Make your own free website on Tripod.com

JGR Our Online Journal - Uptodate Environmental News from the Cayman Islands and around the Globe.

JGR Blog - Erosion a major problem from Hurricane Wilma - Cayman Islands - 1 November 2005

Home
Global Warming - First time in History - North Pole Could be Free of Ice this Summer - 26 June 2008
Blue Iguana Breeding Programme Success 11 June 2008
Very Rare and Large Squid (24 lbs 4 oz, 7 ft long) - found off Little Cayman - 20 May 2008
World Outrage on the Cruel and Unjustified Death of Six Grand Cayman Blue Iguanas - 6 May 2008
Coral Reefs And Climate Change: Microbes Could Be The Key To Coral Death - 1 April 2008
Delicate Partnership Between Coral And Algae Threatened By Global Warming - 25 March 2008
Green Iguanas taking over in Grand Cayman - 29 October 2007
Less than 0.001% of Britain's marine environment, home to 44,000 species, is legally protected
John Gray Recyclers Distribute Educational Posters on the Grand Cayman Blue Iguanas - September 2007
JGR Remind Public to Plastic Six Pack Holder Recycle to Preserve the Cayman Islands' environment
The Secret Language of Whales - How it will help with their preservation - 7 March 2007
Iguanas get Royal attention - JGR News - February 2007
Prince Edward visits the Salina Reserve to see the Grand Cayman Blue Iguanas - 4 Feb 2007
Cayman Islands' Dept of Environment's Mangrove Project - 6 February 2007
Global Endangered Species threatened to become extinct without Action - MSN News - January 2007
El Nino and Global Warming - 2007 predicted to be warmest on record - 4 January 2007
Crocodile found in Cayman waters, Old Man Bay, North Side, Grand Cayman - 30 December 2006
Ice Cracks at North Pole - Global Warming - 21 September 2006
Shark that walks on fins is discovered in Indonesia - September 2006
Baby Manatee found in Cayman waters - 4 August 2006
Year 11 John Gray Recyclers Attend Awards Function on Disney Cruise Line - 23 June 2006
Dogs Kill Endangered Blue Iguanas, Botanical Gardens, Grand Cayman - 7 June 2006
Year 11 John Gray Recyclers Win Jiminy Cricket Challenge 2006 - 6 June 2006
John Gray Recyclers have Recycling Global Reach - "Carribean Current" - 1 June 2006
The origins of Cayman's sand - Marnie Laing, Cayman Islands' National Trust - 1 May 2006
Caribbean Coral Threatened by Warming Seas - 24 April 2006
John Gray Recyclers Agape Park Project in the News - 16 February 2006
CaymanNewNews Article on Grand Cayman's Landifll problems following Hurricane Ivan - 18 January 2006
Decline in World Population of Molluscs - 10 January 2006
JGR in the News - Students, businesses get together to help environment - 7 December 2005
UNEP - Global Warming forces Pacific Islanders to move - 6 December 2005
John Gray Recyclers Target Six-pack Holders - 2 December 2005
Cayman Islands Dept of Environmental Health join John Gray Recyclers at Reading Fair - 30 November
Wednesday 30 November marks end of record 2005 hurricane season
Coral Reefs Facing Crisis - 30 November 2005
JGR In the News - Plastic Six-Pack holder Recycling in Grand Cayman - 18 November 2005
JGR Blog - Grand Cayman Cruise berthing a top issue - 10 November 2005
JGR Blog - Land fill on Grand Cayman running short - 9 November 2005
JGR Blog - Cayman's Blue Dragons get worldwide coverage - 8 November 2005
JGR Blog - Wilma causes Cruise Numbers Concern on Grand Cayman - 20,158 due on one day - 7 Nov 05
JGR Blog - Mexico's Coral Reefs may take up to 100 years to heal after Wilma - 5 November 2005
JGR Blog - Turtle release in Grand Cayman choppy but cheerful - 3 November 2005
JGR Blog - Migrant Masked Booby blown to Grand Cayman by Wilma is successfully released - 3 Nov 2005
JGR Blog - Bleaching threatens Coral Reefs - 3 November 2005
JGR Blog - Cayman Islands' Turtles survive wild Wilma - 1 November 2005
JGR Blog - Erosion a major problem from Hurricane Wilma - Cayman Islands - 1 November 2005
JGR Blog - Iggy Supports Recycling at School Fair - 27 October 2005
JGR Blog - Blue Iguana Rescued - 26 October 2005
JGR Blog - IUCN Article on Climate Change Destruction of World's Coral Reefs - 25 October 2005
JGR Blog - Cayman Islands' Conch/Whelk Season starts 1 November and closes on 30 April 2006
JGR Blog - Turtle Tracking of Cayman Islands' Turtles - 24 October 2005
JGR Blog - School Club Fair - September 2005
JGR Blog - Important Cayman Islands' Recycling Information from C I Dept of Environmental Health
JGR Blog - 14 November 2003 - We've got the Baby Blues
JGR Blog - 25 October 2003 - Our Rap and our Float in the Pirates' Week Float Parade
JGR Blog - 19 - 23 October 2003 - the Blue Iguana Programme of the Cayman Islands' National Trust
JGR Blog 29 Sept - 3 Oct 2003 - We continue to track our Grand Cayman turtles in Central America
JGR Blog 22 - 26 Sept 2003 - Tracking our Grand Cayman Sea Turtles
JGR Blog - 18 Sept 2003 - John Gray High School Club Fair
JGR Blog - 15 - 19 Sept 2003 - Opening of Stephen Jared Youth Centre
Contact Us

