Read Ashton Lagoon proposal FINAL-13 Nov text version

Proposal to NMBCA

Restoration of Ashton Lagoon ­ Phase II

I. COVER PAGE Project Title: Restoration and Sustainable use of Ashton Lagoon: Phase II Project Location: St. Vincent and the Grenadines (Union Island) Latitude/Longitude: ~12-13° N, ~61-62° W Ecoregion: Lesser Antilles Mangroves (NT1416) Person Responsible for Project: Martin Barriteau Organization: Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES), University of the West Indies, Barbados Type of Organization: University DUNS #: 860239813 Mailing Address: Dr. Robin Mahon, Professor of Marine Affairs, Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES), University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, St. Michael, Barbados, W.I. BB11000. Telephone (246) 417-4317, FAX: (246) 424-4204 (fax), E-mail: [email protected] Duration of this proposal: 1 year Project Summary: Since first described by Howard in 1950 , the mangroves, salt ponds, mud flats, coral reefs and seagrass beds of Ashton Lagoon stood out as an increasingly rare and valuable natural resource for wildlife and the peoples of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Despite designation as a marine conservation area and a damning environmental impact assessment, an ill-conceived marina-hotel-golf-course development in the lagoon was initiated in 1994. The project was aborted a year later when the development company declared bankruptcy, but not before causing catastrophic damage to the lagoon. The dredging and marina causeway, which blocked water circulation, led to the loss of significant coastal resources with direct ecological and economic impacts to Union Island and the region, including loss and degradation of habitat for wintering and migratory populations of seabirds, waterbirds, shorebirds and landbirds, stagnant and turbid water in the lagoon, and a cascade of other impacts affecting a once vital fisheries, seagrasses, corals and other marine life within and around the failed marina project footprint. Through the contribution of local activism by community groups, scientific review, and governmental support culminating in the Ashton Lagoon Participatory Planning Workshop (Phase I of this project), an opportunity has been developed to restore Ashton Lagoon and the critical ecosystem functions and values it once provided, as well as economic and community-based benefits that are inherently linked to such a dynamic and complex system. The proposed project seeks to enhance wildlife habitat potential for birds, fishes, and other marine organisms by: 1) restoring hydrology and tidal flushing within Ashton Lagoon through carefully engineered landscape manipulation of remnant marina structures that impede water circulation, 2) development of sustainable local tourism and livelihood opportunities for local people, and 3) increase knowledge and awareness of the importance of mangrove and salt pond ecosystems and bird life in Union Island through exposure to their ecology, history, and economic and cultural importance. The restoration plan will be carefully monitored prior to, during, and after proposed engineering is implemented utilizing the asset of local stakeholders trained in empirically-based restoration monitoring techniques. Monitoring data will be utilized to maintain communication with stakeholders, evaluate project trajectories, and guide informed decision-making based upon adaptive management principles. Integration of the restoration itself, relying on local stewardship, participation, and involvement, will strengthen and enhance local livelihoods through sustainable tourism development, education, and outreach to insure sustained project success with direct ecological and economic benefits.

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- Howard, R.A. 1952. The vegetation of the Grenadines, Windward Islands, British West Indies. The Gray Herbarium of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 128pp. Eligible activities include: B. Maintenance, management, restoration of bird habitat (main emphasis) ­ 605+ hectares; E. Community outreach and education Total Funding Requested: $199,910 Total Matching Funds: $595,125 Partners contributing match: Coastal and Environmental Engineering Solutions, Inc., Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (conservation NGO), Fermata, Inc. (business), University of the West Indies, Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (university) & Sustainable Grenadines Project Union Island Museum and Ecological Society (NGO), Union Island Environmental Attackers (NGO), AvianEyes Birding Group (NGO), Jackson Estuarine Laboratory, University of New Hampshire (university), The Nature Conservancy (NGO) and many other local partners.


