DRAFT REPORT


Seagrass Assessment for the Negril Environmental Protection Area


Submitted to:

National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) 10-11 Caledonia Ave, Kingston 5


Submitted by:

C.L. Environmental Company Limited 20 Windsor Avenue, Kingston 5




DRAFT REPORT


Seagrass Assessment for the Negril Environmental Protection Area


Submitted to:

National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) 10-11 Caledonia Ave, Kingston 5


Submitted by:

C.L. Environmental Company Limited 20 Windsor Avenue, Kingston 5


July 28, 2021


Copyright Page


DRAFT REPORT - Seagrass Assessment for the Negril Environmental Protection Area


Prepared by C. L. Environmental Co. Ltd. for the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA)


10 & 11 Caledonia Avenue

Kingston 5 Jamaica W.l.


Telephone: (876) 754-7540

Fax: (876) 754-7596

E-mail: pubed@nepa.gov.jm Website: www.nepa.gov.jm


All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or part for education or non-profit purposes without the special permission from the copyright holder. Acknowledgement of the source must be made, and the National Environment & Planning Agency would appreciate receiving a copy of any such publication.


Copyright © 2021 by the National Environment and Planning Agency


Table of Contents

Copyright Page iii

List of Acronyms and Abbreviations ix

List of Tables xi

List of Figures xv

List of Plates xxi

List of Appendices xxiv

Executive Summary xxvi

Introduction and Background 1

Seagrass Introduction 3

Objective, Scope and Methodology 5

Mapping 5

Seagrass Health Assessment 6

Ground-truthing 6

Seagrass meadow line transect sampling 6

Core Sampling and Data Collection 10

Seagrass Productivity Collection 13

Seagrass Lab Analysis 15

Benthic Surveys 18

Seagrass Meadow Invertebrate Transects 19

Booby Cay Photo and Invertebrate Transects 20

Other Survey Areas- Roving Surveys and Benthic Composition Identification 21

Reef Health Index 23

Water Quality 26

Oceanography and Hydrodynamics 29

Wave Climate and Storm Surge 29

Probabilistic Analysis of Hurricanes and Storm Surge 33

Data Collection 36

Seagrass Vulnerability Assessment 41

Method 42

Stakeholder Engagement 42

Group Discussions 42

Stakeholder Workshops and Community Consultations 43

Mini Surveys 45

Results 46

Seagrass Mapping 46

Replanted Seagrass Beds 49

Seagrass Health Assessment 51

Observational Results within the Long and Bloody Bay project area. 51

Grouping of transect and core samples into zones for statistical analysis 53

Bloody Bay 55

Long Bay 71

Comparative Total Carbon Storage within Sampled Area and Estimated Carbon within the Long and Bloody Bay Project Area. 87

Anthropogenic and Natural Impacts to Seagrass 90

Anthropogenic Impacts 90

Natural Impacts 108

Other Observations 109

Benthic Results 113

General Results and Observations 113

Booby Cay 116

Bloody Bay 129

Long Bay 139

Bloody Bay and Long Bay Macro-Invertebrate Comparison 147

Fish Comparison between Long and Bloody Bay 151

Other Survey Areas 151

Reef Health Index 159

Water Quality 160

Temperature 164

Specific Conductivity 165

Salinity 166

pH 166

Dissolved Oxygen (DO) 167

Turbidity 168

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) 169

Light Extinction Coefficient (EC) 170

Total Suspended Solids (TSS) 171

Nitrates 173

Phosphates 174

Spatial Patterns in Long and Bloody Bay 175

Historical Comparisons within Long and Bloody Bay 182

Oceanography and Hydrodynamics 185

Wave Climate and Storm Surge 185

Hydrodynamics 186

Nearshore Waves 196

Probabilistic Analysis of Hurricanes and Storm Surge 201

Climate Change Projections 207

Introduction 207

Model Projections 209

Seagrass Vulnerability Assessment 217

General approach 217

Assessment 218

Summary 229

Stakeholder Workshops and Community Consultations 231

Group Discussion Findings 231

Stakeholder Workshops 237

Conclusion and Rating of Project Implementation Success 240

Seagrass Health Assessment 240

Replanted Seagrass 241

Seagrass Mapping 241

Benthic Survey 241

Water Quality 242

Seagrass Vulnerability Assessment 242

Sea Level Rise 244

Sea Surface Temperature 244

Current Speeds 244

Stakeholder Consultations 245

Lessons Learnt, Limitations and Assumptions 246

General 246

Climate Change Projections 246

Seagrass Vulnerability Assessment 246

Stakeholder Consultations 246

Benthic Survey 247

Seagrass Mapping 247

Seagrass Health Assessment 247

Water Quality 248

Benefit Transfer Valuation Analysis 248

Recommendations 249

Baseline Data 249

Monitoring 250

References 252

Appendices 256


List of Acronyms and Abbreviations


Acronym / Abbreviation


Meaning

AGRRA

Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment

ANOVA

Analysis of Variance

CC

Climate Change

CPCe

Coral Point Count with Excel Extensions

Corg

Organic Carbon

CRHI

Coral Reef Health Index

DO

Dissolved Oxygen

EC

Extinction Coefficient

EPA

Environmental Protection Area

GCM

Global Climate Model

GIS

Geographic Information System

GMSL

Global Mean Sea Level

GOJ

Government of Jamaica

HSD

Honesty Significance Difference

IPCC

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

JFCU

Jamaica Fishermen Cooperation Union

KNMI

Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute

MgC

MegaGrams of Carbon

MPA

Marine Protected Area

MSL

Mean Sea Level

NEPA

National Environment and Planning Agency

NFB

Negril Fishing Beach

NOAA

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NTU

Nephelometric Turbidity Units

NRCA

Natural Resources Conservation Authority

ODPEM

Office Of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management

PA

Protected Area

PgCyr-1

Petagrams of carbon per year

RCP

Representative Concentration Pathway

RHI

Reef Health Index

SA

Survey Assistants

SE

Standard Error

SLR

Sea Level Rise

SCTLD

Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease

SpC

Specific Conductivity

Acronym /

Abbreviation


Meaning

SST

Sea Surface Temperature

STATIN

Statistical Institute of Jamaica

STDEV

Standard Deviation

TgCyr-1

Teragrams of carbon per year

TDS

Total Dissolved solids

TSS

Total suspended solids

UWI

University of the West Indies

WMO

World Meteorological Organization


List of Tables

Table 2-1 Coordinates of seagrass sampling transects in JAD2001 7

Table 2-2 Coordinates of Seagrass Cores in JAD 2001 10

Table 2-3 Coordinates of Productivity Quadrats in JAD2001 13

Table 2-4 Coordinates of Booby Cay Transects in JAD2001 21

Table 2-5 Water quality sampling location coordinates 26

Table 2-6 The Vmax and Rmax for the simulations represented the intensity of the category of hurricane chosen. 35

Table 2-7 Group discussion numbers according to gender 43

Table 2-8 Sample size calculation based on Enumeration Districts (ED) 45

Table 3-1 Grouping of Long Bay transect names into zones 53

Table 3-2 Grouping of Bloody Bay transects names into zones 54

Table 3-3 Grouping of Booby Cay core sites into zones 54

Table 3-4 Summary results from analysis of variance and ranking among seagrass parameters in Bloody Bay 55

Table 3-5 Average Canopy Height (cm) per transect within Bloody Bay 67

Table 3-6 Water quality stations for corresponding transects sampled within zone 70

Table 3-7 Average values for physicochemical results per zone within Bloody Bay 70

Table 3-8 Summary results from analysis of variance and ranking among seagrass parameters per zone in Long Bay 71

Table 3-9 Average Canopy Height (cm) per transect within Long Bay 83

Table 3-10 Physicochemical parameters per transect in Long Bay 86

Table 3-11 Coordinates of Boat launching and landing sites in JAD 2001 91

Table 3-12 Coordinates of boat moorings in JAD 2001 97

Table 3-13 Coordinates of drains and gullies in project area in JAD2001 101

Table 3-14 Major Species Categories and Locations 115

Table 3-15 Percentage Composition of Major Benthic Categories 120

Table 3-16 Hard and Soft Coral Transect Species 121

Table 3-17 Invertebrate Transect Results 127

Table 3-18 Number of individuals per square metre based on feeding category 129

Table 3-19 Bloody Bay Transect results, Species numbers and Density 131

Table 3-20 Number of individuals per square metre based on feeding category 138

Table 3-21 Transect species density 140

Table 3-22 Showing the Fish Family Groups found in Long Bay during the seagrass surveys 145

Table 3-23 Number of individuals per square metre based on feeding category 146

Table 3-24 Average in-situ water quality data 161

Table 3-25 Average Laboratory water quality data 162

Table 3-26 Forward Stepwise Multiple Regression for Long and Bloody Bay at the 95% confidence level 175

Table 3-27 Historical water quality for 2001, 2014, 2015, 2019 and 2021 182

Table 3-28 Swell and Operational Conditions used on the model boundary 185

Table 3-29 Average speed and direction of surface and sub-surface drogues 186

Table 3-30 Model results of currents for Present and Future Climate under Operational Conditions 190

Table 3-31 Model results of currents for Present and Future Climate under Swell Conditions 191

Table 3-32 Model results of currents for Future Climate under Hurricane Conditions 191

Table 3-33 Summary of Operational wave heights arriving at the shoreline based on deep-water wave transformation modelling 200

Table 3-34 Swell wave heights (m) at the existing shoreline 201

Table 3-35 Calibration storm surge results from model for Hurricane Ivan 201

Table 3-36 Summary of wave height at project area from probabilistic hurricanes 206

Table 3-37 Summary of storm surge inundation at project area from probabilistic hurricanes 206

Table 3-38 Models that will be used for future projections for the respective variables 210

Table 3-39 Projected Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) rise for three RCP Scenarios 218

Table 3-40 Difference between Irradiance at seagrass canopy in the present climate vs the future climate 220

Table 3-41 Vulnerability levels for seagrass against current speeds 225

Table 3-42 Summary of Impact level of the hazards assessed. 230

Table 3-43 Fish Catch Method and Times 234

Table 3-44 Simple Average Calculation of Gross Income at Negril Fishing Beach 236

Table 3-45 Schedule of input costs 236

Table 3-46 Attendees for the June 3rd, 2021 Stakeholder Sensitization Workshop 237

Table 3-47 Discussions regarding: Who/what causes pressure on seagrass ecosystems? 238

Table 3-48 Discussions regarding: Conflicts within the EPA 238

Table 3-49 Discussions regarding: Possible Solutions 239

Table 3-50 Discussions regarding: Training Needs 239

Table 4-1 Summary of the Seagrass Health Assessment 240

Table 4-2 Summary of present trends and future projections 243

Table 8-1 Seagrass Species and Location Identified 257

Table 8-2 Hard and Soft Coral Species and Location Identified 257

Table 8-3 Macroalgae Species and Locations Identified 258

Table 8-4 Sponge Species and Location Identified 259

Table 8-5 Hydroids, Jellyfish, Corallimorphs and Zooanthid Species and Location Identified 259

Table 8-6 Segmented Worms Species and Location Identified 260

Table 8-7 Echinoderm Species and Location Identified 261

Table 8-8 Crustacean Species and Locations Identified 261

Table 8-9 Mollusc Species and Location Identified 262

Table 8-10 Average in-situ Water Quality Data - 14/05/21 270

Table 8-11 Average in-situ Water Quality Data - 10/06/21 271

Table 8-12 Average in-situ Water Quality Data - 02/07/21 272

Table 8-13 Significant Differences in Temperature within Long and Bloody Bay 309

Table 8-14 Significant Differences in Conductivity within Long and Bloody Bay 310

Table 8-15 Significant Differences in Salinity within Long and Bloody Bay 311

Table 8-16 Significant Differences in pH within Long and Bloody Bay 312

Table 8-17 Significant Differences in D.O. within Long and Bloody Bay 313

Table 8-18 Significant Differences in Turbidity within Long and Bloody Bay 314

Table 8-19 Significant Differences in TDS within Long and Bloody Bay 315

Table 8-20 Significant Differences in Nitrates within Long and Bloody Bay 316

Table 8-21 Significant Differences in Phosphates within Long and Bloody Bay 317

Table 8-22 Significant Differences in within Long and Bloody Bay 2001 (2001-2021) 318

Table 8-23 Significant Differences in within Long and Bloody Bay 2014 (2001-2021) 319

Table 8-24 Significant Differences in within Long and Bloody Bay 2015 (2001-2021) 320

Table 8-25 Significant Differences in within Long and Bloody Bay 2019 (2001-2021) 321

Table 8-26 Significant Differences in within Long and Bloody Bay 2021 (2001-2021) 322


List of Figures

Figure 1-1 Map showing project boundaries 2

Figure 2-1 Seagrass transects (Note: Transect lines labelled BC T1, BC T2, BCT3 and BCT4 were transects used to assess the reef at Booby Cay.) 9

Figure 2-2 Locations of seagrass cores 12

Figure 2-3 Locations of seagrass productivity quadrats 14

Figure 2-4 Standard Reef Check Protocol 19

Figure 2-5 Benthic Transect and Roving Survey Areas 25

Figure 2-6 Water quality sampling stations 28

Figure 2-7 Mesh used for modelling of operational and swell scenarios 30

Figure 2-8 Wind rose generated using data from underground weather for the dates of the survey May 2nd - 4th 2021. 32

Figure 2-9 Predicted tides for Negril from May 2nd – May 4th, 2021. 33

Figure 2-10 Probabilistic Best Track 35

Figure 2-11 Bathymetry surrounding Long Bay and Bloody Bay, Negril. 37

Figure 2-12 Deployment locations utilized for drogue tracking 39

Figure 2-13 Stakeholder Engagement survey tools log 44

Figure 3-1 Seagrass extent within Long Bay and Bloody Bay 47

Figure 3-2 Non-seagrass areas within the study area 48

Figure 3-3 Locations of replanted seagrass within Long Bay and Bloody Bay 50

Figure 3-4 Mean blade density collected in core samples per zone within Bloody Bay 57

Figure 3-5 Mean blade length collected in core samples per zone within Bloody Bay 58

Figure 3-6 Mean blade width collected in core samples per zone within Bloody Bay 59

Figure 3-7 Mean above ground wet weight (g) collected in core samples per zone within Bloody Bay 60

Figure 3-8 Mean epiphyte weight (g) collected in core samples per zone within Bloody Bay 61

Figure 3-9 Mean above ground dry weight (g) collected in core samples per zone within Bloody Bay 62

Figure 3-10 Mean above ground wet weight (g) collected in core samples per zone within Bloody Bay 63

Figure 3-11 Mean below ground dry weight (g) collected in core samples per zone within Bloody Bay 63


Figure 3-12 Carbon in shoot biomass per zone located within Bloody Bay 64

Figure 3-13 Mean carbon in root/rhizome component (MgC/ha) collected in core samples per zone within Bloody Bay 65

Figure 3-14 Seagrass productivity per zone within Bloody Bay 66

Figure 3-15 Average percentage cover and canopy height per transect within Bloody Bay 67

Figure 3-16 Average soil wet, dry and ash free dry weights (g) per zone in Bloody Bay 68

Figure 3-17 Mean soil carbon content per zone (MgC/ha) collected in core samples per zone within Bloody Bay. 69

Figure 3-18 Mean blade density collected in core samples per zone within Long Bay 72

Figure 3-19 Mean blade length collected in core samples per zone within Long Bay 73

Figure 3-20 Mean blade width collected in core samples per zone within Long Bay 74

Figure 3-21 Mean above ground wet weight (g) collected in core samples per zone within Long Bay 75

Figure 3-22 Mean epiphyte weight (g) collected in core samples per zone within Long Bay 76

Figure 3-23 Mean above ground dry weight (g) collected in core samples per zone within Long Bay 77

Figure 3-24 Mean below ground wet weight (g) collected in core samples per zone within Long Bay 78

Figure 3-25 Mean below ground dry weight (g) collected in core samples per zone within Long Bay 79

Figure 3-26 Mean carbon in grass component (MgC/ha) collected in core samples per zone within Long Bay. 80

Figure 3-27 Mean carbon in root/rhizome component (MgC/ha) collected in core samples per zone within Long Bay. 81

Figure 3-28 Seagrass productivity per zone within Long Bay 82

Figure 3-29 Average percentage cover and canopy height per transect within Long Bay 83

Figure 3-30 Average soil wet, dry and ash free dry weights (g) per zone in Long Bay 84

Figure 3-31 Mean soil carbon content per zone (MgC/ha) collected in core samples per zone within Long Bay. 85

Figure 3-32 Total Vegetative Carbon in Sampled Area 87

Figure 3-33 Total Vegetative Carbon Estimated within Project Areas 88

Figure 3-34 Total Soil Carbon Content in Sampled Area (MgC) 89

Figure 3-35 Total Soil Carbon in Project Area (MgC) 90

Figure 3-36 Boat launching and landing sites 96

Figure 3-37 Boat moorings within the project area 100

Figure 3-38 Drains and Gullies in the project area 107

Figure 3-39 Percentage Cover of Major Transect Categories 121

Figure 3-40 Number of individuals per Family in Booby Cay, Negril 128

Figure 3-41 Size class (cm) of individuals in Bloody Bay, Negril 129

Figure 3-42 Number of individuals per Family in Bloody Bay, Negril 137

Figure 3-43 Size class (cm) of individuals in Bloody Bay, Negril 138

Figure 3-44 Graph showing the amount fish by families counted. 144

Figure 3-45 Pie Chart showing the distribution of the individuals according to their size class (cm) 146

Figure 3-46 Bloody Bay vs Long Bay; Sea Urchins, Sea Biscuits/ Sand Dollars 148

Figure 3-47 Bloody Bay vs Long Bay; Sea Stars, Sea Cucumbers and Sea Hares 149

Figure 3-48 Bloody Bay vs Long Bay; Shrimp, Hermit Crabs, Crabs, Lobster and Conch 149

Figure 3-49 Bloody Bay vs Long Bay; Anemones, Jellyfish, Pen Shells and Segmented Worms 150

Figure 3-50 Bloody Bay vs Long Bay; Hard and Soft Corals 151

Figure 3-51 Average temperature values for each station 164

Figure 3-52 Conductivity values at various stations 165

Figure 3-53 Salinity values at the various stations 166

Figure 3-54 pH values at the various stations 167

Figure 3-55 Dissolved oxygen values at the various stations 168

Figure 3-56 Turbidity values at the various stations 169

Figure 3-57 TDS values at the various stations 170

Figure 3-58 Light Extinction Coefficient values at the various stations 171

Figure 3-59 TSS values at the various stations 172

Figure 3-60 Nitrate values at the various stations 173

Figure 3-61 Phosphate values at the various stations 174

Figure 3-62 Conductivity trends within Long and Bloody Bay 177

Figure 3-63 Light Extinction Coefficient trends within Long and Bloody Bay 179

Figure 3-64 Phosphate trends within Long and Bloody Bay 181

Figure 3-65 Current Speed comparisons between field data and the MIKE 21 HD model simulation 188