Click to read article on Cayman Islands' 'Erosion a Major Problem' from Hurricane Wilma

Erosion a major problem’


High waves and storm surge caused by the passing of
Wilma has made its mark on the beaches and other
areas around the Island

Tuesday,  November 1, 2005

Since Hurricane Wilma, there have been various reports of damage to the natural environment, mainly caused as a direct and indirect result of powerful wave action and storm surge.

Direct damage has included beaches and vegetation bordering beaches, and indirect damage has been caused from salt spray from the waves; in some places, as in the Pedro Castle and Savannah areas as well as of course the flooding which occurred in that area.

Timothy Austin, Assistant Director of Research and Assessment with the Department of Environment, said there has been some substantial loss of sand along the western side of the Island, and the beaches on the south side.

“We won’t know the full extent of the erosion until the waves have died down a bit and the beach has established its normal post-storm profile; but given the site visits that we have undertaken, I am fairly certain the erosion will be a major problem.”

He added that some ten Green Turtle nests had also been lost to wave action along the Seven Mile Beach, which probably accounted for about 1000 young turtle hatchlings. 

“Another problem has been the damage to Cayman’s coral reefs; Cayman’s underwater features will also have taken a bashing from the large seas,” Mr Austin said.

“During Ivan we lost a lot of the shallow water benthic organisms, including hard corals, but particularly sea fans, sponges and other soft corals, and to date there has not been a major recovery of these important and picturesque marine species. 

“Wilma and the large seas associated with the storm will have seriously impacted any natural recovery that may have occurred over the last year; and may have inflicted further damage on an already severely impacted coral reef and the near shore hard-bottom environment.”

Mr Austin pointed out that as with all major storms, a lot of the damage to the marine environment is mechanical, through debris from coastal dwellings and structures that get knocked down and into the water. 

“Wooden docks, jetties, seawalls, cabanas and other debris get thrown around in the large waves and eventually end up wedged into reefs or tangled up on the seafloor,” he explained.

“This not only leaves an unsightly mess, but also can cause tremendous physical damage while loose on the bottom. Coral reefs have adapted to large storm events and typically have recovered from them in the past, although usually on a time period of decades or centuries. 

“However there is now growing scientific evidence that given all of the other environmental stresses on coral reefs today and that global climate change maybe producing more frequent and stronger storms, and that hurricanes may now be accelerating the decline of reefs.”

Andrew Guthrie, Manager of the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, said that the gardens had faired quite well.

“We have not really experienced much damage: we got some fallen leaves and branches nothing more than that, no flooding really, no more flooding than normal,” said Mr Guthrie.

At the Savannah and Pedro areas, a large amount of salt water, from the spray of waves breaking on the cliffs, without the energy absorbing effect of a protective fringing reef, meant that large amounts of seawater found its way down the hill into Savannah. 

These events have happened periodically in the past, according to the National Trust’s Frank Roulstone, but he added that he hadn’t really had a chance to see what damage had been inflicted on some of the most vulnerable National Trust sites by Friday afternoon.

“I haven’t been able to get into Dr Roy’s Iron Shore or Fort George to see what damage may have occurred,” he said.

Mark Orr, an enforcement officer with the Department of Environment, said that one or two people were trying to take advantage of the situation.

“We had a couple of people tried to grab some conch,” Mr Orr explained.

“One gentleman had three and another had five. It is out of season, until the end of October, and it is also a Marine Park,” he said.

The Turtle Farm in West Bay reported that their parking lot had been damaged by Hurricane Wilma and was temporarily “Out of Commission.” 

They also reported that the water in some of the turtle holding tanks had become murky, which was thought to be the result of excessive salt spray, but other than that, there was little damage.

JGR Blog - Cayman Islands' Turtles survive wild Wilma