Departments Collaborate to Redeploy the CREWS Buoy

As climate change continues to threaten the lives of mankind and ecosystems, a multi stakeholder approach is the most effective way to address the issues. The success of such collaborative efforts was evident when a team of officers from the Departments of Environment, Physical Planning, Marine Resources and the St. Kitts and Nevis Coast Guard joined forces to ensure that the Coral Reef Early Warning Station, also known as CREWS was redeployed on Thursday 21st May, 2020.

The CREWS Buoy was acquired as part of a climate change adaptation programme that was funded by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre and USAID. It was originally deployed in April 2018 at Paradise Reef, Sandy Point with technical support from local agencies and the National Oceanic and Administrative Administration (NOAA), Environmental Mooring Institute (EMI). In the middle of last year, however, the buoy experienced some technical problems and was subsequently removed from the water.

The CREWS buoy measures not only meteorological parameters such as wind speeds, wind gusts wind direction, air temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure and precipitation, but also marine data such as sea temperature, salinity and algae content. This will allow us to better understand the biological mechanisms in the area as well as to better predict coral bleaching over time.

The Department of Environment wishes to express profound gratitude to the Departments of Physical Planning, Marine Resources, St. Kitts Nevis Coast Guard and St. Kitts Meteorological Services for their respective parts that they played in ensuring that buoy was able to be redeployed and transmit data.

“The work that was executed to ensure that the buoy became operational and redeployment was truly a team effort and evidence that if we work together we can achieve more” said Ms. Cheryl Jeffers, Conservation Officer at the Department of Environment.

With the changing climate, partnerships and collaborative efforts such as these between Government Departments and Agencies are extremely important and most welcomed to tackle the impacts of climate change.

In terms of the way forward, Ms. Jeffers stated that “a multi-stakeholder committee will be established that will be responsible to regularly monitor the buoy as well as execute any maintenance when required”.