Fighting Sargassum on the coast of Bonaire

Kralendijk – Again this year large amounts of sargassum washed up on the coast of Bonaire. STINAPA has been working hard recently to remove sargassum in Lac Bai and make sure they don’t suffocate the vulnerable mangrove forests and seagrass beds in Lac.

This year, they purchased 650m of ‘sargassum booms’: screens that are intended to prevent sargassum from entering the mangroves. It’s an important step forward in the fight against sargassum, but not nearly enough: at least 2800m of booms are needed to protect the mangroves and seagrass in Lac. Help from the government is desperately needed to limit the negative effects of sargassum on the environment.

Three years ago, the ministries of I&W and LNV promised to help with money for cleaning up the seaweed. But to this day, STINAPA has not received any financial support from The Hague. 
The rotting seaweed has caused a lot of damage to the environment. Over the last years, Punto Kalbas has been hit hard by influxes of sargassum.

This area has vital importance for the neighboring seagrass beds. It’s also an entry point for fishermen. To remove the sargassum mechanically, they cut down several mangrove trees at Punta Kalbas and placed booms in that area. A difficult decision to make, but the only way to prevent long-term damage to the fragile marine environment and our mangroves. 

STINAPA wants to give a big thank you to all of the volunteers who have been coming over to help them. If you’d like to become a sargassum volunteer, please join their WhatsApp group to receive updates and the daily transportation schedule.

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