Figure 3-66 Current speed calibration plot for operational wave climate for 2nd May 2021, at 9 am. 189

Figure 3-67 Current speeds for bottom currents under hurricane conditions in the future climate 192

Figure 3-68 Current speeds for surface currents under hurricane conditions in the future climate 192

Figure 3-69 The difference between present and future bottom currents under swell conditions 194

Figure 3-70 Current speeds (m/s) for present and future climate under the operational and swell condition 194 Figure 3-71 Present operational wave plot (South-West) 196

Figure 3-72 Future operational wave plot (South-West) 197

Figure 3-73 Present Climate Swell Waves Plot (Southeast - Worst Case) 198

Figure 3-74 Future Climate Swell Waves Plot (Southeast- Worst Case) 199

Figure 3-75 Difference in swell wave heights 200

Figure 3-76 Storm surge results generated from Hurricane Ivan (2004) simulation 202

Figure 3-77 Storm surge results for Direct Parallel hit (Category 5) 203

Figure 3-78 Storm surge results for Direct Parallel hit (Category 4) 203

Figure 3-79 Storm surge results for Direct Parallel (Category 3) 204

Figure 3-80 Wave height results for Direct Parallel (Category 5) 205

Figure 3-81 Wave heights results for Direct Parallel (Category 4) 205

Figure 3-82 Wave height results for Direct Parallel (Category 3) 206

Figure 3-83 Project Area showing Bloody Bay to the north and Long Bay to the south 208

Figure 3-84 Headland which divides Long Bay and Bloody Bay 209

Figure 3-85 Booby Cay 209

Figure 3-86 Mangroves in Bloody Bay 209

Figure 3-87 Seagrass in Long Bay (red circle) 209

Figure 3-88 Projected Sea level rise (SLR) until 2300 for RCP2.6 and RCP8.5 up to 2100 (medium confidence). Projections for longer time scales are highly uncertain but a range is provided (4.2.3.6; low confidence). For context, results are shown from other estimation approaches in 2100 and 2300. The two sets of two bars

labelled B19 are from an expert elicitation for the Antarctic component (Bamber et al., 2019), and reflect the likely range for a 2ºC and 5ºC temperature warming (low confidence. The bar labelled “prob.” indicates the likely range of a set of probabilistic projections. Source: Sea Level Rise and Implications for Low-Lying Islands, Coasts and Community 211

Figure 3-89 Present trends and future projections of increasing sea surface temperature using the HadGEM2- CC model for CMIP5 for RCP 8.5 for the period 1861-2100. 212

Figure 3-90 Present trends and future projections of increasing sea surface temperature using the HadGEM2- CC model for CMIP5 RCP 8.5 for period 1861-2005 and 2005 - 2100. The box extends from 25% to 75%, the whiskers from 5% to 95% and the horizontal line denotes the median (50%) 213

Figure 3-91 Present trends and future projections of increasing air temperature using the HadGEM2-ES model for CMIP5 for RCP8.5 for period 1860-2100. 214

Figure 3-92 Present trends and future projections of increasing air temperature using the HadGEM2-ES model for CMIP5 for RCP8.5 for period 1860-2005 and 2005-2100. The box extends from 25% to 75%, the whiskers from 5% to 95% and the horizontal line denotes the median (50%) 214

Figure 3-93 Present trends and future projections of decreasing precipitation using the HadGEM2-ES model for CMIP5 RCP8.5 for the period 1860-2100 215

Figure 3-94 Present trends and future projections of decreasing precipitation using the HadGEM2-ES model for CMIP5 RCP8.5 for period 1860-2005 and 2005 - 2100. The box extends from 25% to 75%, the whiskers from 5% to 95% and the horizontal line denotes the median (50%) 216

Figure 3-95 ERA-5 Present reanalysis wind data for the period 1979-2021 217

Figure 3-96 Change of the total downwelling irradiance with depth. Source: (Abdelrhman, 2016) 219

Figure 3-97 Thresholds for the survival of seagrass species under elevated sea surface temperatures (SST) and increasing exposure. Source: (Campbell, McKenzie, & Kerville, 2006) 222

Figure 3-98 Conceptual model of the effects of current velocity on biomass and species composition of submerged freshwater macrophytes in streams and rivers adapted from a more general model for all aquatic plants by Biggs (1996) 224

Figure 3-99 Vulnerability of Long Bay and Bloody Bay towards bottom currents under present swell conditions

............................................................................................................................................................................. 226

Figure 3-100 Vulnerability of Long Bay and Bloody Bay towards bottom currents under future swell conditions

............................................................................................................................................................................. 227

Figure 3-101 Vulnerability of Long Bay and Bloody Bay towards bottom currents under swell conditions for hurricane conditions 228

Figure 3-102 Relationship between seagrass leaf density and bottom current velocity 229

Figure 3-103 Estimated number of fishing boats operating from Negril Fishing Beach 232


List of Plates

Plate 2-1 Alternating belt transect sampling method 8

Plate 2-2 Core sampling method 11

Plate 2-3 Seagrass Samples in Despatch Lab Oven 15

Plate 2-4 Samples in Despatch Lab Oven 17

Plate 2-5 Samples in Muffle Furnace 18

Plate 2-6 CPCe point count analysis 20

Plate 3-1 Male flower of Thalassia testudinum (arrow) found in core sample taken in Bloody Bay 52

Plate 3-2 Female flower of Syringodium filiforme found in Long Bay 53

Plate 3-3 Boat on trailer parked on beach 92

Plate 3-4 Boats docked along shoreline 93

Plate 3-5 Boat repair and maintenance 93

Plate 3-6 Fuel container on beach 94

Plate 3-7 Anchor in seagrass meadow 94

Plate 3-8 Scarring in seagrass from boat anchor or boat propeller 95

Plate 3-9 Evidence of an anchor dragging through a seagrass meadow 95

Plate 3-10 Drums and concrete blocks used as a base for mooring, located within seagrass meadow 99

Plate 3-11 Base of mooring devoid of seagrass 99

Plate 3-12 Rock drain 103

Plate 3-13 PVC drain 103

Plate 3-14 Old drain observed in seagrass bed 104

Plate 3-15 Concrete Drain 104

Plate 3-16 Drain formed in sand along beach 105

Plate 3-17 Drain formed in sand along beach 105

Plate 3-18 Underneath bridge at South Negril River 106

Plate 3-19 Mouth of the North Negril River 106

Plate 3-20 Insufficient garbage bins and skips in public areas; Solid waste overflowing from garbage drum with the potential of ending up in the marine environment 109


Plate 3-21Solid waste (mask) on beach 110

Plate 3-22 Solid waste on seafloor 110

Plate 3-23 Queen Conch shells for sale (likely harvested in and around seagrass meadows nearby) 111

Plate 3-24 Horseback riding activities on the beach. 111

Plate 3-25 Derelict boat on beach 112

Plate 3-26 Lytechinus, using debris as camouflage 116

Plate 3-27 Large M. cavernosa colony at Booby Cay 123

Plate 3-28 Fleshy algae pavement area of Booby Cay 123

Plate 3-29 Fleshy algae covering large section of Booby Cay 124

Plate 3-30 Chondrilla covering old dead coral at Booby Cay 124

Plate 3-31 Diseased O. annularis colony at Booby Cay 125

Plate 3-32 Diseased Pseudodiploria colony 126

Plate 3-33 SCTLD on a large Orbicella colony at Booby Cay 126

Plate 3-34 SCTLD on a large Orbicella colony 127

Plate 3-35 Mancenia areolata in a seagrass bed 133

Plate 3-36 Porites divaricata in the seagrass meadow 133

Plate 3-37 Cladocora colony with sponges and fireworm 134

Plate 3-38 Ragged Sea Hare in a seagrass halo 134

Plate 3-39 Three-Rowed Sea Cucumber 135

Plate 3-40 Anemone with a Pedersons Cleaner Shrimp 135

Plate 3-41 Corallimorph colony on a small patch reef in the seagrass meadow 136

Plate 3-42 Magnificent Urchin 136

Plate 3-43 Balloon fish hiding in the seagrass meadow 139

Plate 3-44 Juvenile French Angel fish around a small patch reef in a seagrass meadow 139

Plate 3-45 Colpophyllia colony on a patch reef 142

Plate 3-46 King Helmet in a blowout 142

Plate 3-47 Large Pencil urchin in the seagrass meadow 143

Plate 3-48 Spit Crown feather duster, Chondrilla and a small waving hands colony (arrow) 143

Plate 3-49 Yellow stingray in the seagrass meadow 147

Plate 3-50 Large southern stingray swimming between the Pyramids 147

Plate 3-51 Boat hull colonized by encrusting species and fish 152

Plate 3-52 Pyramid colonized by encrusting species, macroalgae and hard coral 152

Plate 3-53 Plastic bag wrapped around a Porites colony 153

Plate 3-54 Section of an Artificial Reef near Sandals Negril 153

Plate 3-55 Large shallow patch reef with both hard and soft corals 154

Plate 3-56 Small patch reef in a seagrass halo 154

Plate 3-57 Small patch reef showing several species 155

Plate 3-58 Macroalgae covering a large sandy area 155

Plate 3-59 Section of the larger barrier reef system at a snorkel site 156

Plate 3-60 Recently dead Pillar coral in a snorkel site (this is likely due to SCTLD) 156

Plate 3-61 Beaded Starfish in a silty section of the study area 157

Plate 3-62 Patch reef with several schools of fish and lionfish 157

Plate 3-63 Sea cucumber in the seagrass meadow 158

Plate 3-64 Large A. palmata colony near the Booby Cay snorkel site 158

Plate 3-65 Typical intertidal zonation along sections of a rocky shore 159

Plate 3-66 Lobster fisherman in Long Bay (live lobster cage) 235

Plate 3-67 Sale of lobster on beach in Long Bay 235

List of Appendices

Appendix 8-1 Study Team 256

Appendix 8-2 Benthic Species List 257

Appendix 8-3 Hach Hydrolab DS-5 Water Quality Multiprobe Meter Calibration Test Sheet 268

Appendix 8-4 Water Quality Data 270

Appendix 8-5 Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for Bloody Bay Parameters 275

Appendix 8-6 Average Blade Length (cm) per zone in Bloody Bay 276

Appendix 8-7 Mean Blade Widths (cm) per zone in Bloody Bay 276

Appendix 8-8 Mean Number of Blades (n) per zone in Bloody Bay 277

Appendix 8-9 Mean Above Ground Wet Weight (g) per zone in Bloody Bay 277

Appendix 8-10 Mean Epiphyte Weight (g) per zone in Bloody Bay 278

Appendix 8-11 Mean Above Ground Dry Weight (g) per zone in Bloody Bay 278

Appendix 8-12 Mean Below Ground Wet Weight (g) per zone in Bloody Bay 279

Appendix 8-13 Mean Below Ground Dry Weight (g) per zone in Bloody Bay 279

Appendix 8-14 Mean Soil Wet Weight (g) per zone in Bloody Bay 280

Appendix 8-15 Mean Soil Dry Weight (g) per zone 280

Appendix 8-16 Mean Soil Ash Free Dry Weight (g) per zone in Bloody Bay 281

Appendix 8-17 Mean Depth (cm) per zone in Bloody Bay 281

Appendix 8-18 Mean Core Depth (cm) per zone in Bloody Bay 282

Appendix 8-19 Mean Soil Carbon in Core (Mg/ha) per zone in Bloody Bay 282

Appendix 8-20 Mean Carbon in Shoot Biomass (MgC/ha) per zone in Bloody Bay 283

Appendix 8-21 Mean Carbon in Root/Rhizome Layer (MgC) per zone in Bloody Bay 283

Appendix 8-22 Mean Total Vegetative Carbon (MgC) per zone in Bloody Bay 284

Appendix 8-23 Correlation table across parameters measured across zones in Bloody Bay as generated by STATISTICA 285

Appendix 8-24 Mean Blade Density (n) per zone in Long Bay 286

Appendix 8-25 Mean Blade Length (cm)/ zone in Long Bay 286

Appendix 8-26 Mean Blade Width (cm)/ zone in Long Bay 287

Appendix 8-27 Mean Above Ground Wet Weight (g)/ zone in Long Bay 287

Appendix 8-28 Mean Epiphyte Weight (g)/ zone in Long Bay 288

Appendix 8-29 Mean Above Ground Dry Weight (g)/ zone in Long Bay 288

Appendix 8-30 Mean Below Ground Wet Weight (g) / zone in Long Bay 289

Appendix 8-31 Mean Below Ground Dry Weight (g) / zone in Long Bay 289

Appendix 8-32 Mean Carbon in Shoot Biomass (MgC) per zone in Long Bay 290

Appendix 8-33 Mean Carbon in root/rhizome layer (MgC) per zone in Long Bay 290

Appendix 8-34 Mean Soil Wet Weight (g)/ zone in Long Bay 291

Appendix 8-35 Mean Soil Dry Weight (g)/ zone in Long Bay 291

Appendix 8-36 Mean Soil Ash Free Dry Weight (g)/ zone in Long Bay 292

Appendix 8-37 Mean Soil Carbon in Core (MgC)/ zone in Long Bay 292

Appendix 8-38 Results of Tukey’s Honest Significant Difference (HSD) test performed on the parameter ‘carbon in root/rhizome layer per zone’ in Long Bay 293

Appendix 8-39 Analysis of Variance within water quality parameters in Long Bay per Transect 293

Appendix 8-40 Correlation table across parameters measured across zones in Long Bay as generated by STATISTICA 294

Appendix 8-41 Laboratory Water Quality Data 295

Appendix 8-42 ANOVA Tables for Significant differences in WQ Parameters at p = < 0.50 309

Appendix 8-43 ANOVA Tables for Significant differences in WQ Parameters from 2001 to 2021 at p = < 0.50 318

Appendix 8-44 Sample of Workshop Sensitization Invitation Letter sent to Stakeholders via email 323

Appendix 8-45 Agenda for Sensitization Workshop 324

Appendix 8-46 Stakeholder Sensitization Workshop Register 328

Appendix 8-47 Group Discussion Promotional Flyers 334

Executive Summary

Seagrass Mapping

The total estimated area of seagrass within Long Bay was 481.9 hectares (1,190.8 acres) and the estimated total for Bloody Bay was 95.1 hectares (235 acres). Both bays are dominated by Thalassia testudinum (turtle grass), with some areas having Syringodium filiforme (manatee grass) and Halodule wrightii (shoal grass) as discrete beds and other areas with a mixed species composition.

Seagrass Health


Analyzed datasets for the Long and Bloody Bay areas indicated a high influence of water quality, wave activity and anthropogenic factors on the status of seagrass meadows. Blue carbon values are highest within Long Bay; this may be due to outputs from of the Negril River and the large influence of the mangrove ecosystem (organic/peaty) soils.

Within the Bloody Bay sampled area, visibility through the water column was very clear, extending approximately thirty (30) meters. Seagrass meadows within the Bloody Bay area were observed to be less continuous towards the western end of Bloody Bay as well as around regions of patch reefs present. Syringodium sp. was observed to be more prevalent along transects within these western sections.

Within Long Bay, visibility extended approximately ten (10) meters with less visibility being associated with sites of high silt inputs including those located adjacent to the Pyramids as well as The Negril River. Seagrass meadows within Long Bay though dense and extensive were observed to be affected by siltation throughout the entire area as most areas had various levels of smothering by sediment.

Fish and Invertebrate Species Density and Diversity


Within Bloody Bay, fish and benthic faunal communities were observed to have higher densities in comparison to Long Bay. This may suggest that Bloody Bay serves a greater function as a nursery area than Long Bay.

Anthropogenic Influences


Prepared By: C.L. Environmental Co. Ltd. Submitted to: National Environment and Planning Agency


Instances of anthropogenic alterations to seagrass meadows including propeller, anchor and hull damage which was noted within the nearshore portion of Bloody Bay. Within Long Bay, propellor damage was observed within the eastmost end of the project area (beach associated with Hedonism Hotel) as well as various anchoring sites being observed along the nearshore. Other potential seagrass impacts included: fish pots, vessel refuelling, construction activities, coastal modification, trampling by recreational users, smothering from solid waste, water quality deterioration, removal of seagrass, high activity areas and solid waste (land-based and from vessels).

Seagrass Flowering


Within the entire project area, a multiple-species (Syringodium sp and Thalassia sp.) seagrass flowering event was observed. This is a notable sighting as significant knowledge gaps regarding this information are present within the Caribbean region.

Benthic Survey


This fringing reef of Booby Cay is the closest defined coral reef in the study area and is most likely to be negatively impacted by the deteriorating water quality and overgrowth of macroalgae. Observed fish species were in general, diverse in and outside the study area, however, mainly concentrated around patch reefs and coral heads interspersed throughout the seagrass meadows and Booby Cay.

Booby Cay was given a RHI rating of very poor; Hard and soft coral was very low; Macroalgae was very high; The aggressive invertebrate Chondrilla coverage was also high. Overall herbivore densities (fish and invertebrates) were low to moderate. Carnivorous fish were the most dominant feeding group at Booby Cay. The substrate in the backreef consisted of sand, rubble and pavement and is less ideal for coral recruitment.

Lytechinus was the most common urchin in both Long and Bloody Bay. In general, Bloody Bay had higher invertebrate densities than Long Bay. Long Bay however had higher density of small seagrass corals.

Fish densities were also higher in Long Bay than in Bloody Bay. The most dominant families in both Long and Bloody Bay were Wrasse, followed by Parrotfish and Grunts.

The effects of the heavily utilized area may have varying effects in seagrasses versus reef environments. High traffic/usage areas in general cause some species displacement in both seagrass meadows and coral reefs.


However, fish feeding practices can increase bread-feeding fish species abundance but may disrupt feeding behaviour such as reducing algal grazing.

Water Quality


Results obtained indicated that Temperature, Salinity, pH, Turbidity, Dissolved Oxygen, Conductivity, TDS and TSS were acceptable across all stations except for discrepancies in Stations 29, 31 and 33. These stations were however largely affected by freshwater input from the North and South Negril rivers which would explain these discrepancies. Nitrate and Phosphate values were non-compliant at all stations, however these nitrate and phosphate values are typical for Jamaican coastal waters and seldom vary outside this range.