Proposal to NMBCA

Restoration of Ashton Lagoon ­ Phase II


Project Officer Martin Barriteau, Project Manager, Sustainable Grenadines Project (Sustainable Integrated Development and Biodiversity Conservation in the Grenadine Islands), a project of the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES), University of the West Indies, Barbados. The goal of this project is the integrated sustainable development of the Grenadine Islands area for the social and economic well being of the local people. "SusGren," led by Mr. Barriteau, has developed a participatory co-management framework and are currently implementing small environmental projects in the Grenadines, including the local organizing of Phase I of this project--the Participatory Planning Workshop for the Restoration of Ashton Lagoon (May 2007). Project Advisors and Consultants Robin Mahon, Ph.D. Professor, Coastal and Marine Resource Management, Director, Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES), University of the West Indies, Barbados. Prof. Mahon is Regional Project Coordinator for the IOCARIBE Large Marine Ecosystem initiative, and is also leader of the Sustainable Grenadines Project being implemented by CERMES, Caribbean Conservation Association, Projects Promotion Ltd., and the Carriacou Environmental Committee and funded by the Lighthouse Foundation, Germany. That project focuses on the role of civil society in sustainable development in the Grenadines and the modalities of effecting change in complex systems. Prof. Mahon's research activities are in coastal and marine resource management, with emphasis on assessment and management of transboundary resources. Robert L. Bascom, Bsc., Msc., PEng. Coastal and Environmental Engineering Solutions, Inc. (CEES, Inc.), Barbados. Mr. Bascom has over 17 years experience in the area of project development, design, execution and management of marine and sea defense work. His main areas of educational training are in coastal and civil engineering design, coastal and shoreline processes research, numerical modeling, physical oceanographic research and geographical information system development and management. Mr. Bascom conducted an assessment of the engineering aspects of the restoration and will lead and provide technical advice on the restoration work. Jonathan Kohl, M.S. Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Interpretive Specialist, Fermata, Inc., Park Planner. Mr. Kohl has expertise in project planning, park management, and sustainable tourism development. He has worked several years at the non-profit RARE developing the Public Use Planning Program for World Heritage Sites, and coauthored Fermata's new interpretive and guide training manual. Mr. Kohl assisted with the Ashton Lagoon Participatory Planning Workshop on Union Island (May 2007) and will advise and facilitate the development of sustainable tourism activities in this next phase of the project. Ted Eubanks, President, Fermata, Inc., a nature tourism, national trails, and wildlife-watching consulting business. A resident of Galveston, he is a recipient of the Roger T. Peterson Excellence in Birding Award. Fermata, Inc. is committed to local economic development and conservation of natural resources. Fermata provides cost-effective strategies for generating revenue in communities via sustainable nature tourism activities. Fermata's work includes conceptualization, development, field assessment, and implementation of large-scale nature tourism projects. Lisa G. Sorenson, Ph.D. Vice President, Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB), Project Coordinator of the West Indian Whistling-Duck (WIWD) and Wetlands Conservation Project. Twenty four years experience working in the Caribbean, including field research on Caribbean waterfowl, environmental impact assessment work, and conservation education and training. Currently Dr. Sorenson is leading/coordinating a region-wide outreach and education program on the importance and value of local wetlands and their birdlife. Sorenson coordinated Phase I of this project; she will continue to provide help and guidance for Phase II. Gregg E. Moore, Ph.D., Assistant Research Professor, Jackson Estuarine Laboratory, University of New Hampshire. He has been active in habitat assessments, conservation, and restoration of mangroves with an emphasis on the Grenadines for over 10 years, partnering with groups in the Caribbean such as United Nations Development Program, Earthwatch Institute, Conservation International/IUCN, and The Nature Conservancy, as well as Ashton Lagoon Participatory Planning Workshop. Local Partners There are a number of active NGOs and community-based organizations (CBOs) in Union Island that work on various environmental, economic and social problems on Union Island. Many are engaged in activities to increase environmental awareness, reduce pollution, build capacity, preserve local culture and history, and foster sustainable development. Organizations include Union Island Museum & Ecological Society (UIMES, Stephen Stewart, President), Union Island Environmental Attackers (UIEA, Katrina Collins, President), Union Island Ecotourism Movement (UIEM, Matthew Harvey, President), Union Island Association for Ecological Preservation (UIAEP), Southern Grenadines Water Taxi Association, Tobago Cays Marine Park, Tobago Cays National Park, Young Help Striders 4-H Club, and others. The Union Island Development Council is a new umbrella organization created to coordinate the activities of these small groups (25 total). Additional local partners in St. Vincent and the Grenadines include AvianEyes Birding Group (Lystra CulzacWilson), St. Vincent National Trust, Friends of the Tobago Cays, Mayreau Environmental Development Organization, and government ministries and departments (e.g., Health and the Environment, Southern Grenadines Affairs, Fisheries, Tourism, Physical Planning, Youth and Sport, Forestry, Public Health, National Parks, Social Investment Fund). All of the above partners have contributed to the project and we will continue to work with them and others.


