Marine Park News

Hurricane Matthew

Inventory damage to the reefs of Bonaire after Matthew

 

STINAPA and volunteer surveyed the damage done to the reefs of Bonaire after storm surge from Matthew. The damage from Matthew is far less than that caused by previous hurricanes as Lenny in 1999 and Omar in 2008.

 

Following heavy storm surge from Hurricane Matthew that struck the coastline of Bonaire on Tuesday October 4th and Wednesday October 5th, STINAPA staff and volunteers surveyed the damage done to reefs on Bonaire. 18 different sites scattered along the coastline of Bonaire and Klein Bonaire were surveyed. The amount of corals and sponged that were damaged were looked at, as well as the amount of sand covering corals and sponged. The results of damage assessment were compared with those from hurricanes Lenny and Omar.

 

STINAPA came to the following conclusions:

On eleven of the eighteen surveyed sites damage on corals in the shallow areas (<10 m deep) was recorded. Most of the damaged corals in the shallows were fire corals, but also sponges, Elkhorn and Staghorn corals were fragmented or broken. Almost no damage was recorded to the reef deeper than 10m. Thankfully, the damage from Matthew is far less than that caused by previous hurricanes such as Lenny in 1999 and Omar in 2008.

STINAPA thanks all volunteers involved in the research for their cooperation and commitment.