Water quality within the Long and Bloody Bay area has worsened since 2001, however with the development of the area since 2014 this reduction in water quality has generally plateaued up till 2019 at which point the water quality then marginally worsened till present day. Two of the key indicators for poor water quality, phosphates and nitrates were noted to have increased with the increasing population over the years, entering the bays though terrestrial water sources such as rivers, gullies and upwellings. This degradation of water quality may adversely affect the seagrass meadows and as such it will need to be closely monitored.

Oceanography and Hydrodynamics


Jamaica’s coast is constantly under environmental pressures from both natural hazards, and climate change- related events such as hurricanes, storm surges, increase temperature, and sea-level rise. Over the past decades, the direct impact of such hazards has resulted in grave environmental degradation and socioeconomic disturbances along Jamaica’s coast. This situation is further exacerbated where dense urban settlements and critical structures are sited in areas deemed susceptible to coastal hazards. The intense winds from hurricanes and subsequent tidal and wave energy can cause significant damage to seagrass leaves through tearing and may uproot the plants completely. This was evidenced in 2004 after the passing of Hurricane Ivan where uprooted seagrass was washed ashore along the shoreline of Rocky Point and Alligator Pond and extending several metres seaward (Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), PNUD, NU. CEPAL. Subsede de México 2004). Therefore, the vulnerability of the seagrass located along Long Bay and Bloody Bay in Negril, Jamaica was determined based on climate change analysis, wave climate, and site-specific characteristics. The analysis considered both current and future climate scenarios.


Overall, the projected trends suggest that current speeds will increase for the future climate under both swell and operational conditions. The swell conditions will however, see the greatest percentage increase in current speeds, up to 63.6% for surface and 61.9% for bottom currents. The operational currents are also expected to increase significantly with 45% increase in surface current speeds and 36.4% increase in bottom current speeds. The bottom currents will have the greatest impact on seagrass and as such, these were the ones analyzed in the vulnerability assessment.

Under hurricane conditions in the future climate, currents in Long Bay are generally projected to be faster than currents in Bloody Bay, although the lower end of the current range is usually higher in Bloody Bay. The bottom currents in Bloody Bay range between 0.2m/s – 0.43m/s and 0.2m/s – 0.9m/s in Long Bay. Long Bay surface current speed projections range from 0.2m/s to 2.7m/s, while in Bloody Bay, the speeds range from 0.32m/s to 1m/s during a hurricane.

Nearshore Waves


Modelling results illustrated that operational and swell waves in the present climate are of average height, approximately 0.65m and 1.15m respectively in the nearshore area. In the future climate however, the operational wave averages increasing to 0.9m while swell wave averages increase to 1.55m. During both the operational and swell conditions, the dominant wave direction is south-east.

Probabilistic Analysis of Hurricanes and Storms


The analysis suggested that the site would be partially inundated by the storm surge projected for the area in the event of a direct hit from a hurricane. It was estimated that the worst-case scenario (Category 5) storm surge elevations would cause damage within the project area. The storm surge inundation levels for a direct hit are between 1.2 m and 2.8 m. While the predicted nearshore wave heights for the direct hits are 1.5 m, 2 m and 3.3 m for Categories 3, 4, and 5 respectively.

Climate Change Projections


Sea Level Rise


Combining process-model-based studies, there is medium confidence that Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) is projected to rise between 0.29–0.59 m (likely range) globally under RCP 2.6 and 0.61–1.10 m (likely range) under RCP 8.5 by 2100. (Oppenheimer, 2019).

Sea Surface Temperature


There is an increasing trend in sea surface temperature projected to continue to 2099 with average temperatures increasing by 3.6°C for a projected temperature of 30.3°C.

Air Temperature


According to the IPCC AR Synthesis Report 5 (AR5), air temperature is projected to rise over the 21st century under all assessed emission scenarios and continue through to the end of the century (2100). The HadGEM2-ES climate model results confirm these predictions showing that average annual temperatures could increase to 3

°C or greater by the end of the century. Precipitation

Overall rainfall is expected to decrease from an average of 2.5mm/day to 2.1mm/day by the end-of-century. This would reduce annual rainfall of 912mm by 146mm, bringing new annual rainfall averages to 766.5mm/yr.

Wind


Reanalysis wind data was derived from the ERA-5 model to determine present wind speed averages in the Western Caribbean region. It shows there has been a slight increase in average wind speeds from 1979 - 2021. Wind speed ranges are projected to increase slightly from historical ranges of between 4.5m/s and 8.6m/s from 1979 to 5.2m/s -9m/s for present climate.

Seagrass Vulnerability Assessment


The seagrass within the project area is at moderate risk of impact from Sea-Level Rise as well as surface temperature. The impact of increasing SST will depend on light availability, with interactions between elevated temperatures and reduced light levels resulting in greater potential impacts. Where seagrasses are already experiencing lower light levels, meadows will have a high vulnerability to increases in SST because their relatively high respiration demands are expected to exceed their capacity for gaining carbon through photosynthesis.


However, the greatest threat of the future climate on seagrass based on the data available was ocean currents. It was observed that large sections of the project area will be affected by fast bottom current speeds, most notable at the headland which divides the two bays. These fast currents would attribute to critical erosion of sediments on the seafloor thus reducing the stability of the grass. There is, therefore, a strong need for a mitigation plan to be implemented.

Stakeholder Consultations


There is consensus among all the groups (fishers, farmers, craft vendors, residents) that the Environmental Protection Area (EPA) is in social and environmental decline. This has been blamed mostly due to the lack of preventative maintenance and supervision as well as the failure to equally implement the laws.


Based on anecdotal evidence gathered from fishers and the national and local fishing cooperative, an estimated 100 boats sail with between one operator and up to a crew of nine (9). Most boats are manned by a crew of four (4). All boats are engaged in fishing for commercial purposes. Some 55% are engaged in trap fishing with the majority venturing out to set pots (40%) and the rest using nets. Another 40% engage in line or spear fishing. Of that amount, some 30% of all boats (30 boats) remain inshore specializing in catching “Bonita”.

Fishers operate in the Long Bay and Bloody Bay area, and even as far as Pedro Bank, Mexico, Honduras, Colombia and Nicaragua. The Bonita, Tuna, Snapper, Parrot and Grunt were the most popular fish species caught.

All fishers operate for commercial purposes and to earn a living with fishing being their main source of income. Many have been fishing for more than half their lifetime and knows no other vocation. Time in the fishing business ranged from 13 years to over 40 years. It is felt that most fishers operating small boats close to shore would be unprofitable. Larger boats that are well-equipped and have the capacity to go far offshore for large catches and are more profitable. A profitable catch is considered by the fishers to be over 200 pounds but over 95% of boats are not equipped to venture offshore.


Gross weekly income for fishers is estimated to be JM$22,500.00. Fishers also report high input costs. As a result, fishers engage in other activities such as farming, construction, shop/grocery/bar/restaurant operations to supplement their income.


Recommendations

Baseline Data


Additional data sets would provide a more accurate and detailed description of the existing environment. These include:

Water Quality


Introduction and Background


This draft report details an assessment of seagrass meadows within Long Bay and Bloody Bay, Negril and is one of many sub-projects focusing on the Negril Environmental Protection Area. The project is being managed by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and is part of a wider regional project implemented by The Integrating Water, Land and Ecosystems Management in Caribbean Small Island Developing States (IWEco Project), financed by the Global Environment Facility.

This assessment of seagrass meadows takes place within the confines of Long Bay and Bloody Bay (Figure 1-1).



Figure 1-1 Map showing project boundaries

Seagrass Introduction

Seagrasses are deemed one of the most important habitat organisms in tropical costal and estuarine areas throughout the developing world. Seagrass ecosystems are one of the most productive ecosystems on earth (Grech, et al., 2012) as they provide a habitat for fish nurseries, a food source as a major primary producer in the tropical ecosystem, an anti- erosion sediment stabilizer and are carbon producers for the food web (Thorhaug, Miller, & Jupp, 1984) (Thorhaug, Miller, Jupp, & Booker, 1985). Seagrass ecosystems prevent siltation within highly trafficked areas and significantly reduce the rate of erosion from coastal areas (Kirkman, McKenzie, & Finkbeiner, 2001).


According to Green (2019), within Jamaica, there are three species of seagrasses, namely Thalassia testudinum (Turtle grass), Syringodium filforme (Manatee grass) and Halodule wrightii, T. testudinum being the most dominant of the three with the largest growth form. These species can be found in most, if not all marine areas under suitable conditions island wide (De Kluijver, Gijswijt, De Leon, & Da Cunda, 2016); (McKenzie & Hq, 2008). In a past survey done in Bloody Bay, Negril, Jamaica, the bay area contained extensive beds of seagrass, predominantly composed of T. testudinum with interspersed S. filforme within the turtle grass and indvidual beds of S. filforme (DHV Interantional UK Ltd, 1999).


Carbon forms the basic building block of life on Earth, and is stored in the atmosphere, land and ocean. Within the terrestrial and aquatic environment, plants will remove carbon from the atmosphere through primary production and produce reduced organic carbon (Corg). This carbon-based food is then consumed and when that organism or plant dies and decays, most of the carbon is re-mineralized and transformed into inorganic carbon within atmospheric or oceanic reservoirs (Avelar, van der Voort, & Eglinton, 2017). Blue carbon refers to carbon which is stored in mangroves, salt tidal marshes and seagrass meadows within the soil, the living biomass above ground, that below ground as well as the non-living biomass (Howard , Hoyt , Isensee, Telszewski, & Pidgeon, 2014). Of many natural carbon sinks, seagrass ecosystems are among the most efficient on Earth (Macreadie, et al., 2015). These systems sequester large amounts of blue carbon each year due to their high production and organic matter burial (Johnson, Gulick, Bolten, & Bjorndal, 2017).


Various biotic and abiotic factors will affect the health of seagrass meadows. Abiotic factors include depth, pH, light availability, temperature, salinity, water current flow, substrate type and nutrient availability. Such abiotic factors are key requirements for seagrass meadows to be able to survive (Jackson, 2019) (Jackson, 2019) notes that biotic factors are limited to feeding relationships between seagrass meadows, associated grazers and epiphytic interactions on the surface of seagrass blades and anthropogenic influences that inhibit the access to available plant resources (nutrient and sediment loading) (Short & Coles, 2002). Such abiotic factors are key requirements for seagrass meadows to be able to survive (Jackson, 2019). Jackson (2019) notes that biotic factors are limited to feeding relationships between seagrass meadows, associated grazers and epiphytic interactions on the surface of seagrass blades and anthropogenic influences that inhibit the access to available plant resources (nutrient and sediment loading) (Short & Coles, 2002). These factors will result in morphological differences between blades including but not limited to blade length, shoot and root biomass, spatial distribution and the overall productivity of the seagrass meadow.


Globally, seagrass communities have been decreasing on a rapid scale for approximately thirty years as they are extremely sensitive to environmental perturbations (Pillay, Branch, Griffiths, Williams, & Prinsloo, 2010). According to Short & Wyllie-Echeverria (1996), this decline can be attributed in part to global climate change however the main catalysts are pollution (eutrophication) and unsustainable global coastal development. In developing areas such as Negril, Jamaica, mainly is utilized for tourist attractions, seagrass meadows are altered by shoreline construction and development, land reclamation, deforestation, overfishing, garbage dumping, dredging, filling, marine vessel disturbances, industrial and urban effluents and accidental spills (Thorhaug, Miller, & Jupp, 1984) (Unsworth, et al., 2018)Loss of seagrasses can have important repercussions for marine ecosystems and communities (Pillay, Branch, Griffiths, Williams, & Prinsloo, 2010).


Objective, Scope and Methodology


The scope and objectives for this project include: GPS mapping of various features (as outlined in Section 2.1), an assessment of seagrass health, benthic surveys (including reef, fish and invertebrate surveys), water quality assessments, baseline oceanographic studies, various impacts (including climate-change related impacts) on seagrass, vulnerability assessment, seagrass valuation analysis and conducting of stakeholder consultations and workshops. The results and data from the overall assessment will be used to recommend management practices in order to improve seagrass conservation and secure long-term seagrass ecosystem service benefits.


Mapping

GPS Mapping of various features was conducted using one (1) Trimble Geo 7x GPS with Laser Technologies Inc. TruPulse 360 B Rangefinder and one (1) Trimble Geo 7x (H-Star) with attached Trimble Rangefinder. Data dictionaries were created to facilitate mapping of the various features. Data collected by the GPS were postprocessed corrected using GPS Pathfinder Office vers. 5.60. Thematic Maps of the various features were created using ArcGIS 10.8.1. Features mapped included:


Seagrass Health Assessment


Ground-truthing

Within the project area, reconnaissance was first conducted on land and by boat in order to identify and ground truth degraded, natural and new areas of seagrass beds according to previous studies and Environmental Impact Assessments. In water methods included snorkelling to identify degraded areas, species of seagrass present as well as the type of substrate associated within the seagrass meadow present. Where seagrass meadows were accessible from land, these parameters were also noted along with anthropogenic influences present along the coastline which may possibly affect the seagrass meadows present within the project area.


Seagrass meadow line transect sampling

Seagrass health and status research was conducted at a total of eighteen (18) sites which were designated between the Long Bay and Bloody Bay project area. Within Bloody Bay, seven (7) two hundred meter (200m) transect lines were run perpendicular to the shoreline (Figure 2-1). Along each transect line, using the alternating belt transect method, a one meter squared (1m2) PVC quadrat was used to determine seagrass and macroalgal species percentage cover as well as canopy height. Here, quadrats were placed at twenty-meter (20m) intervals at alternating sides along the transect line resulting in a total of ten (10) data collection points. At each point, the quadrat was carefully laid as not to disturb any benthic fauna present within the underlying bed. Seagrass species percentage cover within the quadrat was then noted along with macroalgae percentage cover. Three blades within the quadrat were then randomly selected and their lengths measured and noted in order to determine canopy height of the bed present. This method was repeated until the transect line was completed. Transect lines labelled BC T1, BC T2, BCT3 and BCT4 were transects used to assess the reef at Booby Cay.


Table 2-1 Coordinates of seagrass sampling transects in JAD2001


Transect #

Eastings

Northings

Eastings

Northings

Eastings

Northings


START

MIDDLE

END

LONG BAY







LB T1

608163.271

687458.813

608228.553

687535.982

608316.612

687585.546

LB T2

608251.286

686912.704

608333.623

686969.929

608344.643

687069.345

LB T3

608373.472

686276.140

608506.020

686325.852

608457.435

686324.974

LB T4

608200.570

685664.251

608240.743

685754.255

608310.648

685823.784

LB T5

608148.970

684827.689

608242.275

684805.288

608334.110

684777.469

LB T7

607941.371

683328.146

608033.569

683307.603

608125.680

683286.674

LB T8

607689.341

682390.772

607686.804

682291.485

607684.259

682192.197

LB T10

607128.660

681730.679

607215.571

681681.541

607302.801

681632.967

BLOODY BAY







BB T1

608056.221

689647.663

608136.222

689707.639

608216.223

689767.615

BB T2

608555.963

689688.584

608492.432

689611.368

608428.900

689534.153

BB T3

608771.756

689398.569

608690.224

689340.861

608608.693

689283.153

BB T4

608502.524

688856.730

608584.551

688910.486

608666.578

688964.242

BB T5

608213.316

688572.125

608257.929

688481.208

608302.542

688390.292

BB T6

608090.129

689336.817

608180.119

689381.703

608276.000

689412.158

BB T7

608113.034

688911.609

608260.573

688927.138

608211.999

688923.303



Plate 2-1 Alternating belt transect sampling method


Figure 2-1 Seagrass transects (Note: Transect lines labelled BC T1, BC T2, BCT3 and BCT4 were transects used to assess the reef at Booby Cay.)

Core Sampling and Data Collection

Within Bloody Bay a total of fourteen (14) cores were extracted while in Long Bay, a total of sixteen (16) cores extracted (Table 2-2, Figure 2-2). At each site, diving was utilized to extract core data. This was done by carrying a graduated and labelled PVC tube of dimensions 2.5 meters length by eight 8 centimetres width unto the substrate below. The depth of the water column was then noted and with slow swaying motions (in order to reduce the chances of cropping seagrass blades) the PVC core was used to encircle the seagrass below, ensuring all blades were properly within the core. The core was then forced into the substrate using a sledgehammer until resistance was achieved and depth of core into the substrate noted using the graduation markings. A PVC cap was then placed atop the core tube and pounded until a seal was created. The core tube was then swayed back and forth in order to loosen the surrounding substrate to create space in order to remove and cap the working end of core. The removed core and contents (vegetative and soil plug) were then carried to the surface and stored for later processing. This process was repeated twice at each sampled site in Bloody Bay and Long Bay (Plate 2-2).

Table 2-2 Coordinates of Seagrass Cores in JAD 2001


Seagrass Core

Eastings

Northings

LONG BAY



LB C1A

608146.622

687468.599

LB C1B

608311.769

687588.064

LB C2A

608244.541

686921.470

LB C2B

608343.454

687067.568

LB C3A

608361.424

686284.196

LB C3B

608559.378

686326.814

LB C4A

608196.471

685667.618

LB C4B

608311.965

685824.548

LB C5A

608143.630

684837.556

LB C5B

608333.216

684781.849

LB C7A

607928.121

683338.390

LB C7B

608130.572

683286.878

LB C8A

607674.801

682195.966

LB C8B

607678.812

682333.881

LB C10A

607160.933

681721.927

LB C10B

607288.833

681647.525

BLOODY BAY



BB C1A

608056.221

689647.663

Draft Report: Seagrass Assessment for the Negril Environmental Protection Area

P a g e | 11



Seagrass Core

Eastings

Northings

BB C2

608152.271

689718.436

BB C2A

608554.270

689697.678

BB C2B

608544.622

689657.642

BB C3A

608786.073

689393.500

BB C3B

608601.618

689269.807

BB C4A

608676.473

688961.934

BB C4B

608502.752

688843.249

BB C5A

608211.785

688536.581

BB C5B

608300.065

688389.848

BB C6A

608087.612

689336.437

BB C6B

608273.621

689406.576

BB C7A

608111.023

688922.588

BB C7B

608305.013

688914.039




Plate 2-2 Core sampling method


Prepared By: C.L. Environmental Co. Ltd. Submitted to: National Environment and Planning Agency


Figure 2-2 Locations of seagrass cores

Seagrass Productivity Collection

Four (4) 0.027m2 quadrats were randomly anchored in the seagrass meadow at the shoreward end of each transect (Table 2-3, Figure 2-3). Quadrats were carefully marked with flagging tape and GPS markers to accurately pinpoint the exact location. The seagrass blades enclosed by the quadrat were properly fixed to ensure that none of the blades were folded underneath the quadrat boundary. A hole punch was then used to make a hole as close to the base of the blade as possible. This was done for at least 5 blades in each quadrat. The samples were left for a period of 2 weeks following which, the blades were reaped by removing the entire shoot from the quadrats. All shoots were removed from the quadrats and carefully placed in labelled Ziploc bags to be processed at the lab.