Proposal to NMBCA

Restoration of Ashton Lagoon ­ Phase II


Background Long-term studies of Neotropical migratory birds have shown that the population size of many species has declined over time (Robbins et al. 1989, Terborgh 1989). Many of these species spend the winter in, or migrate through, the Caribbean islands and are dependent on the food, water and shelter provided in forest, scrub, and wetland habitats for up to nine months out of the year. Human activities such as deforestation, wetland drainage, and pollution have resulted in the destruction or degradation of most of these natural habitats. Winter habitat loss and degradation has been implicated in declines (Morton 1992, Rappole et a. 1992), or reduced reproductive success (Norris et al. 2003), of at least some Neotropical migrants. If loss of natural habitat continues unabated, it seems likely that many Neotropical migrants will undergo further declines. Tropical wetland habitats have been especially vulnerable. Wetlands throughout the Caribbean have been drained and/or filled to accommodate growing human populations and tourist development projects (Ellison and Farnsworth 1996). Alteration of a wetland's hydrology (e.g., by closing the natural connection to the sea with roads and dam construction), various types of pollution (e.g., chemical run-off from nearby agriculture, sewage, dumping of garbage), water mismanagement (e.g., overuse of freshwater sources for irrigation and urban populations), urbanization and population encroachment around wetland banks resulting in cutting of mangroves, over-fishing, illegal hunting, and conversion of wetland peripheries into cattle pastures are among the most critical activities that degrade wetlands. Each development or activity may bring benefits such as jobs, goods, or services, but it also brings costs such as increased flood damage, pollution of drinking water, loss of biodiversity, and damage to coral reefs and fisheries. The damages and losses that occur when wetlands are altered or destroyed are not quantified, and it is the local community, often the poor and powerless, that incurs the costs. To reverse the present trends, a comprehensive approach is required. Local communities and governments need a better understanding of the many functions and values of their wetlands--the vital role that wetland ecosystems play in mitigating natural catastrophes (e.g. coastal zone protection, flood damage control) and safeguarding human health (e.g., water supply, sediment and nutrient trap), the resources that wetlands provide (e.g., fish, lobsters, conch, shrimp, crabs, honey, firewood, timber, wild game birds, biodiversity; e.g., Mumby et al. 2004), and the actions that can be taken to protect, restore and use wetlands sustainably (e.g., nature tourism including bird watching). Fortunately, wetlands that have been damaged can often be restored, but it is essential that restoration projects benefit local communities, include training and education, and work with governments to implement policy changes to ensure that future development does not occur in environmentally sensitive areas. Ecology and History of Ashton Lagoon--Proposed Wetland Restoration Site Ashton Lagoon, located on the south coast of Union Island in the Grenadines, is the largest lagoon on Union Island. In 1990, it was the last remaining relatively pristine lagoon in the Vincentian Grenadines and was unique in that it contained all primary components of a lagoon/coral reef ecosystem, including a long stretch of outer reefs, a shallow protected inner lagoon, abundant seagrass beds within the lagoon, and a large area of mangroves (largest remaining mangrove forest in the country), containing all four species present in the region (Simmons and Associates Inc. 2000) as well as salt ponds along the shore (Price and Price 1994a). The lagoon harbored a variety of important flora and fauna including lobster, conch and several rare or endangered marine organisms. The mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs served as nursery habitats for commercially important fish and invertebrates. The Ashton Lagoon complex, together with a nearby offshore island (Frigate Island) also provided important habitats for good numbers of wintering and migrating populations of seabirds, waterbirds, shorebirds and landbirds. The striking beauty and diverse natural features of the entire area offered tremendous potential for development as a centerpiece of tourism in Union Island. Because of its rich biodiversity and ecological importance for the entire southeast coast of Union Island (comprised largely of Ashton Lagoon), the lagoon was designated a marine conservation area and protected under The Fisheries Act of 1986, of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (Price and Price 1994b). The Ashton wetland is also designated an Important Bird Area (IBA, BirdLife International 2008). The site is important for congregatory seabirds and many neotropical migrant waterbirds (e.g., willets, whimbrels, plovers, sandpipers and turnstones) as well as six Lesser Antilles restricted range species. Despite its protected status, a foreign developer proposed to build a large marina complex in the bay: The Ashton Marina Project called for a 300 berth marina in the central section of Ashton Lagoon, a causeway connecting Frigate Island to Union Island, a recreation center on Frigate Island, a large condominium complex to be built on top of the outer reefs, and a 50 acre golf course to be laid over the mangrove. An environmental impact assessment of the proposed project (Price and Price 1994b) described the permanent and irreversible environmental impacts of this large-scale project: the seagrass beds and outer lagoon reefs would be destroyed, the mangroves and salt ponds would be cleared and filled in, and water circulation to the bay drastically reduced. Changed current patterns in the bay, together with increased sedimentation and pollution during and following construction, virtually assured the die-off or emigration of most marine species in the lagoon. Despite grave concerns expressed in the report and opposition to the project by many local residents1, construction on the project began in late 1994.


Although local citizens in the fishing village of Ashton were attracted to the project because of the promise of jobs and economic benefits from the development (unemployment is very high in the community), many local residents opposed the project, believing that it would cause irreparable damage to the environment and their community (Goreau and Sammons 2003, Jacques Daudin, personal communication). 3

