Survey Aims To Gauge Trinidadian Perceptions Of Coastal Risks And Coastal Management Schemes

Survey Aims To Gauge Trinidadian Perceptions Of Coastal Risks And Coastal Management Schemes


In establishing a framework for the Comprehensive National Coastal Monitoring Programme (CNCMP), the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT) through the Ministry of Works and Transport (MOWT), Coastal Protection Unit (CPU) is conducting a Coastal Social Survey (CSS) in coastal communities across the nation. The initiative will give Trinidadians and Tobagonians the opportunity to share their thoughts about and experiences with coastal erosion, coastal flooding, and climate change.

The survey, which commenced on Monday October 7, 2019 for a two-week period, will be executed from Mondays to Sundays by CNCMP principal consultant, Coastal Dynamics Limited, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

On a beach in Trinidad, beachgoers experience one of nature’s wonders as they observe a leatherback turtle making its way back to the ocean. (Photo courtesy Coastal Dynamics Limited.)

The CPU has embarked on the CSS, as an integral part of the implementation of Phase 1 of the CNCMP, to engage coastal communities in discussions about the coast including coastal risks and impacts, and coastal protection and management.

Residential properties and public infrastructure along the coast in Cap de Ville are exposed to the threats posed by coastal erosion. (Photo courtesy Coastal Dynamics Limited.)

In so doing, the unit aims to gain an understanding of the value of the coast to communities while gauging the public’s perceptions of and experiences with coastal erosion, coastal inundation and climate change; and the public’s involvement with and preferences for coastal protection schemes.

The CNCMP was initiated in January 2019 by the CPU, in partnership with the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) and the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment (DIQE), to promote the adoption of environmentally and economically sustainable solutions to preserve and protect Trinidad and Tobago’s coasts.

The coast is central to the lives of Trinidad and Tobago’s fishermen. (Photo courtesy Jimmel Daniel.)

The programme will support the monitoring of the state of the nation’s coastal areas while serving as a central repository for coastal data. Through the CNCMP, the CPU aims to mitigate the risks of coastal erosion and coastal flooding by equipping coastal managers with relevant information to assess risk and to inform sustainable shoreline management decision making.

This seawall is the only form of protection between this coastal community in Guayaguayare and the unrelenting power of the waves. (Photo courtesy Coastal Dynamics Limited.)

Trinbagonians may join in the movement to preserve and protect the coasts by participating in the CSS. Community members may welcome the CDL CSS team, who will be outfitted in high visibility orange vests with identification cards, to conduct interviews with coastal residents and visitors during the survey period. To learn more about the CSS and/or the CNCMP, visit the MOWT website at or email or call (868) 623-6797.

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