Table 2-3 Coordinates of Productivity Quadrats in JAD2001


Productivity

Quadrat


Eastings


Northings

LONG BAY



LB P1

608315.612

687585.760

LB P2

608347.899

687065.257

LB P3

608553.513

686323.978

LB P4

608314.470

685820.275

LB P5

608330.865

684777.161

LB P7

608130.572

683286.878

LB P8

607686.008

682187.877

LB P10

607301.779

681635.442

NEPA P1

608314.312

684857.083

BLOODY BAY



BB P1

608045.256

689681.694

BB P2

608152.527

689721.157

BB P3

608804.312

689404.236

BB P4

608672.161

688954.503

BB P5

608299.743

688391.652

BB P6

608274.685

689409.711

BB P7

608308.671

688936.892

BB RIU P1

608697.827

689705.181

BB RIU P2

608668.862

689703.209


Figure 2-3 Locations of seagrass productivity quadrats

Seagrass Lab Analysis


Vegetative Biomass Separation

Upon the removal of core contents, from PVC cores, seagrass samples were carefully separated into below and above ground sections and placed into separate labelled Ziploc bags for later processing.


Above Ground Biomass Processing

Seagrass samples (each blade from each sample) were then removed and measured individually for length and width. After measuring, samples were then weighed for wet weight and recorded with epiphytes still attached. The prominent epiphytes present on the blades were noted after which they were removed by immersing the samples in ten percent (10%) hydrochloric acid (HCL) for twenty (20) minutes. Blades were then carefully wiped clean of all remaining epiphytes, weighed and recorded once more for weight after epiphyte removal (epiphyte weight). Samples were then packaged in newspaper and placed in the Despatch LDB Lab Oven for seventy-two (72) hours at sixty degrees (60o) for drying (Plate 2-3).



Plate 2-3 Seagrass Samples in Despatch Lab Oven


Below Ground Biomass Processing

Belowground seagrass biomass was determined using a 5KW Digital Scale which was used to record wet and dry weights. Here, seagrass roots and rhizomes were washed free of sediments, blotted with a paper towel and weighed for wet weight. Samples were then placed in newspaper and left in a Despatch LDB Lab Oven for seventy-two (72) hours at sixty (60o) degrees, removed and allowed to cool before being weighed for dry weight.


Productivity Processing

The seagrass shoots were removed from labelled bags and all the individual blades were removed from the shoot. All blades were examined to see if the hole could be found. The area of the seagrass blade above the hole was cut with a scissors and removed. The region below the hole to the white subsurface area was also cut at the interface area and removed. If no holes were found, all the blades that were short with rounded tips were grouped together as new growth blades while the long blades with jagged tips were grouped together as old blades. The freshly cut blades or the grouped blades were now weighed and recorded. After which they were placed in a 10% HCl solution for approximately twenty (20) minutes. After the blades were removed and carefully wiped with a paper towel, there were reweighed and recorded. The blades were carefully packaged in newspaper, labelled and placed in the Despatch LDB lab oven to be dried for approximately seventy-two (72) hours. After the samples were dried, they were re-weighed for dry weight. The productivity data was obtained by transposing the weighted results into the formula:

Dry weight(g) x 0.027258 x 1/14


Substrate and Peat Analysis

The remaining soil collected in the core was allowed to settle. Upon settling, the remaining water is poured through a 64 µm filter in order to collect any remaining suspended sediment particles. Once the majority of this water is removed, the remaining soil samples are collected and placed into plastic containers being sure to add the filtered particles. Once settled excess water is removed using a syringe with tubing attached. Samples are then split into two replicates, placed into labelled aluminium containers and weighed for wet weight.


Samples were then placed into the Despatch LDB Lab Oven for seventy-two (72) hours and dried at sixty degrees (60o) (Plate 2-4).



Plate 2-4 Samples in Despatch Lab Oven


Samples were then allowed to cool for one (1) hour after which they were weighed for dry weight and placed into a Thermolyne B1 TableTop Muffle Furnace for five (5) hours at four hundred and fifty degrees (450o) (Plate 2-5). Samples are then removed after cooling and ash free dry weights recorded and analyzed.



Plate 2-5 Samples in Muffle Furnace


Benthic Surveys

The large study area consists of a mixed benthos backreef environment, which included extensive seagrass meadows, patch reefs, individual coral colonies, an expansive fringing reef of Booby Cay, several sand patches and hard bottom/ pavement areas. As. As described by Henry 1981 in (CL Environmental, 2014), as such various survey methods and modifications were utilized.

Roving surveys were conducted throughout the study to generate a species list and photo inventory as well as to document features such as coral disease, impacts in seagrass meadows and other features. Belt and Photo transects were used in various sections of the project area for greater detail and quantitative assessment.

Figure 2-5 shows the various survey areas.


Seagrass Meadow Invertebrate Transects

Two-hundred metre (200m) long x 2m wide Reef Check belt transects (recording individuals in 20m segments along the line, skipping 5m between) were used in seagrass meadow areas, shown in Figure 2-4. The Reef Check data sheet was modified to include all macro invertebrates, hard and soft corals seen within the belt. Roving surveys were also conducted around transect area. Species seen outside transect areas were added to the species list table ()Appendix 8-2). This was done in both Bloody Bay and Long Bay (Figure 2-1).


Fish Transects

Within Bloody Bay and Long Bay, the fish communities were surveyed using a modified Reef Check technique (Figure 2-4). To minimize disturbance to the habitat, fish surveys were the first surveys to be performed. Five

  1. 200m long lines were laid perpendicular to the coastline throughout Bloody Bay, while eight (8) were laid in a similar fashion throughout the larger Long Bay. Along the 200m line, eight 5m wide (centred on the transect line) by 20m long segments were sampled for fish, enumerating the number of individuals per species within each segment. The size of the individuals was also noted and categorized using size classes with the aid of a T-bar graduated in 5cm intervals. Fish seen within the water column up to 5m above the transect line were also included. To reduce the risk of duplicating counts, there was a 5m gap in between each 20m segment.



    Figure 2-4 Standard Reef Check Protocol


    Booby Cay Photo and Invertebrate Transects

    A total of 4 modified 30m long Transect lines were used to assess the leeward backreef of Booby Cay (Figure 2-1, Table 2-4). Urchins and other features were recorded 1m on either side of the line. A 1x1 m photo framer was used every 3m along the transect line (a total of 10 photos per transect). These were then analyzed in CPCe in order to determine major categories such as Percentage cover for Hard Corals, Macroalgae, Nuisance/Aggressive Invertebrates, Disease and other features (Plate 2-6). Total urchin counts (species and number) were recorded 1m on either side of the 30m line. A manual count of key herbivores, mainly Diadema was necessary as they are cryptic and often not accurately represented in photo transects. Roving surveys were conducted around the leeward side of Booby Cay.



    Plate 2-6 CPCe point count analysis


    Fish Transect

    Within the back reef of Booby Cay, a modified Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA) Detailed Fish Protocol was conducted. Along a 30m line placed randomly on the reef, all fish individuals were noted and enumerated to the species level within a 2m wide belt. The size of the individuals was also noted and


    categorized using size classes with the aid of a T-bar graduated in 5cm intervals. This survey was conducted four times, ensuring that each line was at least 5m apart.

    Table 2-4 Coordinates of Booby Cay Transects in JAD2001


    Transect #

    Eastings

    Northings

    Eastings

    Northings

    Eastings

    Northings


    START

    MIDDLE

    END

    BC T1

    607625.089

    688177.671

    607631.093

    688163.661

    607637.096

    688149.650

    BC T2

    607641.250

    688197.768

    607642.807

    688182.559

    607644.364

    688167.349

    BC T3

    607638.446

    688242.845

    607642.509

    688229.693

    607646.572

    688216.541

    BC T4

    607593.858

    688241.196

    607593.799

    688225.763

    607593.741

    688210.329


    Other Survey Areas- Roving Surveys and Benthic Composition Identification

    Roving surveys were conducted throughout the project area including at the Pyramids/Artificial reef areas and nearby snorkel sites. Other survey areas included some rocky shores of Rutlands point, Booby Cay and Bloody Bay. A species list was generated for each roving survey area, including some intertidal species.

    Surveys were carried on the leeward side of Booby Cay (Figure 2-5), which have not previously been included as part of a long-term reef monitoring program. The survey area therefore serves as baseline data and is not comparable to other reef surveys carried out in the general area. Invertebrate surveys in the seagrass meadows are also baseline data and not comparable to other surveys. A detailed species list (Appendix 8-1

    Study Team

    Carlton Campbell: Cartography, GIS Analysis, Seagrass Mapping

    Matthew Lee: Seagrass Mapping, Water Quality

    Rachel D’Silva: Seagrass Mapping, Mapping of Natural/Anthropogenic Impacts, Coral and Invertebrate Surveys

    Alec Silvera: Seagrass Mapping, Mapping of Natural/Anthropogenic Impacts, Water Quality

    Le’Anne Green: Seagrass Health Assessment

    Chauntelle Green: Fish Surveys

    Gina-Marie Maddix: Fish Surveys

    Christopher Burgess: Climate Change Projections, Oceanography and Hydrodynamics Hannah Marshall: Oceanography and Hydrodynamics, Seagrass Vulnerability Assessment Tashae Thompson: Oceanography and Hydrodynamics, Seagrass Vulnerability Assessment


    Nicole West-Hayles: Stakeholder Consultations

    Appendix 8-2) and photo inventory were created.


    Reef Health Index

    In order to create a Reef Health Index, the following factors were considered and recorded:



    A score of 1-5 for each category was assigned; 1 being of poor health/quality; 5 being of excellent health. Anecdotal information and observations will also be considered in the overall health and description.


    Prepared By: C.L. Environmental Co. Ltd.

    Submitted to: National Environment and Planning Agency


    Prepared By: C.L. Environmental Co. Ltd.


    Submitted to: National Environment and Planning Agency


    Figure 2-5 Benthic Transect and Roving Survey Areas


    Prepared By: C.L. Environmental Co. Ltd. Submitted to: National Environment and Planning Agency


    Water Quality

    Water quality sampling exercises were conducted at thirty (30) stations (N1-N30) on May 14th, June 10th and July 2nd, 2021, with three more stations (N31, N32 and N33) being done as a one-time sample on July 10th, 2021, for a total of thirty-three (33) water quality sampling stations. Table 2-5 gives coordinates of sampling locations and is illustrated in Figure 2-6.

    Temperature, conductivity, salinity, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) – light irradiance, total dissolved solids (TDS) and pH were collected using a Hydrolab DataSonde-5 water quality multi probe meter (Appendix 8- – Calibration Test Sheet) and light extinction through the water column was calculated from PAR values recorded.

    Water quality samples were collected in pre-sterilized bottles, stored on ice and taken to Caribbean Environmental Testing and Monitoring Services Limited (CETMS Ltd.) for analysis of Total Suspended Solids (TSS), phosphates and nitrates.

    The results of the data collected were compared with the Draft NRCA Ambient Marine water standards, 2009, where applicable.

    Table 2-5 Water quality sampling location coordinates


    STATION

    LOCATION (JAD2001)


    NORTHINGS

    EASTINGS

    N1

    689340.735872

    606808.672181

    N2

    689881.499661

    607936.142025

    N3

    689744.732119

    608198.224237

    N4

    689839.298468

    608384.200681

    N5

    689510.769045

    608626.683068

    N6

    689201.681753

    608206.460610

    N7

    689048.636247

    608804.762023

    N8

    688607.431150

    608752.962357

    N9

    688805.719274

    608401.282746

    N10

    688926.940000

    607863.560000

    N11

    688377.458101

    608211.796102

    N12

    688034.760000

    607641.310000

    N13

    687337.440000

    606902.320000

    N14

    687190.740000

    607792.300000


    STATION

    LOCATION (JAD2001)


    NORTHINGS

    EASTINGS

    N15

    687718.860000

    608232.400000

    N16

    686975.580000

    608428.004000

    N17

    686325.533583

    607875.848131

    N18

    686142.320000

    606687.160000

    N19

    685432.290000

    605728.710000

    N20

    685158.450000

    607616.260000

    N21

    685623.980000

    608369.320000

    N22

    684753.952504

    608304.887645

    N23

    683970.467452

    608259.652499

    N24

    684512.970000

    606472.000000

    N25

    683554.520000

    607391.320000

    N26

    683114.420000

    606276.400000

    N27

    682801.187097

    607073.476823

    N28

    682664.540000

    607997.680000

    N29

    681519.395840

    607464.932536

    N30

    681872.360000

    606696.940000

    N31

    681543.430135

    607915.813581

    N32

    690853.744713

    608405.440621

    N33

    690723.358199

    608562.469228



    Figure 2-6 Water quality sampling stations


    Oceanography and Hydrodynamics


    Wave Climate and Storm Surge

    The MIKE 21/3 Coupled FM Module Suite of computer programs was used to calculate the corresponding distribution of surface water elevation and waves in the area. MIKE 21/3 Coupled Model FM is a dynamic modelling system for application within coastal, estuaries, and river environments. The Suite simulates the mutual interaction between waves and currents using a dynamic coupling between the Hydrodynamic Module and the Spectral Wave Module. The two (2) modules are employed as:



Model Inputs

Wind Data

Wind data were gathered from predictive models and suggested relatively calm wind speeds (8m/s) from the dominant South-Eastern direction as seen in Figure 2-8. Wind data were retrieved from Hedonism II Station (IJAMAICA3) for the dates of the survey May 2nd to May 4th, 2021. This data was used to facilitate the calibration of the HD model.




Figure 2-8 Wind rose generated using data from underground weather for the dates of the survey May 2nd - 4th 2021.


Astronomical Tides

Tides have to do with the rise and fall of the sea level due to the effects of the gravitational forces of the Sun and the Moon and the rotation of the Earth. The Mike 21 software was introduced to produce acceptable and


Tidal Predictions

0.2


0.15


0.1


0.05


0


-0.05


-0.1


-0.15


-0.2

Date

Tidal Level (m)

accurate tidal height data. Mike 21 provided two (2) different tidal analysis and prediction modules. The tidal range for the Negril area was determined to be approximately 0.3m.


5/2/2021 0:00

5/2/2021 12:00

5/3/2021 0:00

5/3/2021 12:00

5/4/2021 0:00

5/4/2021 12:00

5/5/2021 0:00

Figure 2-9 Predicted tides for Negril from May 2nd – May 4th, 2021.


Probabilistic Analysis of Hurricanes and Storm Surge

The methodology involves two sub-components; the generation of wind and pressure fields for each hurricane; modelling of wind fields in MIKE 21/3 FM Coupled Model to assess surface elevations at Negril.

Two modules in MIKE DHI were utilized to complete this assessment is outlined below:


  1. Tropical Cyclone Generator

  2. MIKE 21/3 FM Coupled Model

Tropical Cyclone Generation

The MIKE Cyclone Generation Tool was used to simulate the wind stress and atmospheric pressure gradients. The Young and Sobey parametric model was used to generate the wind and pressure field due to it being a


well-known strategy to mimic tropical cyclone surges. The input parameters to the model were extracted from the probabilistic tracks which were characterized by category 3-5 hurricane properties. The Saffir Simpson scale was used to categorize the storm wind speed, and central pressures, while the radius to maximum winds was done using an equation.

Equation 1 Radius to maximum winds (Rmax)



Figure 2-10 Probabilistic Best Track


A summary of the input parameters for the sensitivity models is presented in Table 2-6.


Table 2-6 The Vmax and Rmax for the simulations represented the intensity of the category of hurricane chosen.


Hurricane Category

Radius to maximum winds (Rmax) (km)

Maximum Sustained (Vmax) (mph)

Central Pressure (hPa) (mb)

3

46.0

111-129

945-965

4

43.0

130-156

920 -945

5

41.0

>157

<920


Data Collection

Bathymetry

Bathymetry can be described as the underwater topography of the seafloor. It generally describes the depths relative to a datum (mean sea level). It was necessary to collect this data and build a digital terrain model of the seafloor to better understand how deep-water waves will propagate into shallow waters and affect the shoreline.


Bathymetric Surveys (2021)

A bathymetric survey was conducted in June 2021 using an echo sounder. The survey was done along predefined gridlines running in a zig zap pattern from nearshore to a depth of 3 m. The data was corrected for tides and keel offset to ensure it was properly referenced to mean sea level (see Figure 2-11). Once this was completed, the new data was cross-referenced with the old data to ensure that there was no change in the bathymetric makeup of the project area. From the analysis it was deduced that they have been very minimal change in the seafloor characteristics, therefore the previous bathymetry data was deemed good for use. The project area characterized by seagrass meadows and patch reefs and a gentle nearshore slope. Wave transformation analysis was key in understanding the transformation of the deep-water waves to the shoreline, as they undergo refraction, shoaling, and diffraction.



Figure 2-11 Bathymetry surrounding Long Bay and Bloody Bay, Negril.


Drogue tracking


The current regime (i.e., patterns and speeds) in the coastal setting determines the ability of an area to flush and maintain sufficiently good water quality. Currents are generated mostly by winds, tides, and waves. For tides and winds the simplified mechanisms are as follows:


Tides - Rising tides will cause water to enter the bay and a portion will leave on a falling tide that follows. This will result in some exchange of water between the outside and inside of the project area. This result is dependent on the ratio of the water entering to the water leaving; this ratio is dependent on the tide range, hydraulic efficiency of the entrance, and the water internal depths.


Wind - Wind action over the water surface will generate a surface current that will essentially be in the direction of the wind. The wind-generated current will be a few degrees to the right of the wind, (in the northern hemisphere), owing to the Coriolis effect. If the fetch and duration are sufficient, the surface current speeds may approach 2-3% of the wind speeds.


Circulation patterns can be predicted by numerical, physical models or by field studies. Numerical models are most often used as they are more flexible and easier to use. They require field data with which to calibrate verify the model for use in a predictive model. The models are also robust enough to include the prediction of suspended sediments in the Bays.