Proposal to NMBCA

Restoration of Ashton Lagoon ­ Phase II

During the first few months of work, the lagoon was dredged, a road was built around the mangrove, marina berths were installed, and a causeway completely bisecting the Ashton Lagoon into eastern and western sections was constructed. In mid1995 the construction company declared bankruptcy and the project was abandoned. Although the collapse of the project prevented further damage to the lagoon ecosystem, devastating changes had already taken place. Ecological surveys of the lagoon in 1997 and 2003 showed that damage to the lagoon was as predicted (Price and Price 1998, Goreau and Sammons 2003). The causeway's blockage of water circulation of the bay caused the western half of the bay to become stagnant and the water turbid. The seagrass beds, lobster, conch and many fishes have largely disappeared, and any corals remaining inside the lagoon are mostly dead and overgrown with algae. Due to the restricted flow of seawater, the mangroves have become severely stunted, marine life can no longer freely move in and out, and the salt ponds are now mostly dry (see Appendix 1). Concerns about the health of the lagoon led to a call for a restoration project. It was recognized that if remedial measures and restoration techniques were implemented, the lagoon could be returned to near its former health (Price and Price 1998, Goreau 2003, Goreau and Sammons 2003). During initial discussions and stakeholder meetings in 2004 and 2006 the local community expressed a keen interest and desire to restore the lagoon and pursue sustainable development options (e.g., low impact tourism). In 2006 SCSCB received funding from NMBCA to carry out Phase I of this project: a participatory planning workshop for the restoration of Ashton Lagoon. Results from Phase I The main objective of Phase I was a three-day participatory planning workshop to determine the Union Island and Vincentian community's vision for sustainable use of Ashton Lagoon, assessing the feasibility of different options, and developing a plan to pursue the vision. The plan would address the lagoon's many conservation needs, including removal of impediments to the lagoon's natural hydrologic flow, restoration of marine and coastal habitats and re-establishment of aquatic and coastal flora and fauna, as well as the community's need for good jobs. A wide range of stakeholders (local NGOs, government, fishing community, businesses, residents, etc.) were invited to participate in the planning process and share their views. Marine, wetland, and coral reef restoration ecologists, ornithologists, a marine engineer, and sustainable tourism expert provided assessments and expert advice to help guide the restoration planning. Recognizing that further developments of the site were possible, our aim was to produce a plan with objectives and activities that would emphasize bird and nature tourism and other sustainable uses of the lagoon and Union Island's unique natural heritage and beauty. A total of 37 people attended the workshop. A detailed report of the workshop proceedings and results was produced (Sorenson 2008, URL:; the main outcomes are summarized below. The first part of the workshop consisted of presentations by scientists and experts. We then used the process of logical framework analysis (a.k.a. logframe) for project planning, including stakeholder analysis, problem analysis, developing overall and immediate objectives, identifying strategies and activities to achieve objectives, and summarizing the most important aspects in a logframe matrix. The main problems identified could be grouped into three categories--the environment, governance and public awareness. The environmental problems (e.g., stagnant water, destruction of marine life) were all a consequence of the marina construction. Problems with governance and public awareness included issues such as proper administrative procedures not being followed, the community was not consulted, and lack of knowledge and awareness about the environment and the links between the environment and sustainable livelihoods. It was recognized that problems in the latter two categories are what led to the construction of the causeway in the first place, and that the problems are larger than the site level. Participants agreed that all three problem areas needed to be addressed in the project objectives in order to restore Ashton Lagoon and prevent a similar tragedy from occurring in the future. The population of 3,500 on Union Island relies mainly on fishing and tourism for their livelihoods. Both have declined markedly in recent years and poverty and unemployment, already at high levels, has increased. The participants expressed a desire to pursue development through a project that involves community participation and emphasizes sustainable livelihood opportunities. Participants formulated the following overall objective for the project: Overall Objective: Restore the Ashton Lagoon environment in order to improve local livelihoods and quality of life. The Immediate Objectives/Results are: 1. The natural ecological processes in Ashton Lagoon are restored and the lagoon once again supports biodiversity and provides important ecological services. The scientists, marine engineer and other experts agreed that opening up the causeway in strategic locations in order to restore natural circulation and tidal flow of water is the crucial first step in the ecological restoration process. Replanting of seagrass beds, restoration of coral reefs and marine life, and management and restoration planting of mangroves are recommended for supporting biodiversity and livelihoods. 2. Awareness and appreciation of the links between the environment and sustainable livelihoods and the importance of using our natural resources wisely is increased among the general public, stakeholders, government officials and politicians. A greater understanding and awareness of the environment will be achieved through a comprehensive


Proposal to NMBCA

Restoration of Ashton Lagoon ­ Phase II



outreach and education program that includes training workshops, production and distribution of educational materials (e.g., fact sheets, posters, newspaper articles), media training, partnerships with local NGOs and businesses, community participation in the restoration and awareness-raising activities (e.g., celebration of bird/wetland festivals, clean-ups, planting and monitoring projects). Sustainable local tourism and livelihood employment opportunities are developed for local people. Sustainable tourism and livelihood employment opportunities will be developed by creating a community vision and overall strategic plan following some key principles and guidelines covered in the workshop. Developing a marketing plan, building infrastructure, creating interpretive materials, rehabilitating tourist attractions, training guides and small business owners, developing an Ashton Watchable Wildlife Pond with a renewal theme, and creating a birding/natural heritage trail on Union Island are a few of the actions that could provide employment as well as highlight and conserve the unique beauty, natural history, fisheries, bird life, and culture of Union Island. Legislation is revised and local decision-making capacity is improved. It was recommended that local decisionmaking capacity and governance be improved through establishment of a community oversight/co-management group and the adoption by government of a new policy framework for development entitled Lessons learned from Ashton Lagoon ­ Guidelines for development in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The policy statement, written by the workshop participants, stipulates that development should not occur in environmentally sensitive areas, there should be community participation and transparency in the decision-making process, EIAs should be completed and applied as required by law, and projects should be independently monitored and reviewed.

Activities necessary to achieve the results were identified and summarized in a Logframe Matrix, along with Indicators, Means of Verification and Assumptions (see Appendix 16, Sorenson 2008). It was recommended that, following consultation with stakeholders, government and conservation partners, grant proposals addressing one or more of the above objectives should be prepared and submitted to funding agencies. The successful restoration of Ashton Lagoon, in conjunction with greater public awareness of the environment, increased community participation in governance, and development of sustainable tourism and livelihoods, will not only benefit Union Islanders, but also serve as a model for other countries in the region to follow as the way forward for sustainable development.


