The famed Grand Anse beach is now part of Grenada’s newest Marine Protected Area (MPA):
The Government of Grenada has officially launched the Grand Anse Marine Protected Area (GAMPA), which stretches from the entrance of Port Louis Marina in the north to the southernmost point of the Maurice Bishop International Airport at Point Salines, and includes the island’s most iconic and populated beach at Grand Anse.
Under the new designation, regulations will be implemented to protect approximately 1,965 hectares (~7.6 square miles) of marine and coastal environment, including coral reefs, dive sites and fishery resources. GAMPA is Grenada’s 4th marine protected area (MPA) and includes zones for recreation and diving, such as the famous Bianca C shipwreck, as well as designated zones for yacht anchorage and priority fishing areas. A northern anchorage zone and mooring site for Grenada’s yachting community has been identified to minimise harm to critical ocean floor ecosystems, such as coral reef and seagrass beds.
Grand Anse was identified as a critical site for protection due to the large amount of recreational and economic activities in the area, the possibility for conflicts between resource users, and the impacts such uses can have on the environment. Grand Anse waterfront boasts numerous hotels, restaurants, dive shops and homes while hosting hundreds of visitors and up to 140 yachts per day. Fishermen also frequent the area, and the MPA boundaries include sections under the jurisdiction of the Ports Authority and Port Louis Marina. Without a coordinated strategy for sustainable development, such high traffic can leave the area vulnerable to overuse and pollution. As a small island developing state, healthy marine resources are critical to Grenada’s economy and culture. The protected zones and the coordinated management plan that has been developed for the GAMPA will help restore nearshore biodiversity, replenish fish stocks, and reduce further damage to coral reefs.
“This declaration is a major accomplishment for Grenada because it is a significant step closer to achieving their pledge to protect 20% of their nearshore and coastal habitat by 2020,” says Sherry Constantine of The Nature Conservancy’s Caribbean Division.
Read more about the new MPA at NOW Grenada.
See also: the Nature Conservancy’s Caribbean Challenge Initiative, which aims to have at least 20% of the Caribbean’s coastal and marine environment conserved and effectively managed by the year 2020.
[Image credit: Wayne Hsieh]