Methodology


The drogue tracking missions took place from Sunday, May 2nd – to Tuesday, May 4th, 2021. Figure 2-12 shows deployment locations for drogue tracking. Eight (8) drogues were deployed; four (4) surface and four (4) sub- surface drogues (with depths ranging from 1 – 4 meters). At each location, the drogues were tracked during two

  1. separate sessions. One (1) session was held in the morning and one (1) session in the evening, to capture the falling and rising tides. The GPS and drogue log sheet results from the drogue tracking missions were incorporated into a database. The data was then analyzed to determine the current speed and directions, and current speed vectors were produced for the rising and falling tides.



    Figure 2-12 Deployment locations utilized for drogue tracking


    Drogue tracking measurements


    Sub-surface currents are generally slower than surface currents and range between 0.7 to 5.6cm/s in the seagrass meadows during the measurements.


    Sessions 1 and 2 (May 2nd, 2021)


    Falling Tide


    In session 1, the drogues were deployed at three (3) nearshore locations, and it was observed that the surface and subsurface currents moved generally in a southern direction. The speeds for the surface currents were observed to be faster and varied from 3.2 cm/s to 6.2 cm/s in a southern direction. While the subsurface currents varied from 3.6 cm/s to 5.6 cm/s in a southern direction.


    Rising Tide


    In session 2, the drogues were deployed at three (3) nearshore locations, and it was observed that the surface and subsurface currents moved mostly in a north-easterly direction. The speeds for the surface currents were observed to be faster and varied from 4.1 cm/s to 9.9 cm/s in a north-easterly direction. Whereas the subsurface currents varied from 1.5 cm/s to 5.3 cm/s in a north-easterly direction.


    Sessions 3 and 4 (May 3rd, 2021)


    Falling Tide


    In session 3, the drogues were deployed at five (5) offshore locations, and it was observed that the surface and subsurface currents moved generally in a southern direction. The speeds for the surface currents were observed to be faster and varied from 1.3 cm/s to 4.1 cm/s in a Southerly direction. While the subsurface currents varied from 0.3 cm/s to 3.4 cm/s in a South-Westerly direction.


    Rising Tide


    In session 4, the drogues were deployed at five (5) offshore locations, and it was observed that the surface and subsurface currents moved generally in a southern direction. The speeds for the surface currents were observed to be faster and varied from 1.8 cm/s to 5.3 cm/s in a Southerly direction. Whereas the subsurface currents varied from 0.9 cm/s to 2.6 cm/s in a Southerly direction.


    Sessions 5 and 6 (May 4th, 2021)


    Falling Tide


    In session 5, the drogues were deployed at two (2) offshore locations, and it was observed that the surface and subsurface currents moved generally in a south-eastern direction. The speeds for the surface currents were observed to be faster and varied from 1.0 cm/s to 5.3 cm/s in an Easterly direction. Whereas the subsurface currents varied from 0.7 cm/s to 5.7 cm/s in a South-Eastern direction.


    Rising Tide


    In session 6, the drogues were deployed at two (2) offshore locations, and it was observed that the surface and subsurface currents moved generally in a south-eastern direction. The speeds were generally faster for the surface currents and varied from 4.1 cm/s to 7.0 cm/s in an Easterly direction. Whereas the subsurface currents varied from 2.6 cm/s to 6.1cm/s in a south-easterly direction.


    Seagrass Vulnerability Assessment

    Raw bathymetric data and ocean current data were collected throughout the project areas of Long Bay and Bloody Bay. Future projections were done utilizing climate models that – according to previous studies – show more accurate predictions for the Caribbean region and Jamaica in particular. All other data used for this assessment have been collected from numerous secondary sources. Data was accumulated by reviewing articles, reports, and studies on the effect of climate change on seagrass. These were gathered and comprehensively reviewed and synthesized to deduce the vulnerability of the seagrass to increases in Mean Sea Level (MSL), Sea Surface Temperature (SST), and Ocean subsurface currents. Other factors such as wind, waves,


    rainfall and surface currents are not likely to have a great direct impact on seagrass distribution and as such were not included in this assessment.


    Method

    The following method was used to execute the vulnerability assessment:


    1. Determine seagrass vulnerability to climate related hazards


      1. Review of literature on the impact of temperature, currents and SLR on related variables on seagrass

    2. Assessing risk - The vulnerability and severity of the hazards were superimposed to estimate the potential impacts and losses of seagrass.

      1. Risk was determined by estimating the loss of seagrass from areas of critical value for each hazard.


      2. Susceptibility was estimated by looking at the changes between future and present climate values for each of the variables and comparing each, to relevant benchmarks for low, moderate and high susceptibility.


Stakeholder Engagement


Group Discussions

Group discussions were planned to be executed over a 3-day period targeting various demographic groupings:

  1. Craft vendors

  2. Farmers

  3. Fishers

  4. Residents

  5. Water sport operators


    Four (4) of the five (5) planned group discussion were successfully executed. The water sport group did not attend the scheduled session. Approximately forty-seven (47) individuals were reached as per Table 2-7.


    Table 2-7 Group discussion numbers according to gender


    #

    Stakeholder Group

    # Engaged

    Male

    Female

    Total

    1.

    Craft vendors

    0

    2

    2

    2.

    Farmers

    4

    0

    4

    3.

    Fishers

    28

    6

    34

    4.

    Residents

    3

    4

    7

    5.

    Water sport operators

    0

    0

    0

    6.

    TOTAL

    35

    12

    47


    Qualitative approaches were utilised guided by a semi-structured tool. The Tool explored various uses of the zone, key social challenges and solutions, social pressure on the zone, economic and social activities within the zone as well as overall perspectives for inclusive and sustainable management of the zone.


    Stakeholder Workshops and Community Consultations

    Stakeholder workshops and community consultations supports the seagrass meadows spatial distribution assessment in Bloody Bay and Long Bay within the Negril Environmental Protection Area (EPA). These activities are expected to some of the social drivers and threats to seagrass ecosystems and identify inclusive solutions.


    In this regard, primary and secondary sources utilizing qualitative and quantitative approaches were utilized in the capture of data. Three (3) main categories of activities were planned targeting stakeholders within the EPA. These include:



In addition to the methods above, it became necessary to complement these activities with targeted interviews as some key stakeholders were missed when other methods were utilised. To date, five (5) of the 8

- 10 planned activities have been executed in addition to two (2) unplanned interviews. The delivery rate is estimated at 70%.



Figure 2-13 Stakeholder Engagement survey tools log


A call was issued for trainees on the importance of Seagrass Ecosystems and Restoration Techniques. Approximately 60 individuals have expressed interest. The training will be delivered in two modules. Module 1 will focus on the importance of seagrass and will target all applicants. Module 2 will concentrate on the restoration techniques and will be delivered to individuals whose job requires the skills. These training are expected to be delivered on August 17, 2021, and September 2, 2021 respectively.

The final workshop for the presentation and validation for the seagrass meadows spatial distribution assessment is in the planning stage and tentatively set for Wednesday, September 8, 2021, at 9.00 a.m. via Zoom and a possible satellite location to enable the participation of those without digital access.


Mini Surveys

The main findings from the qualitative approach are being used to inform the design of the quantitative approach. The 20-point mini survey is in its final design state and is expected to be executed over a 2-day period beginning on Thursday, July 29, 2021. Ten survey assistants (SAs) identified and selected from within the EPA will implement the questionnaire on both the seaside and landside of the project area under the direct supervision of two members of the social scientist team.

Prior to field work, the SAs will undergo a brief training exercise that will expose them to the requirements of the TOR, the overall objective of the assignment, interviewing procedures, protocols, and ethical considerations. Additionally, the sampling methodology and the selection of respondents will be expounded on.

The spatial boundaries were demarcated at a 2km radius of the study area (Bloody Bay and Long Bay) to define the zone of influence. The 2011 population census published by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) was used to determine the population of 5,581 by selecting the category of adults 20 years and older within the zone of influence. A confidence level was set at 90% with a margin of error of +/-5%. The sample size was calculated using Survey Monkey’s sample size calculator which returned a sample size of 260. Using the population figures within the zone of influence, a quota was set based on representative population of each parish. The survey will target general users, residents, business owners and operators as well as visitors to the space.

Table 2-8 Sample size calculation based on Enumeration Districts (ED)


#

Parish

# EDs

Population

Sample

(Quota)

Male

Female

Total

%

1.

Hanover

2

154

156

310

6

16

2.

Westmoreland

20

2,839

2,432

5,271

94

244

3.

TOTAL

22

2,993

2,588

5,581

100

260


Results


Seagrass Mapping

Figure 3-1 depicts the extent of seagrass within Long Bay and Bloody Bay. Both bays are dominated by Thalassia testudinum (turtle grass), with some areas having Syringodium filiforme (manatee grass) and Halodule wrightii (shoal grass) as discrete beds and other areas with a mixed species composition.

The total estimated area of seagrass within Long Bay was 481.9 hectares (1,190.8 acres) and the estimated total for Bloody Bay was 95.1 hectares (235 acres).

Figure 3-2 depicts non-seagrass areas within the study area (pavement and patch reefs).





Replanted Seagrass Beds

At least three (3) different seagrass replanting projects have occurred within Long Bay and Bloody Bay over the past 18 years.

In March 2003, approximately 3,000 m2 of seagrass was removed from the nearshore of RIU Bloody Bay Hotel and replanted to the east of the donor areas (C.L. Environmental, 2004). This was done to facilitate the creation of a bathing beach for the hotel. The seagrass to be removed and replanted consisted primarily of Thalassia testudinum (96%), with the remainder being Syringodium filiforme and Halodule wrightii.

In September 2012, seagrass restoration activities were conducted in the Negril Marine Park area as part of the ‘Increasing Resilience of Coastal Ecosystems’ implemented by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA, 2015a). Shortly after, in October 2012, Hurricane Sandy uprooted 84% of the planted beds as well as naturally occurring seagrass beds along the entire length of the Negril coastline. Remedial planting took place in June 2013, where approximately 1,500 m2 of seagrass was replanted.

In December 2016, an estimated 570 m2 of seagrass was removed from the nearshore of the Royalton Negril Hotel and replanted nearby (Smith Warner International Ltd., 2017). This was done to facilitate the creation of a bathing beach for the hotel. The seagrass to be removed and replanted consisted primarily of Thalassia testudinum with interspersed Syringodium filiforme.

Figure 3-3 depicts the locations of the replanted seagrass beds.



Figure 3-3 Locations of replanted seagrass within Long Bay and Bloody Bay


Seagrass Health Assessment


Observational Results within the Long and Bloody Bay project area.

Water Quality and Bed Continuity


Within the Bloody Bay sampled area, siltation throughout the seagrass meadows was less prevalent within zones 1 and 2 and visibility through the water column was very clear, extending approximately thirty (30) meters. Seagrass meadows within the Bloody Bay area were observed to be less continuous towards the western end of Bloody Bay as well as around regions of patch reefs present. Syringodium sp. was observed to be more prevalent along transects within these western sections.

Within Long Bay, visibility extended approximately ten (10) meters with less visibility being associated with sites of high silt inputs including those located adjacent to the Pyramids (zone 3) as well as The Negril River (zone 10). Seagrass meadows within Long Bay though dense and extensive were observed to be affected by siltation throughout the entire area as most areas had various levels of smothering by sediment.

Fish and Invertebrate Species Prevalence


Within Bloody Bay, fish and benthic faunal communities were observed to have higher densities in comparison to Long Bay. This may suggest that Bloody Bay serves a greater function as a nursery area than Long Bay.

Anthropogenic Influences


Instances of anthropogenic alterations to seagrass meadows including propeller, anchor and hull damage which was noted within the nearshore portion of Bloody Bay. Within Long Bay, propellor damage was observed within the eastmost end of the project area (beach associated with Hedonism Hotel) as well as various anchoring sites being observed along the nearshore.

Seagrass Flowering


Within the entire project area, a multiple species (Syringodium sp and Thalassia sp.) seagrass flowering event was observed. This is a notable sighting as significant knowledge gaps regarding this information are present within the Caribbean region (Plate 3-1, Plate 3-2).



Plate 3-1 Male flower of Thalassia testudinum (arrow) found in core sample taken in Bloody Bay



Plate 3-2 Female flower of Syringodium filiforme found in Long Bay


Grouping of transect and core samples into zones for statistical analysis

In order to conduct statistical analysis on the collected datasets, the statistical program STATISTICA was utilized. Data collected was then manipulated into the grouping variable ‘zone’ which was based on corresponding transect names (Table 3-2) as well as core samples taken along a transect line (Table 3-3).

Table 3-1 Grouping of Long Bay transect names into zones.


Zone

Transect

1

LBT1

2

LBT2

3

LBT3

4

LBT4

5

LBT5

7

LBT7


Zone

Transect

8

LBT8

10

LBT10


Table 3-2 Grouping of Bloody Bay transects names into zones


Zone

Transect

1

BBT1

2

BBT2

3

BBT3

4

BBT4

5

BBT5

6

BBT6

7

BBT7


Table 3-3 Grouping of Booby Cay core sites into zones


Zone

Site

1

BB C1A

BB C1B

2

BB C2A

BB C2B

3

BB C3A

BB C3B

4

BB C4A

BB C4B

5

BB C5A

BB C5B


Zone

Site

6

BB C6A

BB C6B

7

BB C7A

BB C7B


The Tukey’s Honest Significant Difference (HSD) Test is used to determine if the relationship between two sets of data are statistically significant. Where significant, it is suggested that there is a strong chance that an observed numerical change in one value is related to an observed change in another value.

Within the dataset, this test was utilized to further describe sampled parameters related to replicate cores taken at each transect which was grouped into the category ‘zone’ (Table 3-3).

Statistical tests conducted on the biological and physiochemical parameters sampled within designated zones (Table 3-2, Table 3-3) indicated few instances of statistical difference among sampled parameters as indicated by analysis of variance tests conducted on datasets for each Bloody Bay () and Long Bay (Table 3-8).

According to blue carbon analysis conducted within the studied areas, results generated suggests that the Long Bay project area indicated higher levels of carbon storage within seagrass meadows (soil and vegetative components) present.


Bloody Bay

Table 3-4 Summary results from analysis of variance and ranking among seagrass parameters in Bloody Bay


Parameter

Transformation

df

p. value

Tukey’s range test (highest to lowest)

Avg. Blade Length (cm)

N/A

7

0.474

3-2-7-4-1-5-6

Avg. Blade Width (cm)

N/A

7

0.862

3-2-1-7-4-5-6

Number of Blades (n)

N/A

7

0.247

6-7-1-5-4-2-3

Above Ground Wet wt. (g)

N/A

7

0.473

3-2-5-1-4-7-6


Epiphyte wt. (g)

N/A

7

0.151

3-5-4-2-7-1-6

Above Ground Dry wt. (g)

N/A

7

0.993

5-2-1-3-7-4-6

Below Ground Wet wt. (g)

N/A

7

0.426

3-1-5-2-7-6-4

Below Ground Dry wt. (g)

N/A

7

0.537

3-1-5-6-7-2-4

Avg. Soil Wet wt. (g)

N/A

7

0.251

6-7-5-1-3-2-4

Soil Dry wt. (g)

N/A

7

0.154

6-7-5-1-3-4-2

Soil Ash Free Dry wt. (g)

N/A

7

0.113

6-7-5-1-3-4-2

Depth (cm)

N/A

7

0.073

7-6-3-5-2-4-1

Core Depth (cm)

N/A

7

0.472

6-3-7-5-1-2-4

Amount of Soil Carbon in Core (MgC)/ zone

N/A

7

0.728

1-3-6-7-5-2-4

Carbon in shoot biomass (MgC)/ zone

N/A

7

0.583

6-7-5-4-2-1-3

Carbon in root/rhizome layer (MgC)/ zone

N/A

7

0.077

6-7-3-5-4-2-1

Total Vegetative Carbon (MgC)/ site

N/A

7

0.154

6-7-5-3-4-2-1


Vegetative Component

Shoot Component


Mean Blade Density (numbers/m2)


The highest mean number of blades was found in zone six (6) with a value of eighteen (18) blades per square meter while the lowest was found in zones 3 and 2 with a value of seven (7) blades each (Figure 3-4).

According to the Tukey’s range test conducted for this parameter (Table 3-4) these zones were ranked from the lowest to highest in the order (3,2,4,5,1,7,6). Of these, it was determined that all belonged to the same homologous group.



Figure 3-4 Mean blade density collected in core samples per zone within Bloody Bay


Mean Blade Length (cm)


Mean blade length across zones ranged from 26.52cm – 11.87cm (Figure 3-5). The greatest mean blade length was recorded at zone 3, this was followed by zones 2, 7, 4, 1, 5 and 6. According to statistics carried out on this dataset, zone 3 was seen to possess the greatest variation around the mean (STDEV and SE) (Appendix 8-). All zones sampled shared the same homologous grouping within this parameter.



Figure 3-5 Mean blade length collected in core samples per zone within Bloody Bay


Mean Blade Width (cm)


Blade widths per zone ranged from 0.76 cm – 0.37 cm with the highest width being located along zone 3 followed by zones 2, 1, 7, 4, 5 and 6 respectively (Figure 3-6). Within this dataset, zone 6 recorded the greatest variations about mean values (STDEV and SE) while zone 2 was found to possess the least (Appendix 8-).

Values here are seen to decrease gradually from zones 2 to 6 after which a slight increase is seen at zone 7.



Figure 3-6 Mean blade width collected in core samples per zone within Bloody Bay


Mean Above Ground Wet Weight (g)


Mean above ground wet weight among zones indicated that weights varied between 14.45g at zone 3 and 4.45g at zone 6 (Figure 3-7). Ranking of zones according to Tukey’s range test (3, 2, 5, 1, 4, 7, 6) indicated that the data formed one homologous grouping. Values here are seen to increase steadily from zones 1 to 3 after which a downward trend is seen.



Figure 3-7 Mean above ground wet weight (g) collected in core samples per zone within Bloody Bay


Zones located closer to the eastmost section of Bloody Bay therefore possess higher above ground wet weight values than those within western zone (4, 5) as well as central and deeper zones (6,7). The wet weight of aboveground (grass/shoot/blade) components of seagrasses can be attributed to blade lengths and widths as surface area of these seagrass blades may create greater potential for epiphytic growth, water storage. This may also result in higher biomasses present. These factors however are not definitive. The intensity of feeding relationships by grazing species within seagrass meadows as well as blade damage from natural and anthropogenic factors have the potential to influence the aboveground biomass present with a seagrass area.

Epiphyte Weight (g)


Mean epiphyte weights among zones indicated that weights varied between 3.20g at zone 3 and 0.65g at zone 6 (Figure 3-8). Ranking of zones from lowest to highest according to Tukey’s range test (6, 1, 7, 2, 4, 5, 3) indicated that the data formed one homologous group.