Objective 1. B. Restoration of Bird Habitat: Begin to restore the Ashton Lagoon ecosystem by restoring natural circulation and tidal flow of water in the lagoon (605 ha). The scientists agreed that restoration of hydrology and tidal flushing is the crucial first step in the restoration process. Once the stagnant and polluted water is flushed out and the system is stabilized, other restoration activities can be pursued to restore and enhance the lagoon, such as restoration planting of mangroves and other vegetation beneficial to nesting and feeding birds, replanting seagrass beds, restoration of coral reefs, and reintroduction of lambi (conch), lobsters and other marine life to the lagoon. Restoration of the lagoon's hydrology and regular tidal flushing of the mangroves will naturally rehabilitate the Ashton mangrove, by removing accumulated sulfides and salts, promoting distribution of propagules, and encouraging seedling recruitment. Restored hydrology will also enhance the salt pond which is mostly dry presently, thereby improving the quality of habitat for birds. The main problematic element of the abandoned marina design is the causeway linking Frigate Island to Union Island. This causeway extends some 500 m in length and is made from a combination of steel sheet piling backfilled with consolidated dredged material from the inner basin. There are 8 main berthing piers which have been defined within the abandoned marina configuration ranging from between 80m to 160m in length. The sheet piling is currently in an advanced stage of corrosion and may add to the complexity of the removal process depending on the structural integrity of the individual piles proposed for removal. The main objective of the restoration works will be to improve the circulation in the lee of the existing interlinking causeway. This is to be achieved by the: 1. Removal/resiting of approximately 4000 cu.m. of backfill material 2. Removal of 20 m running length of steel sheet piles to create openings for circulation, and 3. Installation of reusable sheet piles along the faces perpendicular to the openings to prevent excess scouring due to the daily oceanographic processes. If providing access to Frigate Island is desired, additional works would include creating two minor bridges and installing 16 concrete culverts (4' dia.) along the face of the approximately 500m length of causeway. Because of the cost of capital work, phasing will be required: we plan to initially deal with creating the openings for circulation and then look at the provision of the access to Frigate Island. Based on the size of the abandoned facility and the volume of works left at the site one of the key actions of this proposal will be to conduct further detailed numerical circulation analysis to produce a more cost efficient and effective design. An analysis of the integrity of the pile areas to be removed will also be assessed in detail along with the nature and properties of the consolidated backfilled material forming the finger piers and causeway.


Proposal to NMBCA

Restoration of Ashton Lagoon ­ Phase II

Activities and Outputs: The activities related to the restoration of circulation are broken into 2 phases as follows: Phase A 1. Conduct detailed bathymetric investigations at the site 2. Finalise hydrodynamic modeling 3. Detailed investigations of the structural integrity of the areas of the marina to be modified (sheet piling and consolidated back fill 4. Removal of defined opening either through pulling of piles or cutting 5. Excavation and removal/resiting of consolidated backfill material at designed locations along causeway and finger piers. 6. Installation of useable sheet piles to prevent scouring at openings 7. Use of excavated material to promote habitat formation (proliferation of mangroves, small subsidiary islets etc) where possible and necessary to enhance conditions for nesting and roosting waterbirds. 8. Develop an ecological monitoring protocol that can be conducted by local groups to track pre- and post-restoration conditions for core variables such as hydrology, water quality, plant community changes, and habitat utilization. 9. Summarize pre-restoration ecological data and identify potential data gaps, collect additional pre-restoration data accordingly. 10. Working with the community and the engineering team, develop an Adaptive Management Plan comprising 1) a concise goal statement, 2) conceptual model, and 3) decision framework to guide restoration plan and insure project follows desired trajectory. Phase B 1. Installation of culverts and bridges to re-establish connection between Frigate Island and Union Island (if desired) 2. Inspection of works completed, review of "As Built" plans with engineering team and project steering committee 3. Monitoring of post-restoration project status and examine/test hypotheses of the adaptive management plan, prepare preliminary summary report including comparison of pre- and post-restoration ecological parameters and recommendations for continued project management, monitoring and `next steps' as needed. Objective 2. B. Maintenance, Management and Restoration of Bird Habitat: Develop sustainable local tourism and livelihood opportunities for local people (1,430 ha, including Union Island and Ashton Lagoon wetland IBA). We will follow a process developed by Fermata, Inc. to develop sustainable tourism called the Matrix of Opportunity: Community Vision and how Tourism Contributes. Key questions to address in this process include: What are the quality of life indicators for Union Island? What does the Union Island community want to be in 10-20 years? How can the local community use tourism as part of an overall sustainability or restoration strategy? We will develop a community vision; inventory, evaluate and prioritize outstanding attractions and stories in Union Island (natural, cultural, and historical); define visitor experiences and messages; and identify local products (e.g., seamoss drink) that provide experience and opportunities for community interaction. Ideas identified in the participatory planning workshop will be revisited and expanded upon, including developing the Ashton Lagoon area as a Watchable Wildlife Pond and Birding/Nature Trail with a renewal theme (interpret the restoration and renewal story of the lagoon). Jon Kohl will facilitate the process during a one-week visit to Union and subsequently via remote technical assistance to a tourism steering committee. Steps 1 ­ 5 of the 12 step planning matrix will be completed (funds are being sought separately to complete the planning matrix steps (develop tourism marketing strategy) and build infrastructure (interpretive signs, trails, observation tower, etc.). Activities and Outputs: 2.1 Local tourism workshops (2 one-day workshops) to develop community vision; identify attractions, stories, experiences and products; and create a draft interpretive framework--graphical representation of messages, experiences, themes, ordered hierarchically. 2.2 Site/field visits and additional meetings to refine draft products 2.3 Establish a tourism steering committee and assign roles to continue the planning process 2.4 Conduct an inventory of goods and services 2.5 Conduct an inventory of and develop recreational activities (e.g., birding, hiking, kayaking, fishing, etc.) 2.6 Connect resources, themes, recreations into trails (itineraries) Objective 3. E. Community Outreach and Education: Increase awareness of the importance of mangrove and salt pond ecosystems in Union Island--their ecology, history, and economic and cultural importance, and increase knowledge and appreciation of Union Island's bird life. 3.1 Publish and disseminate an educational brochure/fact sheet Paradise Lost on the story of Ashton Lagoon. 3.2. Prepare and publish an article on the Ashton Lagoon restoration project in a widely-read regional newspaper Caribbean Compass 3.3 Establish an Ashton Lagoon Restoration Project website with updates, materials and information 3.4 Conduct interviews on local radio and write press releases for newspapers about the project; invite the community to be involved in the restoration work and other activities.


