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Some of these areas are particularly rich in marine life, others contain specific marine plants and animals which play an important role in sustaining the quality of the natural environment of the island.
The Government of Saint Lucia have selected and established some of these areas as Marine Reserves. Activities within these reserves are controlled so as to prevent any detrimental effects on the valuable natural habitats such as the mangroves, coral reefs etc. found in these treasured zones.
The coral reefs chosen as Reserves are some of our diverse and healthy reef areas. They provide a habitat for lobsters, juvenile reef species, and a diverse adult reef fish community. Coral reefs also provide a strong physical barrier to storm waves.
The mangroves selected as Marine Reserves are important producers of nutrients that benefit other nearshore habitats such as seagrass beds and coral reefs. They also filter silt-laden river water providing clearer water nearshore and at as barriers against costal erosion. Mangroves are significant nursery grounds for many fish and bird species.
The artificial reefs set up in St. Lucia are all made Reserves since their major purpose is to provide additional nursery and protective areas for the various nearshore animals and plants.
Source: A Guide to the Protected Marine Areas of Saint Lucia, West Indies.
Did you know the Pointe Sable Environmental Protection Area (PSEPA) is a coastal strip in the south of Saint Lucia which extends from Moule-a-Chique to Pointe de Caille, just north of Savannes Bay? This 1038-hectare site was designated an environmental protection area under the Physical Planning and Development Act of 2001 in August 2007.
Did you know the Pointe Sable area is replete with natural, cultural and historical assets worthy of conservation, sustainable use and protection?
The PSEPA also possesses the largest basin like mangrove in Saint Lucia known as the Mankote Mangrove. This mangrove is home to a variety of flora and fauna, in particular seventeen (17) species of fish. It is also a marine reserve and is declared as a wetland of significant value under the RAMSAR convention of 2002.
The RAMSAR Convention is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands and is also known as the Convention on Wetlands. It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the Convention was signed in 1971.
Savannes Bay, which is adjacent to Mankote Mangrove is a major fish landing site in Saint Lucia and is noted for producing the largest volume of lobster in the island. The PSEPA also includes large areas of seagrass beds and various types of coral reef. There are several resource users, namely, seamoss producers, fishers, charcoal producers, horse-back riders, crafters, tour guides and operators of soft adventure activities such as kayakers, windsurfers and divers who make their livelihoods from the resources within the PSEPA.