Magazine article Geographical

Vanishing Coast: Trinidad and Tobago Is Losing Its Coastline, a Problem for an Island Nation Where 70 per Cent of the Population Lives near the Edge

Magazine article Geographical

Vanishing Coast: Trinidad and Tobago Is Losing Its Coastline, a Problem for an Island Nation Where 70 per Cent of the Population Lives near the Edge

Article excerpt

While oil and gas provides the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago with its main economic base, dredging for new pipelines, coupled with changing weather patterns, may be having a disastrous effect on the nation's picturesque coastline. 'Although not all of the beaches and bays are monitored, we have figures for the north coast where we see retreat of up to one metre per year,' says Junior Darsan, who studies erosion on the island.

There are several anti-erosion measures in place around Trinidad, ranging from sea walls to rubble revetments. Revetments are sloping structures that absorb energy from incoming waves. We have sea walls. We have structures along the island in some sections. We also have sea walls in small bays in the northwest. On the west coast, there are sea walls to protect roads close to the coastline,' says Darsan.

'In terms of climate change, there are reports of a 1,000-year sea level rise of around 1.1 metres. Most of Trinidad is low-lying, so any increase in sea level will translate into shoreline erosion,' he adds. …

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