Proposal to NMBCA

Restoration of Ashton Lagoon ­ Phase II

3.5 Celebrate the Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival and International Migratory Bird Day in Union Island for the first time; distribute educational materials that are available from regional coordinators (posters, fact sheets, stickers, tattoos) and organize one or more activities to raise awareness about birds (e.g., birding walks, displays, talks). Continue celebrations of World Wetlands Day and International Coastal Clean-up Day.


The project will be implemented locally by the Sustainable Grenadines Project, who will be working directly with local stakeholders, community residents, government, environmental organizations, and community groups in Union Island and St. Vincent and the Grenadines (see Local partners listed on page 2). Union Island Museum and Ecological Society will be a second lead partner in implementing this project. This proposal is the outcome of a three-day participatory planning workshop involving a wide range of stakeholders; all have expressed enthusiasm and support for carrying out the restoration, pursuing livelihood options that emphasize sustainable use of the island's natural resources and beauty. We have assembled a strong team that can provide assistance, training, and expert advice as needed, but the local community will be expected to take possession of the project, and lead and carry out the restoration and other activities, as well as subsequent monitoring of the birds, vegetation, and aquatic systems. Based on case studies in the Bahamas (e.g., Sutton et al. 2004, Layman et al. 2005), Carriacou/Grenada (Moore 2005), and the St. Vincent Grenadines ( we are confident that we can make this community-based project a success.


The project will be implemented in consultation with and active involvement of the relevant ministries and departments that have an interest in and jurisdiction over the resource, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Ministry of Tourism, Physical Planning Unit, and Ministry of Health and Environment. We will present plans for sustainable-use options for the lagoon, highlighting the jobs and other economic benefits to be derived from the project. It is possible that our activities can be modified and scaled-up or down depending on government approval.


We will work directly with the agencies and institutions that are responsible for local historic and cultural resources (e.g., Union Island Museum and Ecological Society, St. Vincent National Trust), to make sure that we are complying with all applicable laws. We will also work to ensure that any programs that are planned (e.g., natural heritage tourism) incorporate elements of the local culture and traditions, where possible, in order to help preserve them over the long-term.


Traditional livelihoods (e.g., fishing) in Union Island rely on a healthy, functioning marine ecosystem. The natural beauty and rich biodiversity of the Ashton Lagoon area offers additional opportunities for many non-consumptive uses (e.g., bird/nature and cultural heritage tourism, low-impact recreational activities, etc.). Participation in the restoration process by local stakeholders that are committed to the wise and sustainable use of their natural resources will help ensure the success of this project. Development of sustainable tourism and livelihood activities that provide jobs and other benefits for the community will lead to long-term conservation. There are many active community groups and organizations on Union Island that see an urgent need to clean up the environment, use resources wisely, and develop skills that will enable them to manage their island and benefit economically from a well-planned tourism strategy. Additional proposals will be prepared to continue the restoration, sustainable livelihood and education activities of this project as well as address others areas of work identified in the Phase I Participatory Planning Workshop (e.g., revising legislation and improving local decision making capacity). CERMES has a focus on sustainable use of coastal and marine resources, particularly in tropical Small Island Developing States (SIDS). It provides training and carries out research and outreach projects in support of this focus. Its activities are interdisciplinary and there is an emphasis on participation and livelihoods in all its activities. CERMES has been operating the Sustainable Grenadines Project as an outreach programme in the Grenadines Islands of both St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada and has established a strong connection with community organizations that facilitate implementation of projects such as the Ashton Lagoon Restoration.


Coordination with International Bird Conservation Plans and Partnerships. BirdLife International's Important Bird Area (IBA) Program is underway in the Caribbean and national inventories have been completed for all countries (BirdLife International 2008). Through SCSCB's collaboration with BirdLife and SCSCB's links to international initiatives such as the Waterbird Conservation for the Americas program, Western Hemisphere Migratory Species Initiative, Partners in Flight, Ramsar and Neotropical Waterbird Census, this project will collaborate with and work towards shared international bird conservation, management and monitoring goals. Conservation Value and Local Objectives. Nearly 150 species of birds occur on St. Vincent and the Grenadines (including four endemics). The majority of these species are Neotropical migrants. Many of these migrants depend on aquatic habitats in the Lesser Antilles to rest and feed during migration while some overwinter in the islands (Raffaele et al. 1998). Seven species of waterbirds that occur in the country are classified in "High Concern" or "Moderate Concern" categories (Kushlan et al. 2002). Restoration will result in a productive lagoon system (including coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves and salt ponds) that


Proposal to NMBCA

Restoration of Ashton Lagoon ­ Phase II

forms the basis of a food chain, which will attract and support birds and serve as a nursery for marine fisheries (which have been badly damaged).