Figure 3-8 Mean epiphyte weight (g) collected in core samples per zone within Bloody Bay


The presence and type of epiphytes though not ubiquitous, can be used as a factor in the determination of nutrients present within an area. Where epiphytes present are predominantly fleshy or filamentous it can be suggested that higher nutrient values may be present. Within the dataset, the largest number of epiphytes were noted at the innermost sampled zone, zone 3 (Figure 2-1). This zone also possessed the highest average blade length observed within samples.

Mean above ground dry weight (g)


Mean above ground dry weight indicated that the highest weight was found in zone 5 (1.05g) while the lowest was found in zone 6 (0.71g) (Figure 3-9). Among zones, zone 6 was seen to show the highest variability around mean values (STDEV and STE) while zones 2 and 3 showed the lowest. Ranking of zones according to Tukey’s range test from lowest to highest (6, 7, 4, 3, 1, 2, 5) indicated that the data formed one homologous group

(Figure 3-9).



Figure 3-9 Mean above ground dry weight (g) collected in core samples per zone within Bloody Bay


Mean below ground wet weight (g)


Mean below ground wet weight per zone was seen to vary between values of 43.95g in zone 4 and 150.60g in zone 3 (Figure 3-10) Across zones, zone 5 and 6 showed the highest variability about mean values (Appendix 8-). Due to the highly trafficked nature of the seagrass meadows within Bloody Bay, to ensure community stability and growth, grasses present may need to adapt high wave and current energy. Zone 1, located at the eastern end of Bloody Bay receives high current and wave energy from the water sports entertainment industry. These zones, as indicated in Table 3-7 are two of the shallower zones within Bloody Bay and so are affected by these higher wave energies which may result in more extensive belowground components. The

influence of nutrients from runoff and groundwater upwellings may also be attributed to increased vegetative growth.



Figure 3-10 Mean above ground wet weight (g) collected in core samples per zone within Bloody Bay


Mean below ground dry weight (g)


Mean below ground dry weight per zone was seen to be highest at zone 3 with a value of 43.45g and lowest at zone 4 reported at 10.75g (Figure 3-11). According to further statistical analysis within this dataset, zone 5 had the highest variability among mean values while zone 4 possessed the least variability (Appendix 8-).



Figure 3-11 Mean below ground dry weight (g) collected in core samples per zone within Bloody Bay


Mean Carbon in Grass Component (MgC/ha)/zone.


Within the aboveground (grass) components of the samples taken, zone 7 had the highest carbon per hectare with a value of 0.09MgC/ha while zone 3 indicated the least (Figure 3-12). Of this dataset, zone 6 had the highest variability about mean values (Appendix 8-).



Figure 3-12 Carbon in shoot biomass per zone located within Bloody Bay


The aboveground/ shoot component within seagrasses is the most vulnerable as they are subjected to grazing by fauna present within the seagrass meadow, high wave activity, boat damage, trampling and other natural and anthropogenic factors. As a result, seagrasses within shallow but undisturbed areas have the potential to proliferate at optimal rates under limiting factors such as water depth, nutrient availability, grazing and so on. However, when subjected to constant disturbances, loss of shoots will become more common through cropping and breakage. Zone 7 indicated the highest man carbon shoot value across datasets, this may be due to the depth at which samples were taken. Where depth increases, a buffer zone between sea surface disturbances and seagrass is created as wave energy may not create a significant prolonged disturbance of the seagrass meadow present. This may also be applied to zone 3, the shallowest zone across sampled areas.

Mean Carbon in Root/Rhizome Component (MgC/ha)


Within the belowground component of samples taken, zone 6 indicated the highest values at 0.24 MgC/ha followed by zones 7, 3, 5, 4, 1 and 2 respectively (Figure 3-13). Of these zones, zone 3 indicated the highest variability about mean values (Appendix 8-).



Figure 3-13 Mean carbon in root/rhizome component (MgC/ha) collected in core samples per zone within Bloody Bay

When referring to carbon storage in seagrasses, it is necessary to break down vegetative components into both shoot and root portions. This is due to the capacity of roots to store carbon more effectively than shoots (above ground components) as seagrass blades are subject to a wider range of disturbances. The root and rhizome layer are also significant in the transferral of carbon to surrounding substrates. This layer is therefore a significant factor in the capacity for seagrass meadows to sequester and store carbon over long periods of time.


Productivity

Productivity quadrat analysis was carried out within aforementioned zones along with two (2) seagrass relocation sites located adjacent to the RIU hotel located within Bloody Bay. Within this dataset, results from seagrass productivity methods indicated that the site with the highest productivity was BB RIU P2 with a value


of 0.011 g/m2/day while the lowest productivity was seen at BB P7 (the deepest zone) with a value of 0.002 g/m2/day (Figure 3-14).



Figure 3-14 Seagrass productivity per zone within Bloody Bay.


Results seen within this parameter may be due to the shallow and nearshore nature of the seagrass meadows present within this area. These characteristics allow for increased light penetration through the water column to aid in photosynthetic processes for longer periods of time. Notably, samples were taken while the adjacent RIU hotel was not in use and so were not heavily influenced by human traffic which would result in trampling of the seagrass bed as well as increased turbidity within the water column, otherwise significant influences in seagrass growth. Productivity being the least at zone 7 may be due to the inverse relationship between depth and light penetration.


Percentage Cover and Canopy Height

Average percentage cover and canopy height per transect indicated that along transects, the seagrass species Thalassia testudinum was seen to have the highest percentage cover along zones sampled (Figure 3-15). The highest percentage cover was seen within the east-most transect, BBT1. The seagrass species Syringodium filiforme was seen to become increasingly prominent towards the western portion of the sampling area with highest percentage cover being recorded at BBT5 at a value of twenty-one percent (21.7%). Within this transect Halodule wrightii was noted along BBT6 and had an average value of 0.02%. This species was not observed along the other sampled areas. Macroalgal species within this area had the highest percentage cover along BBT1 with a percentage cover of 4.9% and was lowest at BBT2 (0.2%).



Figure 3-15 Average percentage cover and canopy height per transect within Bloody Bay


Average canopy height within the sampled transects within Bloody Bay indicated that BBT3 possessed blades with the highest canopy height of the zones sampled within Bloody Bay with an average canopy height value of 27.9cm (Table 3-5). The transect which was seen to have the lowest canopy heights was BBT6 with an average value of 16.0cm per m2.

Table 3-5 Average Canopy Height (cm) per transect within Bloody Bay


Transect

Average Canopy

Height (cm)

BBT1

20.6

BBT2

17.3

BBT3

27.9

BBT4

25.2

BBT5

19.5

BBT6

16.0

BBT7

17.3


Soil Component

Mean Soil Wet Weight, Dry Weight and Ash Free Dry Weight (g)


Mean soil wet weights varied between 1462g at zone 6 to 780g at zone 4 (Figure 3-16). Here, mean soil wet weights showed no statistically significant variations with an ANOVA test p-value of 0.251 and one homologous grouping generated by Tukey’s range test (4, 2, 3, 1, 5, 7, 6) (Table 3-4). Mean values for soil dry weight indicated the highest mean being located at zone 6 with a value of 970g, while the lowest mean value was present in zone 4 with a value of 506g (Figure 3-16). Across the dataset for the soil parameters mentioned, zone 1 possessed the highest variability about mean values while zone 7 possessed the least (Appendix 8-). The parameter average soil dry weight showed no statistically significant variations with an ANOVA test p-value of 0.153 within which all zones were grouped within one homologous group and ranked from lowest to highest (2, 4, 3, 1, 5, 7, 6) (Table 3-4). Mean weight values for this parameter indicated highest values within zone 6 and lowest mean within zone 2. Ash free dry weight per zone showed no statistical difference among zones with an ANOVA test p-value of 0.113 (Table 3-4). The highest mean value among zones was seen in zone 6 (947.35g) and the lowest at zone 2 (454.75g).



Figure 3-16 Average soil wet, dry and ash free dry weights (g) per zone in Bloody Bay


Mean Soil Carbon Content per zone (MgC/ha)


Of the seven (7) zones, soil carbon content was highest in zone 1 with a value of 75.44 MgC/ha and lowest at zone 4 (25.76 MgC/ha) (Figure 3-17). Within this dataset, zone 1 was seen to have the highest variability about mean values while zones 4 and 7 possessed the least (Appendix 8-). According to Tukey’s range test, zones


were ranked from lowest to highest carbon values in the order of zone 4, 2, 5, 7, 6, 3, 1 with all groups forming one homogenous grouping (Table 3-4).



Figure 3-17 Mean soil carbon content per zone (MgC/ha) collected in core samples per zone within Bloody Bay.

Zone 1, the east-most dataset indicated highest levels of soil carbon. This may be due to the nature of its location. Within the sampling period, traffic within this area was minimal and not heavily utilized by marine vessel operators. This zone is also fairly shallow, resulting in a greater potential for photosynthetic activity and primary production. This will then influence the capacity for seagrass meadows here to store carbon. Other influences within the area include the adjacent mangrove forest along this portion of Bloody Bay. Here, wave activity may carry nutrient rich sediments from these adjacent areas and deposit them in the nearby seagrass meadow located at zone one where they are allowed to settle due to reduced wave energies.


Physicochemical Component

Of the water quality samples collected within Bloody Bay. The following stations were selected and used to describe transects taken with this area (Table 3-6).


Table 3-6 Water quality stations for corresponding transects sampled within zone


Transect

WQ Station

BBT1

N3

BBT2

N4

BBT3

N5

BBT4

N8

BBT5

N11

BBT6

N6

BBT7

N9


Physicochemical parameters within Bloody Bay indicated various trends across parameters (Table 3-7). According to the results obtained, depth across zones indicated an increasing trend from zones 1 -7 with highest depth values being recorded at zones 6 and 7 while lowest depths were located at zones 1, 2 and 4 respectively (Table 3-7). Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) within the seagrass area sampled within Bloody Bay indicated highest values within zones 2 and 1 (the shallowest zones within the Bloody Bay sample area). Lowest PAR values were located at zones 5 and 6. Average turbidity across zones sampled indicated turbidity was highest within the sampled areas of shallow depths (zones 1 and 2). Average pH, TDS and conductivity values remained stable at an average of 8.2, 35 (g/l) and 55 (mS/cm) throughout the sample area and are not statistically significant throughout the sampled area. Average dissolved oxygen (mg/l) fluctuated between values of 5.68 at zone 1 and 6.08 at zone 4.

Table 3-7 Average values for physicochemical results per zone within Bloody Bay


ZONE

Depth

(cm)

AVG TEMP. °C

AVG COND

(mS/cm)

AVG SAL

(ppt)

AVG pH

AVG D.O.

(mg/l)

AVG Turb

(NTU)

AVG TDS

(g/l)

AVG PAR

(uE/cm/s)

1

274.32

29.49

55.71

37.05

8.21

5.68

0.64

35.66

1171.78

2

320.04

29.59

55.54

36.92

8.20

5.89

1.75

35.54

1377.00

3

335.28

29.47

55.77

37.08

8.21

5.97

0.25

35.69

892.07

4

320.04

29.60

55.69

37.04

8.22

6.08

0.21

35.69

936.89

5

335.28

29.37

55.76

37.08

8.21

5.92

0.35

35.69

687.53

6

533.40

29.32

55.79

37.11

8.22

5.97

0.11

35.71

702.86

7

579.12

29.40

55.79

37.11

8.21

5.96

0.13

35.71

931.10


Long Bay


Table 3-8 Summary results from analysis of variance and ranking among seagrass parameters per zone in Long Bay


Parameter

Transformation

df

p. value

Tukey’s range test (highest to lowest)

Avg. Blade Length (cm)

N/A

8

0.659

4-3-8-5-10-7-2-1

Avg. Blade Width (cm)

N/A

8

0.459

3-7-4-2-8-1-5-10

Number of Blades (n)

N/A

8

0.221

4-10-2-5-8-1-3-7

Above Ground Wet wt. (g)

N/A

8

0.395

4-8-5-10-2-3-7-1

Epiphyte wt. (g)

N/A

8

0.336

5-8-2-10-4-7-3-1

Above Ground Dry wt. (g)

N/A

8

0.315

4-3-10-7-8-5-2-1

Below Ground Wet wt. (g)

N/A

8

0.107

2-4-3-5-1-7-8-10

Below Ground Dry wt. (g)

N/A

8

0.118

2-4-3-5-1-7-8-10

Soil Wet wt. (g)

N/A

8

0.359

1-4-2-5-3-7-10-8

Soil Dry wt. (g)

N/A

8

0.877

4-2-1-5-10-7-8-3

Soil Ash Free Dry wt. (g)

N/A

8

0.784

4-2-1-5-8-7-3-10

Depth (cm)

N/A

8

0.698

10-8-5-7-4-3-2-1

Core Depth (cm)

N/A

8

0.098

1-5-3-4-2-10-7-8

Amount of Soil Carbon in Core (MgC)/ zone

N/A

8

0.563

10-7-4-3-1-5-2-8

Carbon in shoot biomass (MgC)/ zone

N/A

8

0.559

7-3-10-4-1-2-5-8

Carbon in root/rhizome layer (MgC)/ zone

N/A

8

0.059

7-1-3-4-5-8-10

2-7-1-3-4-5-8

Total Vegetative Carbon (MgC)/ site

N/A

8

0.227

2-7-3-1-4-5-10-8


Vegetative Component

Shoot Component


Mean Blade Density (numbers/m2)


The highest mean number of blades was found in zone four (4) with a value of sixteen (16) blades per square meter while the lowest was found in zone 7 with a value of seven (7) blades each (Figure 3-18). According to the Tukey’s range test conducted for this parameter (Table 3-8) these zones were ranked from the lowest to highest in the order (3,2,4,5,1,7,6). Of these, it was determined that all belonged to the same homologous group.



Figure 3-18 Mean blade density collected in core samples per zone within Long Bay


Mean Blade Length (cm)


Within Long Bay, mean blade length across zones ranged from 22.73cm – 14cm (Figure 3-19). The greatest mean blade length was recorded at zone 4, this was followed by zones 3, 8, 10, 5, 7, 2 and 1 respectively (). According to statistics carried out on this dataset, zone 5 was seen to possess the greatest variation around


the mean (STDEV and SE) (Appendix 8-). All zones sampled shared the same homologous grouping within this parameter.



Figure 3-19 Mean blade length collected in core samples per zone within Long Bay


Mean Blade Width (cm)


Blade widths per zone ranged from 0.94 cm – 0.62 cm with the highest width being located along zone 3 followed by zones 7,4,2,8,1,5 and 10 respectively (Figure 3-20). Of these zones, blade widths did not vary significantly (Table 3-8). Zone 10 recorded the greatest variations about mean values (STDEV and SE) while zone 2 was found to possess the least (Appendix 8-).



Figure 3-20 Mean blade width collected in core samples per zone within Long Bay


Mean Above Ground Wet Weight (g)


Mean above ground wet weight among zones indicated that weights varied between 9.9g at zone 4 and 4.2g at zone 1 (Figure 3-21). Ranking of zones according to Tukey’s range test (4, 10, 2, 5, 8, 1, 3, 7) indicated no homologous groupings (Table 3-8).



Figure 3-21 Mean above ground wet weight (g) collected in core samples per zone within Long Bay.


Epiphyte Weight (g)


Mean epiphyte weights among zones indicated that weights varied between 2.50g at zone 5 and 0.55g at zone 1 (Figure 3-22). Ranking of zones from lowest to highest according to Tukey’s range test (5, 8, 2, 10, 4, 7, 3, 1) indicated that the data formed one homologous group (Table 3-8).



Figure 3-22 Mean epiphyte weight (g) collected in core samples per zone within Long Bay.


Mean above ground dry weight (g)


Mean above ground dry weight indicated that the highest weight was found in zone 4 (0.95g) while the lowest was found in zone 1 (0.35g) (Figure 3-23). Among zones, zone 3 was seen to show the highest variability around mean values (STDEV and STE) while zones 5 and 8 showed the lowest. Ranking of zones according to Tukey’s range test from lowest to highest (4, 3, 10, 7, 8, 5, 2, 1) indicated that the data formed one homologous group (Table 3-8).



Figure 3-23 Mean above ground dry weight (g) collected in core samples per zone within Long Bay


Mean below ground wet weight (g)


Mean below ground wet weight per zone was seen to vary between values of 148.70g in zone 2 and 11.10g in zone 10 (Figure 3-24). Across zones, zone 2 showed the highest variability about mean values (Appendix 8-). No homologous groups were present here (Table 3-8).



Figure 3-24 Mean below ground wet weight (g) collected in core samples per zone within Long Bay.


Mean below ground dry weight (g)


Mean below ground dry weight per zone was seen to be highest at zone 2 with a value of 48.70g and lowest at zone 10 reported at 1.85g (Figure 3-25). According to further statistical analysis within this dataset, zone 2 had the highest variability among mean values while zone 3 possessed the least variability (Appendix 8-).



Figure 3-25 Mean below ground dry weight (g) collected in core samples per zone within Long Bay.


Mean Carbon in Grass Component (MgC/ha)/zone.


Within the aboveground (grass) components of the samples taken, zone 7 had the highest carbon per hectare with a value of 0.074MgC/ha while zone 4 indicated the least (0.046 MgC/ha) (Figure 3-26). Of this dataset, zone 5 had the highest variability about mean values (Appendix 8-).



Figure 3-26 Mean carbon in grass component (MgC/ha) collected in core samples per zone within Long Bay.


Mean Carbon in Root/Rhizome Component (MgC/ha)


Within the belowground vegetative (root/rhizome) component of samples taken, zone 2 indicated the highest values at 0.22 MgC/ha followed by zones 7, 1, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 10 respectively (Figure 3-27). Of these zones, two homologous groupings were determined by statistical analysis (Tukey’s HSD) (Table 3-8).



Figure 3-27 Mean carbon in root/rhizome component (MgC/ha) collected in core samples per zone within Long Bay.


Of the zones sampled within Long Bay, this was the only parameter to show more than one homologous grouping. In order to further describe the data presented, A Tukey’s analysis was conducted to determine this variance. Results showed significant differences between zones 2 and 8 (p=0.034).


Productivity

Productivity quadrat analysis was carried out within aforementioned zones along with one (1) seagrass relocation within Long Bay. Results obtained from seagrass productivity quadrats indicated that the site with the highest productivity was LB P5 with a value of 0.0097 g/m2/day while the lowest productivity was seen at LB P2 with a value of 0.00 g/m2/day (Figure 3-28).



Figure 3-28 Seagrass productivity per zone within Long Bay.


