In an effort to strengthen the resilience of Hellshire’s coastline to withstand stronger storm surges and hurricanes, some twenty (20) thousand square metres (2 hectares) of mangroves are being restored in an the area adjacent to the Fort Clarence beach.
The activity is a collaborative effort between the Urban Development Corporation (UDC)-owners and managers of the Hellshire Hills- and the National Environment and Planning Agency, through its Government of Jamaica, European Union and United Nation Environment Programme (GOJ/EU/UNEP) Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Project (CCADRRP).
Mangroves are one of the coastal ecosystems that protect the island from storm surges during hurricanes. Hellshire is highly vulnerable to surge- related flooding and has in the past been listed among the communities in St. Catherine for mandatory evacuation due to impending storms.
By engaging the help of over twenty (20) Hellshire community members to assist, the UDC and members of the Climate Change Adaptation Project at NEPA have removed mounds of dead mangroves, felled trees, and other debris, in preparation for the planting of two thousand (2000) red mangrove seedlings and allowing space for new plants to grow.
The restoration process commenced on August 26 and will continue to the end of September this year.
The CCADRR Project started in 2010 and is scheduled to end in December this year. Under NEPA’s component of the project, the adaptive capacity of mangroves, seagrass, sand dunes and coral reefs are being strengthened to withstand the effects of climate change.
Interviews are available upon request.