St. Eustatius

Mission underway to save Coral Reef St. Eustatius

A researcher places urchin on a piece of artificial reef. Photo: Alwyn Hylkema

ORANJESTAD- The hard coral cover of Sint Eustatius has significantly decreased from 25 percent in 1999 to less than 2.5 percent in 2021. 

This decline is attributed to the die-off of sea urchins, leading to a domino effect threatening the entire ecosystem. The restoration project, in line with the Nature and Environmental Policy Plan (NMBP) 2020-2030, focuses on restoring the sea urchin population. It involves a seven-year plan to collect, cultivate, and reintroduce young sea urchins to the reef, reports the Economic Newsletter Dutch Caribbean. 


Led by the St. Eustatius National Parks Foundation in collaboration with Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences and the Saba Conservation Foundation, the project aims not only to restore coral cover but also to preserve biodiversity and protect the local tourism and fishing sectors.

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