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Groundwater - out of Sight but not out of Mind

Groundwater: out of Sight but not out of Mind

By Aleisha Dennie, Institute of Marine Affairs If compelled to, what aspect of our lifestyle do you think we can sustain without the input of water? The answer should be clear. Water in its liquid form fuels the lives of humans, animals, and ecosystems at large. Though much of the world’s freshwater is locked within ice caps, a great portion is available to us in the form of groundwater. Groundwater is said to represent 98% of the world’s accessible freshwater (Farrell 2007). With human demands for freshwater reaching an all-time high in recent years, it is no surprise that utilisation of groundwater has become essential...

Recovering Marine Wildlife for our Sustainable Development

by Sheldon Ramoutar On 20 December 2013, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the 3, March World Wildlife Day to raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants.  The theme for 2022 "Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration" was announced by the Secretariat for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).  CITES is one of the world's most powerful tools for wildlife conservation through the regulation of international trade, which was signed in 1973.  It comprises 183 Parties (182 countries + the European Union). The 2022 theme is geared towards highlighting and promoting the best practices for...

Leave Only Your Footprints on the Sand

Prepared by Ms. Nikia Gooding, Junior Research Fellow We are all too familiar with the garbage found on our shores and waterways.  It is a shared experience to come across litter on beaches across Trinidad and Tobago, in fact, you could even tell the popular beaches by the presence of more litter.  Some of these experiences that you may be able to relate to include: Settling on a spot of sand trying to avoid discarded pieces of packages, wrappers, styrofoam, bottles, and plastics;Building sandcastles and finding pieces of old glass bottles;Bathing in the sea and being touched by an old snack pack or seeing a plastic...

IMA conducting coral reef surveys

BUILDING OCEAN RESILIENCE

A healthy and resilient ocean is one that is readily able to return to a healthy state following disturbance events or even resist the impacts of the disturbance depending on its severity. For example, healthy mangrove forests can effectively reduce the damages of severe storm surge because the thick interconnected root systems stabilise the shore and reduce wave and wind forces. The same root systems create a well-protected refuge for nurseries. Real estate, homes and properties inland are protected by mangrove forests. When healthy forests are damaged, their density might still sustain the habitat and its hydrodynamics as well as provide for regrowth. Similarly,...

The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development- Part II

This is the second of a seven-part series on the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. This decade, 2021- 2030, has been declared, ‘the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development’ by the United Nations. The Decade seeks to deliver ‘the science we need’ in order to transform ‘the ocean we have’ to ‘the ocean we want’. Part I of this series provided the rationale for the Decade, and the significance of this initiative for Trinidad and Tobago....

Research-Scientist-IMA 16:9

Marine Science Contributions to a Sustainable Future from our Female Scientists at the IMA

In an interview with the IMA, Ms. Alison Clausen of the Paris Office of the United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), noted that the UN is creating a framework to galvanise global support for championing the health of our oceans. Ms. Clausen states that science has for decades documented the demise of our oceans but now the global scientific community must use science to provide solutions – and that scientific community includes women....

Salybia Beach

UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021–2030
Opportunities for Trinidad and Tobago

By Dr. Anjani Ganase, Coral Reef Ecologist Institute of Marine Affairs Our ocean is the foundation for life, the regulator of our climate and a major source of food, income and cultural significance. Yet, the first world assessment report (2016) of our oceans concluded that much of the world’s marine ecosystems have become degraded over the last fifty years owing to our poor management of the ocean ecosystems. In light of this, UNESCO has declared a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development in 2021 – 2030 recognising the urgent need to curb and even reverse the considerable degradation that the ocean ecosystems have suffered as...

Are you cleaning your toilet bowl correctly?

Prepared by Sheldon Ramoutar, Research Officer (Microbiologist),Institute of Marine Affairs The Christmas holiday is fast approaching and there is no doubt household chores and cleaning will be taking place.  Cleaning can be daunting especially when it comes to the toilet area and bathroom. Though we have been cleaning these surfaces year in and out, have we been cleaning our toilet bowl correctly? Here are a few helpful tips on cleaning your toilet. The Septic Tank The septic tank system is the forgotten household hero. It works hard every day breaking down waste from the toilet using hard-working bacteria. Even though we clean our toilet bowls to get rid...

Electronic Waste – An emerging Threat to our Marine Environment

By Guischard Charles, Information Officer – Digital Content Specialist In the aftermath of the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring the dreadful COVID-19 virus a pandemic on the 11, March 2020, information communication technologies and the use of electronic devices and gadgets have skyrocketed in Trinidad and Tobago.  Physical distancing has become the ‘new normal’.   For many of us, online connection and remote work have replaced face-to-face interaction. In an attempt to minimise contagion and the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the private sector upgraded online services and rolled out mobile apps to stay connected with their customers and clients, while several government ministries and agencies,...

Why should we be concerned about Nutrient Pollution?

by Yasim Edoo, Associate ProfessionalInstitute of Marine Affairs Many countries around the world are susceptible to different types of pollution. The countries of the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR) are no exception. In recent times, the issue of nutrient pollution has come to the attention of many islands in the WCR and the question of “How can this form of pollution be mitigated?” arises but what is nutrient pollution?  Very simply put, nutrient pollution is the process whereby excess nitrogen and phosphorous compounds (nutrients) enter into water bodies and cause an excessive growth of algae leading to poor condition such as oxygen depletion (National Ocean Service)....