On Friday Minister of Tourism Hon. Josephine Connolly, formally accepted critical equipment that will be used to increase knowledge and understanding of our coastlines and their dynamic nature.
The Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG), through the Department of Environment & Coastal Resources (DECR) and the Public Works Department in collaboration with engineering and environmental consultant CBCL Ltd has embarked on a project that will help the TCI to better understand the forces impacting our coastlines and tidal waters.
This is a significant step for our country, in light of the extreme impacts posed by climate change, that could potentially derail our tourism product, which relies so heavily on our beautiful white sandy beaches.
Hon. Connolly, in accepting the equipment, stated that she had the opportunity to attend COP26 as one of the delegates for the UK overseas territories in November 2021, which proved to be a very enlightening experience underpinning the understanding that the TCI needs to be prepared for climate change and its cumulative threats and impacts.
The team, consisting of TCIG officials from DECR, Public Works and CBCL Ltd, commenced installation of the equipment in TCI's waters on Saturday 12th February. Each apparatus is solar powered and will collect wave, wind, temperature and surface elevation data.
All data will be transmitted electronically to a dashboard for viewing and further analysis to help determine tidal patterns, forces and the physical interactions impacting the Islands' shoreline.
The overarching components of the project have been divided into 8 main tasks, which constitute the scope of work for this study:
· Shoreline Characterisation and Data Collection;
· Stakeholder Consultations;
· Climate Risk Vulnerability Assessment;
· Preliminary Design of Coastal Protection Solutions;
· Feasibility Study;
· Environmental and Social Impact Assessment;
· Preparation of Detailed Designs; and
· Shoreline Management Plan.
At the end of this project the TCI is expected to have both, a comprehensive Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) framework, starting with Providenciales and Grand Turk, as well as a feasibility study with preliminary and detailed designs for coastal protection works for three priority areas of our coastline, including Grand Turk, Salt Cay and Providenciales.
The DECR kindly asks the general public, and mariners in particular, to not be alarmed with the sighting of any buoys (similar to the attached photo) near the islands.