimp and fish. Lagoons and
estuaries give refuge to endangered species such as manatees, crocodiles, and turtles.
Mariculture and tourism boost Caribbean economies, and mangroves play a role. Mariculture of marine
organisms like shrimp exploits the natural mangrove environment. In Belize, approximately 775 metric tons of
fishery products valued at BZ $18 million were exported (1990). Tourism brought 14 thousand visitors to Bay
Islands, who spent approximately $9 million (1990). Mangrove management remains an important issue, as the
mariculture and tourism industries are developed in the Caribbean.
Water is trapped and filtered through the mangroves by periodic flooding, tidal fluctuations and rainwater
runoff. This water movement and filtration has a positive effect on water quality. Water quality within the
mangroves can be affected negatively as well, by direct and distant actions.
Uncontrolled, unplanned development, together with poor waste disposal practices, are a major threat to
mangroves. Many mangroves are abused as dump and disposal sites. Mangroves are affected when coastal
cities of Latin America and the Caribbean do not treat their wastewater, industrial effluent, or municipal solid
waste. The ability to initiate mangrove protection and sustainable use can be hampered by poor governance
and a lack of infrastructure for coastal zone management.
New and innovative management practices are being undertaken to foster the protection of the Caribbean's
coastal resources. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is one of the agencies funding
projects to avoid mangrove destruction, and to conserve coral reef and terrestrial areas. Recent projects have
included: (1) Lighthawk, a project that involves aerial photography, coastal mapping and a census of manatees
off the Miskito Coast, (2) Wildlife Conservation and Management project, in the Tortugero region of Costa
Rica's Caribbean coast, to protect green sea turtle nursery grounds, (3) Local Site management, in St. Lucia,
to organize local communities in planning, monitoring, and implementing bio-diversity conservation plans, (4) the
Nature Conservancy's Parks in Peril program to protect coastal zone parks, in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula.
Recently-funded research is underway to study the effects of oil dispersant on coral reefs and mangroves in
the Caribbean. For FY95, approximately $3 to $4 million were allocated for the Environmental Initiative of the
Americas (EIA). According to Karen Menczer, of the USAID staff, "This mission-driven program will focus
on watershed management, pollution control, and pollution prevention, in contrast to previous Washington-
based programs which focused on conservation alone. Current funding is going to go to strengthen existing
agencies and to institutional environmental assessment in governments."
Other AID funded programs that have a component to deal with mangroves are: Proyecto Ambiental
Regional Para Centro America (PROARCA), Environmental and Coastal Resources (OECS/ENCORE), and
the PROMESA project in El Salvador. For fiirther information on efforts to protect mangroves contact:
Karen Menczer at USAID: 202-647-8048
Jeff Brokaw at USAID: 202-647-8070
Eric Fajer at USAID: 202-647-5677

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Sources
Bossi, Richard and Gilberto Centron, Manglares Del Gran Caribe, Hacia un Manejo Sostenible. Nairobi,
Kenya: Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente (PNUMA), 1990 Publicado conjunta por
PNUMA (Nairobi), la Associacion ara la Conservacion del Caribe (Barbados) y el Instituto Panos
(Washington).
Blohm, Cecil and Federica Pania, Manglares. Fundacion para la Defensa de la Naturaleza. Caracas,
Venezuela: Fundacion para la Defensa de la Naturaleza (FUNDENA), 1989.
Foer, Gordon and Stephen Olson, Central America's Coasts. USAID Office of Research and Development,
Development Document, and University of Rhode Island, 1992.
Green Guidance for Latin America and the Caribbean. USAID and World Resources Institute, 1993.
Dricher, John C. A Neo-Tropical Companion. Princeton: University of Princeton Press, 1989.
This article was contributed by Josh Lazarus, who lived and worked in Belize.
Howard J. Teas, Herbicide Toxicity in Mangroves, NTIS, 1976. PB-251-785
Additional Sources of Information on Mangroves:
R.J. Hochberg, W.B. Weisberg and J.B. Frithsen, Design of a Basinwide Monitoring Program for the
Tampa Bay Estuary, NTIS, 1992, PB93-194694
Wetlands, A Threatened Landscape, Oxford, U.K.: Blackwell, 1991 (chapter on rice paddies and mangroves
in Southeast Asia)
Geoffrey Lean, Atlas of the Environment, New York: Prentice Hall Press, 1990. (chapter on mangroves,
coral reefs and seagrasses)
Samuel C. Snedaker, and Melvin S. Brown, Water Quality and Mangrove Ecosystem Dynamics, NTIS,
1981. PB81-204109
/
Hcovx^rove/ Vyna/ryvC
A Mangrove Dynamics and Management (MADAM), project is being established between Brazil and
Germany, reports Tiempo, a Bulletin of Global Warming in the Third World (issue 17, September 1995).
The aim of the project is to investigate issues concerning the ecology of mangrove ecosystems and to
provide solutions involving sustainable utilization and environmental protection. Whereas earlier studies had
focused on "natural and pristine systems," this work will involve considerations of the "ecological, economic
and socio-cultural functions of the system." The project will be coordinated by professors at the Center for
Tropical Marine Ecology (Germany) and Universidade Federal de Para in Belem (Brazil). For further
information, write: Center for Tropical Marine Ecology, MADAM Project, Klagenfurter-Strasse/GEO, D-
28359 Bremen, Germany. FAX: 49-421-2185170.