The Project Officer will evaluate the success of the project by the following indicators: Objectives Evaluation criteria - outcomes to be measured and evaluation methods Objective 1 · Water circulating and flowing through the lagoon (flow meters installed in Restoration of Bird Habitat: Begin to restore key locations) the Ashton Lagoon ecosystem by restoring · Turbidity and nutrient levels are decreased (Secchi disk or natural circulation and tidal flow of water in flourometer/Nitrate+Phosphate test) the lagoon. · Water temperature is cooler (temperature datalogger (Hobo-type) installed) · Oxygen level is increased (D.O. sampling array or data logger) · Algal growth is reduced (Flourometer, Chlolophyll-a) · Surveys indicate populations of fish and other marine life have increased (Fish Survey, TNC rapid assessment method) · Tidal flushing of mangroves observed (Installation of pressure transducers) · Number and species of birds using the wetland have increased (Point counts, documented observations, etc.) Objective 2 · Vision workshop completed, products include narrative vision, a map with Maintenance, Management and Restoration tourism products and a proceedings document of Bird Habitat: Develop sustainable local · Inventory of attractions and stories completed, evaluated and prioritized tourism and livelihood opportunities for local · Draft Directory of Touristic Attractions completed ­ useful for planning and people. promotion · Interpretive framework completed · Tourism steering committee established and functioning · Inventory of goods and services completed · Recreational activities (e.g., birding, hiking, kayaking)) identified; resources, themes and recreations connected into scenic trails. Community Outreach and Education: Paradise Lost educational brochure published and distributed Increase awareness and appreciation of the Article on the Ashton Lagoon Restoration Project published in the Caribbean links between the environment and Compass sustainable livelihoods and the importance of Ashton Lagoon website established using our natural resources wisely among the Radio and print interviews and PSAs completed general public, stakeholders, government Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival and International Migratory Bird Day officials and politicians celebrated in Union Island for the first time References

BirdLife International (2008) Important Bird Areas in the Caribbean: key sites for conservation. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International. (BirdLife Conservation Series No. 15). CCA CaMMP. 2002. A participatory strategic plan for sustainable development in the Grenadines. Sustainable Integrated Development and Biodiversity Conservation in the Grenadines Islands, Coastal and Marine Management Programme, Caribbean Conservation Association, Barbados, Version 1, 55pp. Ellison, A.M, and E.J. Farnsworth. 1996. Anthropogenic Disturbance of Caribbean Mangrove Ecosystems: Past Impacts, Present Trends, and Future Predictions. Biotropica. 28(4): 549-565. Goreau, T.J. and Wolf Hilbertz. 2002. Biorock®: New Technology for Growing, Restoring, and Farming Coral Reefs and for Coastal Protection. Indonesian Conference on Coral Reef and Coastal Zone Management. Sanur, Bali, Indonesia.,%20Restoring,.htm Goreau, T.J. 2003. A Strategy for Restoration of Damaged Coral Reefs and Fisheries at Ashton Harbour, Union Island, the Grenadines. Global Coral Reef Alliance. Goreau, T.J. and Sammons, N. 2003. Water quality in Ashton Harbour, Union Island, St. Vincent & the Grenadines: Environmental Impacts of Marina and Recommendations for ecosystem and Fisheries Restoration. Global Coral Reef Alliance. Kushlan et al. 2002. Waterbird conservation for the Americas: The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan, Version 1. Waterbird Conservation for the Americas, Washington, DC, U.S.A., 78 pp. Layman, C.A., Arrington, D.A., and Blackwell, M. 2005. Community-based collaboration restores tidal flow to an island estuary (Bahamas). Ecological Restoration 23(1): 58-59. Moore, G.E. 2005. A site-specific approach for community-based mangrove restoration within the Eastern Caribbean. Technical Report prepared for The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Caribbean Program, St. Croix. 11 pp. Morton, E.S. 1992. What do we know about the future of migrant landbirds? Pp. 579-589 in Ecology and Conservation of Neotropical Migrant Landbirds (J.M. Hagan, III and D.W. Johnston, eds). Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. Mumby, P.J., Edwards, A.J., Arias-Gonzalez, J.E., Lindeman, K.C., Blackwell, P.G., Gall A., Gorczynska, M.I., Harborne, A.R., Pescod, C.L. Renken, H., Wabnitz, C.C.C., Llewellyn, G. 2004. Mangroves enhance the biomass of coral reef fish communities in the Caribbean. Nature 427: 533-536. Price, W.S. and P. G. Price, 1994a. A survey of the nearshore marine environment of Union Island, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Union Island Association for Ecological Preservation 8

Proposal to NMBCA

Restoration of Ashton Lagoon ­ Phase II

Price, W.S. and P. G. Price, 1994b. Ashton Marina Project: Potential Ecological Impact of Union Island, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Union Island Association for Ecological Preservation. Price, W.S. and P. G. Price, 1998. Paradise Lost: A Postmortem of the Ashton Marina Project, Ecological Impact on Ashton Lagoon, Union Island, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Union Island Association for Ecological Preservation. Raffaele, H., Wiley, J., Garrido, O., Keith, A. and J. Raffaele. 1998. A Guide to the Birds of the West Indies. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. Rappole, J.H., Morton, E.S., and M.A. Ramos. 1992. Density, philopatry, and population estimates for songbird migrants wintering in Veracruz. Pp. 337-344 in Ecology and Conservation of Neotropical Migrant Landbirds (J.M. Hagan, III and D.W. Johnston, eds). Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. Robbins, C.S., Sauer, J.R., Greenberg, R.S., and S. Droege. 1989. Population declines in North American birds that migrate to the neotropics. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 86: 7658-7662. Simmons and Associates, Inc. 2000. National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Report prepared for the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Sorenson, L.G., Bradley, P.E. and M. Haynes Sutton. 2004. The West Indian Whistling-Duck and Wetlands Conservation Project: a model for species and wetlands conservation and education. The Journal of Caribbean Ornithology, Special Issue pp. 72-80. Sorenson, L.G. 2008. Participatory Planning Workshop for the Restoration of Ashton Lagoon: Workshop Proceedings and Final Report. The Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds and Sustainable Grenadines Project. 99 pp. Sutton, A.H., L.G. Sorenson and M.A. Keeley. 2004. Wondrous West Indian Wetlands: Teachers' Resource Book. West Indian Whistling-Duck Working Group of the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds, Boston, MA. Terborgh, J. 1989. Where Have All the Birds Gone? Essays on the biology and Conservation of Birds that Migrate to the American Tropics. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. XI. Map of St. Vincent and the Grenadines showing the country's location within the Caribbean Lesser Antilles islands and Union Island in the southern part of the Vincentian Grenadines chain. Ashton Lagoon is located near the town of Ashton on the south side of Union Island.


