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26 August 2019 Beach changes and associated ecosystem services in Anguilla, West Indies, 1992–2014
Gillian Cambers, Stuart P. Wynne
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Analysis of beach profile data over the period 1992–2014 at 14 beaches on mainland Anguilla and the offshore cays of Prickly Pear and Sandy Island, showed an overall erosion trend with a mean erosion rate of –0.51 m yr–1. Eleven beaches showed erosion, while three beaches showed slight accretion. Over the period of measurement nine hurricanes passed close enough to Anguilla to significantly impact the beaches. Analysis of a ten year (2008–2017) record of marine monitoring of fish, marine plants, corals, algae and other invertebrates at 15 sites around Anguilla has shown an 11% drop in coral cover and a 10% increase in algae cover. This contributed to a post Hurricane Luis marine monitoring survey in 1996, which illustrated the dramatic mortality of Anguilla's reef ecosystem that began in the late 1970s with the emergence of white-band disease and continues to this day. An analysis of the changes at each beach shows multiple causal factors including geomorphological adjustments, high swell wave events and hurricanes, hard and soft coastal protection measures, sea level rise and the decline in overall reef heath. Relative importance of each of these factors varied from beach to beach and contributed to the variations in the amount and direction of change at the different locations. The analysis highlights the need to focus on beach and coral reef conservation measures and legislative changes in order for tourism and the economy of Anguilla to thrive.

Copyright © 2019 AEHMS.
Gillian Cambers and Stuart P. Wynne "Beach changes and associated ecosystem services in Anguilla, West Indies, 1992–2014," Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management 22(2), 193-204, (26 August 2019).
Published: 26 August 2019

beach erosion
climate change
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