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Bibliographies from the RSC
INFOTERRA/USA compiled a number of short bibliographies for the U.N. Intergovernmental Conference on
Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activites that was held in Washington D.C. i::
1995.
Water Quality of Oceans and Seas Persistent Organic Pollutants
Marine Sediments	Sewage
Marine Debris	Metals
Marine Pollution and Biodiversity Radioactivity
Oils	Physical Alteration
Coral	Nutrients and Eutrophication
If any of these topics are of interest to you, just let us know. The RSC is happy to provide copies of any or all
of these bibliographies to you.
Many of the documents included on these lists are EPA publications. They are available for a charge from
National Technical Information Center (NTIS); or RSC can provide microfiche copies of these documents to
any NFP on request. This means that the bibliographies serve both as handy reference tools and as ordering
lists for key publications. If something interests you, just ask. We're here to work with you.
Many of the documents included on these lists are EPA publications. They are available for a
in October

Guidelines for Contributions to CARIBBEAN CURRENTS
Any organization 01 individual operating or involved in the English and French-speaking Caribbean Region is welcome to
contribute to the content of the newsletter. Contributions should be addressed to:
Carribean Currents Coordinator
INFOTERRA/USA
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Headquarters Library, 3404
401M Street, S.W.
Washington,D.C. 20460
UNITED STATES
Telephone: (202)260-5917
Fax: (202)260-3923
Internet: Iibrary-infoterra@epamail.epa.gov
Please note that submissions should meet the following criteria:
•	They should be relevant to environmental issues
•	They must be of interest to or directly involve the Region
•	They must not endorse or recommend any product or commercial service either explicitly or implicitly
•	They must be brief—preferably under 250 words; Bulletin Board requests should be kept under 100 words
•	They must be received by the posted deadline (see below)
Please feel free to contact the Caribbean Currents coordinator if you are interested in submitting a longer article. You
should contact the coordinator to discuss your topic and any size or content restrictions beforehand. Be aware that once
your article is submitted, it is subject to editing as needed. Final decisions on editing and inclusion of any contributions
are left to the INFOTERRA/USA Manager. Please contact INFOTERRA/USA using the address above to contribute any
comments, questions, problems, or ideas.
DEADLINE FORCONTRIBUTIONS TO Vol. 4, No. 4: April 12,1996
-4-

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Welcome to The Caribbean Currents
Bulletin Board
Each issue, we will publish questions or concerns of interest to Currents
readers. Anyone who has materials or information that they are seeking or
that they feel will be helpful should feel free to contribute. We will post
queries and offerings of general interest on the Bulletin Board You may
respond by contacting the reader who has placed the item, or the RSC.