Proposal to NMBCA

Restoration of Ashton Lagoon ­ Phase II NMBCA In-kind Match 18,000 12,000 5,000 12,500 8,750 42,000 4,000 12,000 24,000 100,000 238,250 TOTAL 18,000 12,000 10,000 5,000 15,000 11,250 42,000 6,000 12,000 2,000 24,000 100,000 257,250

X. Budget

PERSONNEL (involved in all aspects of project) SusGren Project Officer (60 days @$300/day) SusGren Project Assistant (60 days @$200/day) Project Coordinator (100 days at $100/day) UWI-CERMES Project Advisor (Mahon - 10 days @$500/day) SCSCB Project Advisor (Sorenson - 30 days $ $500/day) AvianEyes Birding Group Project Assistant (45 days @$250/day) UIMES - 6 members x $200/day x 30 days UIEM President (30 days @$200/day) UIEA President ($2,000 x 12 months x 50%) UWI-CERMES Research Assistant (10 days @$200/day) Local participants for workshops and meetings (30 people @ $200/day x 4 days) Local Partners (listed on pg 2) - various assistance (time, administration, travel) Sub-total Personnel B. MAINTENANCE, MANAGEMENT AND RESTORATION OF BIRD HABITAT Wetland Restoration CEES, Inc. Final Designs (additional numerical analysis, structural assessment surveys, topographical/bathymetric survey) Mobilisation/Demobilisation Removal of Sheet Piing (20m) Installation of usable sheet piles (30m) Excavation of piers Monitoring equipment Develop monitoring protocols and training Monitoring program (6 persons x 12 month x $200/day) CEES, Inc. office rental, equipment, software, internet, power, phone and supplies Additional local partners (listed on page 2) Wetland Restoration / Travel Airfare R/T (CEES, Inc. Engineer - 3 trips @ $400/trip) Boat transport around wetland (gas) Lodging (9 nights @ $150/night) Per diem (11 days @$60/day) Sub-total Wetland Restoration Sustainable Local Tourism / Salaries Fermata, Inc. Facilitator (Kohl - 22 days @$500/day) Fermata, Inc. Advisor (Eubanks - 3 days @$1,500/day) Sustainable Local Tourism / Travel Airfare R/T - (Fermata Facilitator - Kohl) Airfare R/T (SCSCB - Sorenson) Airfare R/T (CERMES - Mahon x 2, Blackman x 1) Airfare R/T (workshop participants from St. Vincent or Grenadines, $90 x 15) Ferry R/T (workshop participants from St. Vincent or Grenadines, $60 x 15) Ground transport (airport, around Union Island, facilitators & participants) Sustainable Tourism / Workshops + Planning Meetings Food and refreshments ($40/day x 3 days x 30 people) Lodging (facilitators and participants - 30 person nights @$125/night) Per diem (18 days @$60/day) Workshop and meeting venues SusGren office rental, equipment, internet, power, phone, office supplies Fermata, Inc. office rental, equipment, internet power, phone, office supplies SCSCB - equipment, internet, phone, office supplies, administration Cermes - administrative support, office supplies, Local Partners - office rental, equipment, internet, power phone, office supplies The Nature Conservancy ­ Sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity protection in local communities Sub-total Sustainable Local Tourism E. COMMUNITY OUTREACH AND EDUCATION Design and printing Ashton Lagoon educational brochure Outreach materials (SCSCB bird ID cards, mangrove booklets, posters, etc.) Workshop materials (maps, reports, paper, flipcharts, markers) Bird Festival Materials (SCSCB posters, fact sheets, stickers, tattoos, t-shirts) Ashton Lagoon Website established UIMES & UIEA grants for wetland environmental education & capacity building activities Sub-total Outreach and Education TOTAL PROJECT EXPENSES 5% administrative costs (UWI) TOTAL REQUEST TO NMBCA PARTNER MATCHING FUNDS MATCH TO GRANT RATIO

10,000 2,500 2,500 2,000


21,500 19,000 21,800 38,500 48,000

21,000 6,000 4,000 5,000 24,000 10,000 15,000 14,400 15,000

42,500 25,000 25,800 43,500 72,000 10,000 15,000 14,400 15,000 0 1,200 1,200 1,350 660 267,610 11,000 4,500 0 1,300 1,000 1,200 1,350 900 800 0 3,600 3,750 1,080 450 7,000 11,000 8,000 10,000 20,000 20,000 106,930 3,500 1,000 500 2,000 1,000 147,725 155,725 785,515

1,200 0 1,350 660 152,010 7,500


115,600 3,500 4,500

1,300 1,000 1,200 1,350 900 800 3,600 1,350 1,080

2,400 450 7,000 11,000 8,000 10,000 20,000 20,000 88,050 1,000 1,000 500 2,000 1,000 147,725 153,225 595,125

18,880 2,500

2,500 190,390 9,520 199,910 595,125 3:1


Ashton Lagoon proposal FINAL-13 Nov

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