Percentage Cover and Canopy Height

Average percentage cover and canopy height per transect indicated that along transects, the seagrass species Thalassia testudinum was seen to have the highest percentage cover along zones sampled with a maximum cover of seventy-four present (74%) within zone 2 (Figure 3-29). The lowest percentage cover of this species was seen within the transect, LBT7. Among other species, the presence of Syringodium sp. Is seen to gradually increase towards the western portion of Long Bay with the highest percentage being located along LBT7 along with that of various macroalgal species. Halodule was not recorded within the sample area.



Figure 3-29 Average percentage cover and canopy height per transect within Long Bay.


Average canopy height within the sampled transects within Long Bay indicated that LBT3 possessed blades with the highest canopy height of the zones sampled within Bloody Bay with an average canopy height value of 24.1cm (Table 3-9). The transect which was seen to have the lowest canopy heights was LBT10 with an average value of 16.0cm per m2. This result may be due to light being a limiting factor within this area (Negril River Mouth).

Table 3-9 Average Canopy Height (cm) per transect within Long Bay.


Transect

Average Canopy Height

LBT1

21.7

LBT2

18

LBT3

24.1

LBT4

22.3

LBT5

17.9

LBT7

16.9

LBT8

15.6

LBT10

16


Soil Component

Mean Soil Wet Weight, Dry Weight and Ash Free Dry Weight (g)


Mean soil wet weights varied between 1513.4g at zone 1 to 1072.15g at zone 8 (Figure 3-30). Here, mean soil wet weights showed no statistically significant variations with an ANOVA test p-value of 0.251 and one homologous grouping generated by Tukey’s range test (4, 2, 3, 1, 5, 7, 6) (Table 3-8)Mean values for soil dry weight indicated the highest mean being located at zone 6 with a value of 970g, while the lowest mean value was present in zone 4 with a value of 506g. Across the dataset for the soil parameters mentioned, zone 1 possessed the highest variability about mean values while zone 7 possessed the least (Appendix 8-, Appendix 8-, Appendix 8-). The parameter average soil dry weight showed no statistically significant variations with an ANOVA test p-value of 0.153 within which all zones were grouped within one homologous group and ranked from lowest to highest (2, 4, 3, 1, 5, 7, 6) (Table 3-8)Mean weight values for this parameter indicated highest values within zone 6 and lowest mean within zone 2. Ash free dry weight per zone showed no statistical difference among zones with an ANOVA test p-value of 0.113 (Table 3-8)The highest mean value among zones was seen in zone 6 (947.35g) and the lowest at zone 2 (454.75g).



Figure 3-30 Average soil wet, dry and ash free dry weights (g) per zone in Long Bay


Mean Soil Carbon Content per zone (MgC/ha)


Of the eight (8) zones, soil carbon content was highest in zone 10 with a value of 142.64 MgC/ha and lowest at zone 8 (53.94 MgC/ha) (Figure 3-31). Within this dataset, zone 10 was seen to have the highest variability about mean values while zones 8 possessed the least (Appendix 8-). According to Tukey’s range test, zones were ranked from lowest to highest carbon values in the order of zone 10, 7, 4, 3, 1, 5, 2 and 1 with all groups forming one homogenous grouping (Table 3-8).



Figure 3-31 Mean soil carbon content per zone (MgC/ha) collected in core samples per zone within Long Bay.

Results observed in zone 10 may be due to the presence of the Negril River. Being heavily influenced by mangrove forests, this area is expected to have fairly high carbon values as organic carbon stored within vegetative components within mangrove ecosystems will continuously empty into the adjacent marine ecosystem.


Physicochemical Component

Physicochemical parameters within Long Bay indicated various trends across parameters (Table 3-10). According to results from water quality analysis conducted, depth across zones indicated an increasing trend from zones 1 -10 with highest depth values being recorded at zones 10 and 8 while lowest depths were


located at zones 1, 2 and 3 respectively (Table 3-10). Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) within the seagrass area sampled within Long Bay indicated highest values within zones 8, 5 and 1. The lowest PAR value was located at zone 10, located just adjacent to the mouth of the Negril River. Average turbidity across zones sampled indicated turbidity was highest within zones 1 and 2. High average turbidity within zone 1 may be due to the high marine vessel traffic experiences within this area as well as shallow depths while zone 10 may be a result of river inputs into this area. Average pH, TDS and conductivity values remained stable at averages of 8.2, 35 (g/l) and 55 (mS/cm) throughout the sampled area. Average dissolved oxygen (mg/l) fluctuated between values of 5.60 at zone 1 and 6.23 at zones 3 and 8.


Table 3-10 Physicochemical parameters per transect in Long Bay



Zone

Depth (cm)

Avg.Temp.

°C

Avg. Cond (mS/cm)

Avg. Sal (ppt)

Avg. pH

Avg. D.O.

(mg/l)

Avg. Turb (NTU)

Avg. TDS

(g/l)

Avg. PAR

(uE/cm/s)

LB T1

1

350.292

29.4

55.73

37.0617

8.1814

5.6031

4.4833

35.6547

965.8

LB T2

2

365.76

29.4

55.75

37.0847

8.2135

6.1072

0.6533

35.6927

776.5

LB T3

3

381

29.3

55.76

37.0756

8.2309

6.2362

0.0000

35.6911

691.7

LB T4

4

411.48

29.6

55.77

37.1062

8.2251

6.1429

0.0000

35.7222

843.8

LB T5

5

457.2

29.6

55.75

37.1117

8.2300

6.3425

0.0000

35.7117

984.5

LB T7

7

457.2

29.3

55.82

37.1321

8.2242

6.1138

0.0875

35.7317

735.2

LB T8

8

487.68

29.5

55.86

37.1513

8.2300

6.2313

0.0000

35.7420

998.3

LB T10

10

502.97

29.0

49.50

33.5144

8.1600

5.6264

2.9000

32.2936

392.7


Comparative Total Carbon Storage within Sampled Area and Estimated Carbon within the Long and Bloody Bay Project Area.


Within both sampled areas, Bloody Bay possessed the lower carbon value with a total sampled vegetative carbon value of 3.36 megagrams of carbon (MgC) being observed while Long Bay had a vegetative carbon storage value of 3.40 megagrams of carbon (MgC) (Figure 3-32).



Figure 3-32 Total Vegetative Carbon in Sampled Area


Based on the results obtained from sampled and analysed datasets, estimates were made to further describe the status of blue carbon storage within the project area. Using the determined total seagrass area within the Long and Bloody Bays, blue carbon storage within the Bloody Bay vegetative component was estimated at approximately 319.95 megagrams of carbon (MgC) (Figure 3-33). Blue carbon storage within this component in Long Bay was estimated at 1639.03 megagrams of carbon (MgC).



Figure 3-33 Total Vegetative Carbon Estimated within Project Areas.


Formal reporting of these figures with standard deviations within the datasets results in the following:


Total Vegetative Carbon within Bloody Bay Project Area is 319.95 ± 0.044 Total Vegetative Carbon within Long Bay Project Area is 1639.03 ± 0.033


Within the sampled areas designated within Long and Bloody Bay, total soil blue carbon content was found to be greatest within Long Bay with a total value of 1351.77 MgC. Total soil carbon within Bloody Bay was found to be 567.70 MgC (Figure 3-34).



Figure 3-34 Total Soil Carbon Content in Sampled Area (MgC)


Based on the results gathered within soil samples, blue carbon storage was greatest within Long Bay, accounting for 651419.54 MgC while Bloody Bay reported a total soil carbon value of 53988.02 MgC (Figure

3-35). Information notable within the Long Bay dataset indicated a spike in carbon values at zone 10. This zone is located adjacent to the Negril River. It can be suggested that this spike in organic carbon within the dataset is due to the influences of carbon with peat and vegetative components of the nearby mangrove forest present along this river. Water here appeared brownish/red a common characteristic of “peaty” soils which tend to be much higher in carbon content due to the greater presence of organic matter and thus organic carbon.



Figure 3-35 Total Soil Carbon in Project Area (MgC)


Formal reporting of soil carbon values within Long and Bloody Bay including standard deviations within the dataset are as follows:

Total Soil Carbon within Bloody Bay Project Area is 53988.02 ± 17.638 Total Soil Carbon within Long Bay Project Area is 651419.54 ± 31.121

Anthropogenic and Natural Impacts to Seagrass


Anthropogenic Impacts

Observed potential influences and impacts (both natural and anthropogenic) on seagrass communities were mapped throughout the project areas. These included; Boat Launching and Landing Sites, Boat Moorings and Drains and Gullies. Other potential seagrass impacts included: anchor damage, propeller damage, fish pots, vessel refuelling, construction activities, coastal modification, trampling by recreational users, smothering from solid waste, water quality deterioration, removal of seagrass, high activity areas and solid waste (land- based and from vessels).

Other solid waste sources include; littering within study area was observed from multiple sources:



Boat Launching and Landing Sites

Twenty-six (26) boat/vessel launching and landing sites (Plate 3-3, Plate 3-4) were observed and mapped throughout the project area (Table 3-11, Figure 3-36). Related activities such as evidence of boat repair/maintenance (Plate 3-5) and fuelling activities (Plate 3-6), propeller damage and anchor damage (Plate 3-7 - Plate 3-9) was also observed. These activities result in high usage area in and around the seagrass meadows.

Table 3-11 Coordinates of Boat launching and landing sites in JAD 2001


Eastings

Northings

607941.910

682050.578

608783.450

689699.208

608961.060

689172.942

608206.648

687850.716

608771.393

689677.657

608929.812

689159.255

608933.612

688981.335

608994.471

689172.375

608832.278

688558.883

608649.202

687190.146

608682.636

686904.538

608356.630

685476.934

608499.737

684956.236

608508.446

684485.847

608481.243

683933.887

608418.769

683226.989

608340.545

682891.103

608310.492

682868.604

608264.406

682734.927

607932.534

682048.387

608820.175

688577.850

608511.586

688204.877

608717.375

686507.323


Eastings

Northings

608551.540

685486.747

608365.608

683148.238

608345.253

682977.299



Plate 3-3 Boat on trailer parked on beach



Plate 3-4 Boats docked along shoreline



Plate 3-5 Boat repair and maintenance



Plate 3-6 Fuel container on beach



Plate 3-7 Anchor in seagrass meadow



Plate 3-8 Scarring in seagrass from boat anchor or boat propeller



Plate 3-9 Evidence of an anchor dragging through a seagrass meadow




Figure 3-36 Boat launching and landing sites


Boat Moorings

One hundred and sixty-four (164) boat moorings were observed and mapped throughout the project area (Table 3-12, Figure 3-37). Some moorings were observed within seagrass meadows, while others were observed in sand patches and patch reefs. There were noticeable halos around the base of some moorings, devoid of seagrass.

Table 3-12 Coordinates of boat moorings in JAD 2001


Easting (X)

Northing (Y)

608403.671

689796.214

608427.563

689813.668

608428.217

689809.575

608774.955

689659.771

608722.842

689665.106

608776.855

689640.522

608765.959

689600.559

608848.225

689542.481

608624.238

689439.894

608749.936

689306.769

608817.236

689225.306

608743.845

689137.887

608812.443

689120.853

608772.038

689071.956

608902.079

689175.249

608908.618

689194.116

608892.096

689201.677

608780.584

688601.569

608776.299

688599.083

608687.878

689649.385

608720.432

689615.908

608145.873

689808.209

608236.546

689839.150

608214.590

689853.080

608203.118

689859.201

608189.589

689862.377

608170.642

689864.553

608441.779

689536.310

606959.224

681587.446

606946.185

681545.439

606883.526

681541.929

608436.364

687692.973

608454.393

687646.384

608715.465

689663.916

608740.072

689650.718

608811.915

689514.893

608757.662

689581.153

Easting (X)

Northing (Y)

608788.947

689591.147

608903.774

689315.501

608913.815

689154.695

608758.635

689064.399

608784.578

688612.744

608794.768

688569.292

608771.909

688560.265

608652.093

688649.854

608660.640

688665.226

608607.881

688585.183

608584.739

688539.494

608422.693

688624.586

608345.628

688537.929

608513.301

688262.779

608140.256

687477.318

607755.364

686779.196

607627.101

686777.339

607127.940

685785.928

607202.146

685771.996

606772.383

685177.277

607434.216

687772.772

608250.891

687699.621

608328.553

687455.169

608355.492

687327.030

608356.978

687322.147

608447.650

687298.745

608433.943

687060.056

608602.428

686918.569

608567.049

686644.093

608588.129

686588.922

608609.267

686702.836

608498.543

685498.638

608348.066

685240.215

608419.499

685070.920

608370.600

684520.086

608386.808

684353.346

608198.872

684085.172

608314.355

683734.009

608468.311

683628.274


Easting (X)

Northing (Y)

608178.934

683523.299

608251.100

683518.263

608180.619

683428.651

608361.640

683134.576

608112.197

682952.822

607924.843

682071.587

607519.774

681974.605

608600.240

689634.669

608708.916

689601.437

608775.240

689656.783

608780.533

689646.596

608815.343

689630.332

608624.901

689449.777

608749.323

689302.836

608820.471

689222.540

608911.554

689136.935

608744.381

689133.756

608829.714

689130.124

608878.854

688793.923

608490.505

688227.679

608084.343

687896.369

608076.747

687564.608

608129.451

687647.123

608091.451

687516.835

608155.257

687583.131

608165.407

687696.080

608160.190

687579.098

608267.372

687580.628

608289.871

687629.555

608270.049

687463.478

608283.617

687423.895

608373.482

687547.994

608391.009

687459.880

608339.219

687428.244

608303.231

687374.066

608328.638

687588.109

608265.500

687281.316

608299.427

687216.981

608347.936

687259.840

608410.585

687236.252

608508.265

687273.274



Plate 3-10 Drums and concrete blocks used as a base for mooring, located within seagrass meadow




Plate 3-11 Base of mooring devoid of seagrass



Figure 3-37 Boat moorings within the project area


Drains, Gullies and Rivers

Sixty-three (63) drains, gullies and rivers discharge into Long Bay and Bloody Bay (Figure 3-38). These were mapped throughout the project area. The drains consisted of a variety of types, such as properly constructed concrete drainage structures, rock drains, PVC and formation of sand channels along the beach. Examples of these waterways can be seen in Plate 3-12 - Plate 3-19. Discharge from these waterways, including the North and South Negril Rivers, may reduce water quality and negatively affect seagrasses in Long and Bloody Bays.

Table 3-13 Coordinates of drains and gullies in project area in JAD2001


Eastings

Northings

608023.962

682174.271

608255.435

682724.983

608503.152

684076.996

608497.524

684469.493

608538.491

688137.772

608588.920

684753.560

608179.890

689903.944

608775.734

689674.790

608647.207

689788.933

608530.236

689843.635

608442.477

689849.252

608363.439

689854.365

608189.539

687873.423

608196.513

687873.454

608231.457

687865.564

608312.857

687839.654

608583.096

687338.236

608580.840

687354.417

608624.046

687202.572

608464.005

688234.091

608339.512

688244.085

608211.344

688243.052

608089.775

688332.372

608476.964

684597.262

608254.282

682726.172

608959.631

689125.378

608949.139

689019.009

608942.817

688929.889

608932.769

688889.148

608927.553

688851.274


Eastings

Northings

608902.575

688770.685

608889.803

688735.567

608871.965

688675.782

608800.472

688532.698

608786.722

688503.416

608719.067

688399.234

608680.986

688345.346

608649.965

688311.574

608410.395

688271.980

608359.346

688270.128

608310.669

688243.359

608253.047

688225.590

607935.822

688296.517

607969.010

688187.964

607923.872

687946.388

607988.141

687900.116

608627.947

685810.333

608288.992

687834.683

608633.864

685913.778

608611.128

685815.705

608602.771

685790.704

608517.913

685149.793

608502.907

685084.398

608507.158

685057.660

608499.098

685047.244

608504.124

685008.075

608491.635

684945.369

608485.350

684924.877

608474.372

684670.976

608479.225

684629.121

608481.156

684606.588

608469.982

690774.526

607671.594

681450.165



Plate 3-12 Rock drain



Plate 3-13 PVC drain



Plate 3-14 Old drain observed in seagrass bed



Plate 3-15 Concrete Drain



Plate 3-16 Drain formed in sand along beach



Plate 3-17 Drain formed in sand along beach



Plate 3-18 Underneath bridge at South Negril River



Plate 3-19 Mouth of the North Negril River




Figure 3-38 Drains and Gullies in the project area

Habitat Disturbance

Fish and Invertebrate species assemblages may be impacted several factors, including by the high usage (swim areas and snorkel sites) and high traffic (numerous fast-moving boats) within each Bay, that is habitat disturbance. This in turn may cause disruption in trophic levels, overall species displacement (reduced foraging and feeding habitats) and the overall function of seagrass meadows.

Fish feeding activities take place at snorkel and dive sites in and adjacent to the study area. The impacts of fish feeding are debatable. Milazzo (2005) found that it is very likely that aggregations of fishes that evolve as a result of fish feeding by the public may have negative effects on local populations of fishes and invertebrates that make up their prey. Recreational use of coastal areas and MPAs is increasing elsewhere, making fish feeding a generalised human activity. Accurate information about its effect on the fish assemblage is essential to make responsible management decisions. The effect of bread-feeding events on natural foraging rates differed between the model species (Prinz. M., 2020).


Fishing and Invertebrate harvesting

Overfishing, along with fishing practices which target young and juvenile fish can have deleterious effects to overall fish populations in seagrass meadows and the wider area. Invertebrates such as sea cucumbers and conch are also fished in the area. Additionally, non-food species are targeted for sale to tourists. These include shelled species as well as sea stars, sand dollars and sea biscuits.


Seagrass Removal and Relocation

Seagrass has been actively removed throughout the project area for the creation and maintenance of swim areas for tourists. Larger seagrass relocation mitigation projects have also been undertaken with varying degrees of success.


Natural Impacts

Macroalgal proliferation within seagrass meadows, as a result of changes in water quality (increased nutrient content), can become a deterrent to grazing by herbivores and may smother and otherwise impact growth of and colonization by seagrass.


Prepared By: C.L. Environmental Co. Ltd.


Submitted to: National Environment and Planning Agency


Natural impacts to seagrass include; Erosion from storm surge and wave action and bioturbation by macrofauna. Grazing from herbivores and general species assemblages may be impacted by Lionfish predation. Changes in species composition- richness/ diversity- competitive interactions and disruptions in food chains and other ecological processes.

Natural Succession and natural changes in substrate composition can occur as a result of natural events and natural disasters.


Other Observations



Plate 3-20 Insufficient garbage bins and skips in public areas; Solid waste overflowing from garbage drum with the potential of ending up in the marine environment



Plate 3-21Solid waste (mask) on beach



Plate 3-22 Solid waste on seafloor



Plate 3-23 Queen Conch shells for sale (likely harvested in and around seagrass meadows nearby)



Plate 3-24 Horseback riding activities on the beach.



