Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. In consequat dignissim interdum, quis bibendum.
call us 1-677-124-44227"
follow us
IMA > Beaches & Bays Articles
Bleaching Coral

Coral Bleaching Alert for Tobago

In September, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Coral Reef Watch has placed Trinidad and Tobago under Bleaching Alert Level 2, where severe, widespread bleaching and significant coral mortality are very likely. Reports of moderate coral bleaching have been received from several sites around Tobago including Store Bay, South Coast, Mt Irvine, and Englishman’s Bay by marine users. Bleached boulder brain coral at Castara in August Bleached grooved brain coral at Mt Irvine in September As part of Tobago’s Bleaching Response Plan, the Institute of Marine Affairs has alerted all stakeholders that work in the marine environment, and have made an appeal for any observations of...

Dr Anjani Ganase monitoring coral reefs - Institute of Marine Affairs

Tides Are Changing

By  Ruqayyah Thompson, Research Officer. International days are a powerful advocacy tool used to raise awareness on matters of public concern, garner political support and resources to address global problems as well as to celebrate humanity’s achievements. This month, we join with the global community to recognise World Oceans Day on June 8th under the theme, “Planet Ocean: Tides Are Changing”. The ocean covers over 70% of the Earth’s surface and forms 95% of the biosphere, the part of the Earth where life exists. It produces at least 50% of the world’s oxygen and is a main source of protein for over a billion people. The...

Rip Current Tips

Danger at the Beach: Five Facts to Know about Rip Currents!

The Institute of Marine Affairs is urging the public to exercise caution at the beach, especially over the long Easter weekend. During the month of April, beaches in Trinidad and Tobago experience heightened wave energy associated with the Northern Hemisphere winter, which increases the likelihood of strong nearshore currents that pose a threat to beachgoers.  The month of April is also a preferred time for families with children and friends to visit the beach as children get a vacation break from school. Rip currents are powerful flows of water moving seawards that can easily drag unsuspecting bathers out to sea, these dangerous currents are often...

Beach Material IMA

Beach Material

Beach material may come from the erosion of rocks near the beach, or be brought to the beach by rivers. Some beach sediments consist of calcium carbonate formed from the remains of corals, shells and algae. Carbonate sands are white and may be found close to coral reef sites or seagrass meadows. Such beaches are common in Tobago. In Trinidad, the most common mineral in beach sediment is quartz. The dark colour of these sediments is due to the presence of certain iron-based minerals and rock fragments. Grain size (Figure 2) of beach sediment is noted throughout the guide because in addition to having implications for...

seagrasses have been disappearing at a rate

Recognising the Importance of Our Seagrass Meadows

March 1, 2023 marks the first-ever United Nations recognised World Seagrass Day.  The day is being commemorated to raise public awareness on the importance of seagrass meadows and to recognise the importance of seagrasses to the health and well-being of the planet, as well as to the people, communities, flora and fauna that rely on them. Seagrasses are marine flowering plants that grow in the intertidal and subtidal zones along shallow tropical and temperate coasts. They are very productive, faunally rich and ecologically important marine resources that provide nursery habitats for several commercially important species such as conch, fish and lobster and a major food source...

What are Rip Currents?

By Christopher Alexis, Researcher, Oceanography & Coastal Processes Department Rip currents usually occur in close proximity to breaking waves and are common within pocket beaches with moderate to high wave energy. In Trinidad, these beaches may be found on the north coast (e.g. Maracas and Las Cuevas) and along the unsheltered east coast (e.g. Mayaro). In Tobago, rip currents may occur on most beaches that are not protected by coral reefs. These currents are dangerous and contribute to drowning occurrences annually particularly during celebratory times of the year. Rip currentsRip currents are powerful flows of water moving seaward that can effortlessly drag unsuspecting bathers quickly out to sea....

Coastal Erosion

Coastal Issues

ALGAL BLOOMS Algal blooms are observed when microscopic plants or phytoplankton, which are normally found in seawater, rapidly reproduce when environmental conditions are favourable. The blooms have been described as unusual green, pink or red patches of water. The discolouration is due to pigments in the cells of the alga. Algal blooms can cause death to marine life by depleting oxygen levels during decomposition, producing toxins that can poison animals or by clogging of gills. Not all blooms are harmful though and many disappear within a few hours with no fatal effect to marine life. Algal blooms have been reported on all coasts of Trinidad and...

Beach Mining Quarry

Beach Sand Mining / Quarrying

Beach sand mining is prohibited in Trinidad and Tobago but still occurs, especially in Tobago because of the lack of naturally occurring aggregate. Some beach sand, because of its composition, is added to the mortar mixture used for homes and other structures. The practice of beach sand mining however, causes beach erosion; removal of natural beach vegetation; disrupts beach habitats and nesting grounds of marine turtles; increases the impact of waves along the coastline; and leads to saltwater intrusion. ...

Beaches Erosion

Beach Erosion

Erosion of beaches may be both natural and human-induced and is a result of loss of sediment. Natural erosion is caused by the impact of waves. Beaches are dynamic, with normal fluctuations in sediment levels during the course of a year. Typically, there is ‘natural’ erosion during the stormy months (November to April) with recovery during the calmer period (May to October). These systems are described as being in ‘dynamic equilibrium’. Where recovery does not occur or erosion is exacerbated due to human activities, beaches become unstable and shoreline retreat follows. The closure zone is demarcated on its seaward margin by an imaginary line beyond...

Beach Safety

Safety at Beaches

Safety at Beaches The safer months for sea bathing in Trinidad and Tobago are generally from May to October. During this period, except for the occasional storm, the water tends to be calmer. From November to April the sea tends to be rougher. Bathers should take extra care when swimming during these months. On beaches where there are lifeguards, bathers should note the red warning flags denoting danger areas. Red/yellow flags indicate areas where it is safe to bathe. Ask the lifeguard on duty if you are not sure. NEVER bathe alone. Local residents usually know of the occurrence of rip currents and other hazards – ask...