DOCUMENTS
AVAILABLE
INFOTERRA/US A has free copies of the
following publications available.
Ifyou would like copies of any ofthese
documents, please let us know.
•	Core Lis! for An Environmental Reference
Collection, 1993
•	Summary, Environmental Plan for the
Mexican-U.S. Border Area, First Stage,
1992-1994
•	Environmental Crisis in the Gulf, the U.S.
Response (U.S. Gulf Task Force)
•	A Proposal for a National Library for the
Environment (Committee for the National
Institute for the Environment, reprinted
from the NIE Proposal, Appendix C)
•	The Use of Life Cycle Assessment in
Environmental Labeling
T o request copies of these documents, just
write to INFOTERRA/US A using the
contact information on page 6.
Information Needed on
Pollution Prevention
INF OTERRA/US A receives many
requests for infbrmatioi 1 on pollution
prevention. Although we have a number of
publications on this topic in the United
States, we are interested in collecting
information on pollution prevention in your
countries. Any regulatory, educational or
industry guides you can provide would be
greatly appreciated. We are interested in
national or local regulations regarding
pollution prevention as well.
Please contact INFOTERRA/US Ausing
the information on page 6 ifyou can
provide any assistance. Thank you for
your support!
Send your Bulletins to the RSC for publication in the next issue. See
the Guidelines on page 4 for information on submitting items.

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fr

About the NFP Directory
This directory reflects changes and additions to the INFOTERRA Directory of National Focal Points
distributed by INFOTERRA/PAC, dated July 1995. Please check this information to verify that it is correctM
and up-to-date. If you have any changes or corrections, please notify the RSC as soon as possible. We will™
be happy to relay the information to the PAC.
>
4

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NFP DIRECTORY
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Mrs. Candia Williams
Conservation Officer II
Ministry ofTourism, Culture, and Environment
Queen Elizabeth Highway
St. John's
ANTIGUA, WEST INDIES
Telephone: (809)462-4624 FAX: (809)462-2836
Mrs. Lynn Holowesko
The Bahamas Environment, Science & Technology
Commission
OfficeoflhePrime Minister
P.O. BoxCB 10980
Nassau
THE BAHAMAS
Telephone: (809)327-4691 FAX: (809) 327-4626
Mr. Lionel Moe
Permanent Secretary (Environment),
Ministry ofTourism, International T ransport and the
Environment
Sir, Frank Walcott Building, Cuiloden Road
St. Michael
BARBADOS
Telephone: (809)431-7680 FAX: (809)437-8859
Jaime Villanueva
Fisheries Department
Princess Margaret Drive, P.O.Box 148
Belize City
BELIZE, CENTRAL AMERICA
Telephone: 501-2-44552 FAX: 501-2-32983
Mr. Felix Gregoire
Forestry and Wildlife Division
Ministry of Agriculture, Botanical Gardens
Roseau
DOMINICA, WEST INDIES
Telephone: (809)448-2401 FAX: (809)448-7999
Ms. Mavis Taylor
INFOTERRA Director, c/o UNDP
P.O.Box 10960
Georgetown
GUYANA
FAX: 592-2-62942
M. Dalberg Claude
Ministere de 1'Agriculture et des Ressources
Naturelles et du Developpement Rural
P.O.Box 1441
Port-au-Frince
HAITI
Telephone: 509-1 -21867 FAX: 509-1-23599
Ms. Yolanda N. Mittoo
Natural Resources Conservation Authority
53 1/2 Molynes Road
P.O. Box 305
Kingston 10
JAMAICA, WEST INDIES
Telephone: (809) 923-5155/5125 FAX: (809)923-5070
Mr. Leonard Huggins
Environmental and Development Officer
PlanningUnit
Charleston, Nevis
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Telephone: (809)469-5521 FAX: (809)469-5435
Mrs. Vanesta Moses-Felix
Government Documentalist
Ministry of Planning, Development
and Environment
National Documentation Center
P.O. Box 709
Castries
ST. LUCIA, WEST INDIES
Telephone: (809)453-1951 FAX: (809)452-2506
Regional Service Centre (RSC):
Emma J. McNamara
INFOTERRA/USA
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Headquarters Library, 3404
401M Street, S. W.
Washington, D. C. 20460
UNITED STATES
Telephone: (202)260-5917 FAX: (202)260-3923

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