Plate 3-25 Derelict boat on beach


Benthic Results


General Results and Observations

The study area consists of a mixed benthos backreef environment, dominated by an expansive Thalassia seagrass meadow. Occurring within the study area are several small patch reefs, individual coral colonies and a more expansive fringing reef of Booby Cay, several sand patches and hard bottom/ pavement areas. Henry 1982 in (CL Environmental, 2014) describes the area as, two coastal shelves characterise the offshore topographic, submarine environment of both Negril and Bloody Bay. The first, an inner shelf, is a relatively flat shallow shelf which coincides with the inshore area of Bloody Bay and the offshore region immediately outside the extent of Bloody Bay itself. This inner shelf terminates at a submarine patch reef/cliff structure, approximately 1.3 km offshore, beyond which is found an outer shelf, inner slope, deep reefs and outer slope.

Seagrass meadows support fisheries through the provision of nursery areas and trophic subsidies to adjacent habitats such as coral reefs. As shallow coastal habitats, they also provide key fishing grounds; however, the nature and extent of such exploitation are poorly understood (Nordlun. L.M, 2017). Seagrass meadows have extremely high primary and secondary productivity and support a great abundance and diversity of fish and invertebrates. However, this productivity decreases when there are constant natural or anthropogenic disturbances within the habitat. Anthropogenic activities have led to the biotic homogenization of many ecological communities. Coastal activities that locally affect marine habitat-forming foundation species may perturb habitat and promote species with generalist, opportunistic traits, in turn affecting spatial patterns of biodiversity (Iacarella. J.C, 2018). Seagrass meadows represent extensive fishery grounds with both invertebrates and finfish targeted, for both subsistence and commercial purposes, thus they play a multifunctional role in human well-being (Unsworth. R.K., 2014). Knowledge of seagrass ecosystems is essential not just for conservation and biodiversity purposes but food security (Unsworth. R.K., 2014).

The complete species list is given in Appendix 8-1 Study Team Carlton Campbell: Cartography, GIS Analysis, Seagrass Mapping Matthew Lee: Seagrass Mapping, Water Quality

Rachel D’Silva: Seagrass Mapping, Mapping of Natural/Anthropogenic Impacts, Coral and Invertebrate Surveys

Alec Silvera: Seagrass Mapping, Mapping of Natural/Anthropogenic Impacts, Water Quality

Le’Anne Green: Seagrass Health Assessment


Chauntelle Green: Fish Surveys

Gina-Marie Maddix: Fish Surveys

Christopher Burgess: Climate Change Projections, Oceanography and Hydrodynamics Hannah Marshall: Oceanography and Hydrodynamics, Seagrass Vulnerability Assessment Tashae Thompson: Oceanography and Hydrodynamics, Seagrass Vulnerability Assessment Nicole West-Hayles: Stakeholder Consultations

Appendix 8-2. A summary of the major species categories and locations is given in Table 3-14.


Table 3-14 Major Species Categories and Locations


Category

TOTAL Species Identified

Booby Cay

Bloody Bay

Long Bay

Algae

28

24

23

25

Hard Coral

16

15

15

13

Soft Coral

5

2

3

4

Sponges

11

7

8

8

Molluscs

16

4

12

12

Echinoderms

17

11

15

16


Major species groups were in general, similar throughout the study area.


Coral disease was most common around Booby Cay and the snorkel areas and less so in stand-alone colonies at patch reefs within the seagrass meadows. Lytechinus was the most common macroinvertebrate in both Long and Bloody Bay. Small Wrasse were the most abundant group seen in all survey areas.


Prepared By: C.L. Environmental Co. Ltd.


Submitted to: National Environment and Planning Agency



Plate 3-26 Lytechinus, using debris as camouflage


Booby Cay

The transect lines and roving surveys were conducted on the shallow, leeward side of Booby Cay’s backreef. This area has low relief with small patch reefs, dominated by pavement, rubble and sand, previously surveyed 2014 (CL Environmental, 2014) but has not been included as part of a long-term reef monitoring program. A detailed species list (Appendix 8-1 Study Team

Carlton Campbell: Cartography, GIS Analysis, Seagrass Mapping

Matthew Lee: Seagrass Mapping, Water Quality

Rachel D’Silva: Seagrass Mapping, Mapping of Natural/Anthropogenic Impacts, Coral and Invertebrate Surveys

Alec Silvera: Seagrass Mapping, Mapping of Natural/Anthropogenic Impacts, Water Quality

Le’Anne Green: Seagrass Health Assessment

Chauntelle Green: Fish Surveys

Gina-Marie Maddix: Fish Surveys

Christopher Burgess: Climate Change Projections, Oceanography and Hydrodynamics Hannah Marshall: Oceanography and Hydrodynamics, Seagrass Vulnerability Assessment Tashae Thompson: Oceanography and Hydrodynamics, Seagrass Vulnerability Assessment

Nicole West-Hayles: Stakeholder Consultations

Appendix 8-2) and photo inventory were created.


Coral

Notable features in both the transect and roving survey areas was the low coral cover and large blankets of soft, fleshy macroalgae which covered much of the shallow areas of Booby Cay (these areas were too shallow to conduct photo transects). Major categories are outlined in Table 3-15. There was a significant difference in coral cover compared to macro algae and Chondrilla (Figure 3-39). The mean coral cover was low (2.87%) while macroalgae was very high (38.56%). Sponges (Chondrilla sp.) account for 6.55% of the survey area, this is a critical feature of the benthic community; Chondrilla sp. is considered an aggressive invertebrate, preventing larval settlement, and overgrowing hard corals and other species. Sand, Pavement and Rubble account for a large proportion of the survey area, these substate types are less suitable for coral recruitment.

The prevalence of both macroalgae and Chondrilla, the low percent cover of both hard and soft corals suggests that the reef is poor health. Hard coral disease was not seen in the transects but observed during roving surveys, this included the new Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD). P. asteroides and S. siderea were the most common species in transect areas. All species seen at Booby Cay can be found in the full species list table (Appendix 8-1 Study Team

Carlton Campbell: Cartography, GIS Analysis, Seagrass Mapping

Matthew Lee: Seagrass Mapping, Water Quality

Rachel D’Silva: Seagrass Mapping, Mapping of Natural/Anthropogenic Impacts, Coral and Invertebrate Surveys

Alec Silvera: Seagrass Mapping, Mapping of Natural/Anthropogenic Impacts, Water Quality

Le’Anne Green: Seagrass Health Assessment

Chauntelle Green: Fish Surveys

Gina-Marie Maddix: Fish Surveys

Christopher Burgess: Climate Change Projections, Oceanography and Hydrodynamics Hannah Marshall: Oceanography and Hydrodynamics, Seagrass Vulnerability Assessment Tashae Thompson: Oceanography and Hydrodynamics, Seagrass Vulnerability Assessment Nicole West-Hayles: Stakeholder Consultations


Prepared By: C.L. Environmental Co. Ltd.


Submitted to: National Environment and Planning Agency

Draft Report: Seagrass Assessment for the Negril Environmental Protection Area


Prepared By: C.L. Environmental Co. Ltd.

Appendix 8-2).


Dive shop operators have reported a die-off of the large pillar corals at many of their dive and snorkel sites. According the (DHV Interantional UK Ltd, 1999) both Dendrogyra and Eusimila were seen during surveys in Bloody Bay in 1999. Neither species was seen in any of the survey areas. Dead Dendrogyra colonies were seen in the snorkel areas.

Table 3-15 Percentage Composition of Major Benthic Categories


MAJOR CATEGORY (% of transect)

MEAN

Coral

2.87

Gorgonians

2.85

Sponges - Chondrilla

6.55

Zoanthids

0.13

Macroalgae

38.56

Other live

3.95

Dead coral with algae

3.72

Coralline algae

0.27

Diseased corals

0.00

Sand, pavement, rubble

41.09


Prepared By: C.L. Environmental Co. Ltd.


Submitted to: National Environment and Planning Agency


Major Categories Percentage of Transect

45.00

40.00

35.00

30.00

25.00

20.00

15.00

10.00

5.00

0.00

-5.00

Percentage Cover

Figure 3-39 Percentage Cover of Major Transect Categories


C.L. Environmental (2014) found Seagrass to account for 70%, Algae 5%, Coral 0%, Macrofauna 0%, Sponges 0% and other Substrate 25%. The differences in major category composition are likely due to the variation in survey area. The 2014 reports detail an area dominated by seagrass while the current survey is an hardbottom/patch reef environment, both present in the backreef of Booby Cay.

Table 3-16 Hard and Soft Coral Transect Species


Species

Mean

Porites astreoides

1.68

Porites furcata

0.56

Siderastrea radians

0.56

Siderastrea siderea

1.68

Erythropodium

0.56

Gorgonian

1.68

Iciligorgia

0.56

Pterogorgia

0.56


Diversity at Booby Cay

Simpson's Diversity Indices


Simpson's Diversity Index is a measure of diversity. It measures the probability that two individuals randomly selected from a sample will belong to the same species (or some category other than species). In ecology, it is often used to quantify the biodiversity of a habitat. It takes into account the number of species present, as well as the abundance of each species. Simpson's Index of Diversity 0-1; The value of this index ranges between 0 and 1, the greater the value, the greater the sample diversity. In this case, the index represents the probability that two individuals randomly selected from a sample will belong to different species.


The Shannon-Weaver Index


The Shannon-Weaver or Shannon-Wiener Index, indicates species diversity of a community or area. The higher the value, the higher the diversity. If there is more diversity, this indicates less competition between species. If the value is lower, this indicates that competition has narrowed down the amount of species able to make a living in that community or area. The Shannon-Weiner index cannot really determine the richness of the species or the evenness as separate calculations for those exist. However, richness of the species and the evenness of the community is used to calculate the diversity.

The Shannon-Weaver Index ranged from 1.10- 1.40 while the Simpson Index of Diversity (1-D) ranged from 0.58-0.69. Both indices indicated low species diversity.

The low species diversity, low coral cover along with high macroalgal cover and proliferation on Chondrilla, may indicate the reef at Booby Cay is in poor health. Plate -Plate show general observations around Booby Cay.



Plate 3-27 Large M. cavernosa colony at Booby Cay



Plate 3-28 Fleshy algae pavement area of Booby Cay



Plate 3-29 Fleshy algae covering large section of Booby Cay



Plate 3-30 Chondrilla covering old dead coral at Booby Cay



Disease Chondrilla overgrowing a Dichocoenia colony



Plate 3-31 Diseased O. annularis colony at Booby Cay



Plate 3-32 Diseased Pseudodiploria colony



Plate 3-33 SCTLD on a large Orbicella colony at Booby Cay



Plate 3-34 SCTLD on a large Orbicella colony


Invertebrates

Diadema was the most abundant urchin in the transect area 0.93 per m2, Eucidaris tribuloides 0.11 per m2 and

Lytechinus variegatus was 0.01 per m2. Table 3-17 Invertebrate Transect Results

Species

Total Numbers

Numbers per m2

Diadema antillarum

222

0.93

Eucidaris tribuloides

27

0.11

Lytechinus variegatus

2

0.01


Fish

Within Booby Cay, a total of 735 individuals were counted with a density of 3.06 fish per square metre. These individuals represented 36 species over 17 families. The largest family represented during the survey was Labridae, commonly known as Wrasse with 206 individuals (Figure 3-40). Following this, Scaridae (Parrotfish)


No. of individuals at Booby Cay, Negril

250

207

200                                                                                                                185                                                                                                      

150

                             140                                                                           

100

87

47

50

26

1

4

8

6

1

1

1

3

1

2

13

0

Family

No. of individuals

and Pomacentridae (Damselfish) were the second and third largest families with 185 and 140 individuals, respectively.


Figure 3-40 Number of individuals per Family in Booby Cay, Negril


Many of the individuals counted were within the 6-10cm size class (Figure 3-41).



Size class (cm) of individuals at Booby Cay, Negril


11-20

cm


0-5 cm


6-10 cm


0-5 cm 6-10 cm 11-20 cm 21-30 cm 31-40 cm 41-50 cm 51-60 cm

Figure 3-41 Size class (cm) of individuals in Bloody Bay, Negril


Approximately forty-four percent (44%) of individuals observed in Booby were carnivores with 1.33 carnivores present per square meter. This was followed by 1.13 herbivores per square meter and 0.59 omnivores per square meter (Table 3-18).

Table 3-18 Number of individuals per square metre based on feeding category


Feeding Category

No. of individuals/m2

Herbivore

1.13

Carnivore

1.33

Omnivore

0.59


Bloody Bay

Bloody Bay is a mixed benthos, sheltered, lagoon. Lytechinus variegatus was the most abundant species, followed by sea biscuits and sand dollars. Siderastrea siderea was the most common hard coral followed by Mancenia areolata. Siderastrea was found mainly in pavement and patch reef areas while Mancenia areolata was found throughout the seagrass meadows.

The transect results are given below (Table 3-19), the full species list of Bloody Bay can be found in Appendix 8-1 Study Team


Carlton Campbell: Cartography, GIS Analysis, Seagrass Mapping

Matthew Lee: Seagrass Mapping, Water Quality

Rachel D’Silva: Seagrass Mapping, Mapping of Natural/Anthropogenic Impacts, Coral and Invertebrate Surveys

Alec Silvera: Seagrass Mapping, Mapping of Natural/Anthropogenic Impacts, Water Quality

Le’Anne Green: Seagrass Health Assessment

Chauntelle Green: Fish Surveys

Gina-Marie Maddix: Fish Surveys

Christopher Burgess: Climate Change Projections, Oceanography and Hydrodynamics Hannah Marshall: Oceanography and Hydrodynamics, Seagrass Vulnerability Assessment Tashae Thompson: Oceanography and Hydrodynamics, Seagrass Vulnerability Assessment Nicole West-Hayles: Stakeholder Consultations


Appendix 8-2. Table 3-19 also shows the density of each species (numbers per m2). Table 3-19 Bloody Bay Transect results, Species numbers and Density

COMMON NAME

SCIENTIFIC NAME

TOTAL

DENSITY #m2

SHRIMP




Banded coral shrimp

Stenopus hispidus

3

0.009

Yellowline Arrow Crab

Stenorhyncus seticornis

1

0.003

Hermit Crab


1

0.003

SEA URCHINS




Long-Spined Urchin

Diadema antillarum

23

0.072

Slate-Pencil Urchin

Eucidaris tribuloides

1

0.003

Variegated Urchin

Lytechinus variegatus

1763

5.509

West Indian Sea Egg

Tripnuestes ventricosus

27

0.084

Magnificent Urchin

Astropyga magnifica

1

0.003

SEA STAR




Cushion Sea Star

Oreaster reticulatus

22

0.069

Two Spined Sea Star/ Beaded Starfish

Astropecten spp.


12


0.038

SEA CUCUMBER




Donkey Dung Sea Cucumber

Holothuria Mexicana

33

0.103

Furry Sea Cucumber

Astichopus multifidus

1

0.003

Three-Rowed Sea Cucumber

Isostichopus badionotus

16

0.05

SEA HARE




Spotted Seahare

Aplysia dactylomela

3

0.009

SEA BISCUIT / SAND DOLLAR




Inflated Sea Biscuit

Clypeaster rosaceus

357

1.116

ANEMONE




Giant Anemone

Condylactis gigantea

44

0.138

Corkscrew

Macrodactyla doreensis

59

0.184


COMMON NAME

SCIENTIFIC NAME

TOTAL

DENSITY #m2

Sun Anemone

Stichodactyla helianthus

2

0.006

JELLYFISH




Upside-down Jelly

Cassiopea forndosa

3

0.009

PEN SHELL




Amber Pen Shell

Pinna carnea

20

0.063

SEGMENTED WORMS




Magnificent Feather Duster

Sabellastarte magnifica

9

0.028

Southern Lugworm

Arenicola cristata

31

0.097

HARD CORAL




Rose Coral

Manicina areolata

42

0.131

Mustard Hill Coral

Porites astreoides

5

0.016

Lettuce Coral

Agaricia spp.

14

0.044

Thin Finger Coral

Porites divaricata

25

0.078

Massive Starlet Coral

Siderastrea siderea

79

0.247

Tube Coral

Cladocora arbuscula

8

0.025

SOFT CORAL




Common Sea Fan

Gorgonia ventalina

1

0.003


Examples of species seen in the Transect and Roving Survey Areas are given (Plate - Plate 3-42).



Plate 3-35 Mancenia areolata in a seagrass bed




Plate 3-36 Porites divaricata in the seagrass meadow



Plate 3-37 Cladocora colony with sponges and fireworm



Plate 3-38 Ragged Sea Hare in a seagrass halo



Plate 3-39 Three-Rowed Sea Cucumber



Plate 3-40 Anemone with a Pedersons Cleaner Shrimp



Plate 3-41 Corallimorph colony on a small patch reef in the seagrass meadow



Plate 3-42 Magnificent Urchin


Fish

Within Bloody Bay, a total of 1,241 individuals were counted with a density of 0.31 fish per square metre. These individuals represented 35 species over 21 families. The largest family represented during the survey was Labridae, commonly known as Wrasse with 664 individuals (Figure 3-42). Following this, Scaridae


Number of Individuals in Bloody Bay, Negril


700                                                                                                                                                                                         664


600


500


400


300

200

167

112

100

86

35

56

35

1

20 25

5

6 1 1 1

10 6 1 1 5 1

0

Family

No. of individuals

(Parrotfish) and Haemulidae (Grunt) were the second and third largest families with 167 and 112 individuals, respectively.


Figure 3-42 Number of individuals per Family in Bloody Bay, Negril


Many of the individuals counted were within the 0-5cm size class (Figure 3-43) and due to the high seagrass cover, most fish were observed among the blades of the seagrass.



Size class (cm) of individuals in Bloody Bay,

Negril

11-20 cm

6-10 cm

0-5 cm

0-5 cm 6-10 cm 11-20 cm 21-30 cm 31-40 cm 41-50 cm 51-60 cm

Figure 3-43 Size class (cm) of individuals in Bloody Bay, Negril


Approximately seventy-six percent (76%) of individuals observed in Bloody Bay were carnivores with 0.24 carnivores present per square meter. This was followed by 0.06 herbivores per square meter and 0.01 omnivores per square meter (Table 3-20). Plate and Plate are examples of fish seen in seagrass meadows and patch reef areas.

Table 3-20 Number of individuals per square metre based on feeding category


Feeding Category

No. of individuals/m2

Herbivore

0.06