ANALYSIS OF CONTAMINANT TRANSPORT,
HUMAN ACTIVITIES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES
IN TWO JAMAICAN WETLANDS AND ADJACENT INSHORE MARINE SYSTEMS
SUBMITTED TO THE NORTH-SOUTH CENTER
KATHERINE K ELLINS, PhD
(University of Florida Department of Gelogy, Gainesville Florida)
ANITA SPRING, PHID
(University of Florida, Department of Anthropolog, Gaincsvile Florida)
IN COLLABORATION WITH
PETER BACON, PhD
(Univrsity of the West Idies Zoology Department, Kingsto Jamaica)
GERARD ALLENG. MFhiL
(Univrsity of the West Indi! Zoolgy Department Kingston Jamaica)
ELSA LEO-RHYNIE PhD
(universityof the West Indis. Woman and Dcvdepment Programme, Kings, Jamaica)
(Jamaica Envinment Trust)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Project Summary .............................................................................. 3
Significance ............................................................. ....................... 4
Background ..................................................................................... 4
Geohydrology ......................................................... 4
Ecology of Wetlands and Inshore Marine Systems .................. 5
The Human Environment ................................................ 5
Study Sites ......................................................... 6
Research Design and Data Collection ................................................... 8
Wetland Inventory and Historical Evaluation of Land Use Patterns 8
Identifying and Quantifying Groundwater Influx ........................... 8
Tracing Groundwater Pathways .................................. ....... 8
Tracing Inshore Circulation ................................................. 9
Determining Stream Rearation .................................................... 9
Conducting Rapid Rural Appraisals ............................................ 9
Conducting Interviews, Community Studies, and Participatory
Ranking of Potential Solutions ........................................... 9
C ollab oratio n ..................................................................................... 10
D issem nation ..................................................................................... 10
Bib lio grap hy ....................................................................................... 10
Figu res .................................................................................................. 15
B u d get .................................................. ........................................ 19
Budget Justification ......................................................... ................... 20
T im etab le ............................................................................................ 21
Responsibilities of Principal Investigators ........................................ ..... 22
R esu m es ................................................................................................ 23
Supporting Materials ....................................................................... 39
Letter from Dr. Peter Bacon, Chair of the Zoology Department, UWI
Letter from Ms. Diana McCaulay, President of the Jamaica
Environment Trust (ENGO) ..........................................
Wetlands are among the most productive of all ecosystems and are valuable as both a
natural and economic resource. Jamaica's wetlands are in dire need of environmental protection
as they are being rapidly destroyed by such diverse activities as agriculture, forestry and
human habitation, and by over-exploitation of their resources. The proposed project represents
a bold initiative to conduct a joint natural and social scientific investigation of two wetland
ecosystems in Jamaica for the purpose of developing practical policies and educational
programs that promote environmentally sound economic development. This project focuses on
defining differences in the patterns of environmental degradation in two coastal wetland study
sites with different hydrologic regimes that are affected by different human activities.
Specifically we will undertake the following, (1) The link between land use patterns and
wetland decline will be examined by comparing historical patterns of wetland decline to
historical patterns of land use. (2) The rates and dynamics of ecosystem decline will be
investigated at two sites with different hydrologic regimes. Dynamics in a wetland with
substantial freshwater discharge will be compared to those in an area with fewer fresh water
water inputs. (3) Hydrologic differences between these areas will be analyzed by identifying
important sources and pathways for water-borne pollutants. (4) The transport processes that
disperse water-borne contaminants throughout inshore waters will be investigated. (5) The
impact of human habitation and activities on the wetlands at both sites will be evaluated and
compared. (6) Indigenous knowledge and awareness of environmental degradation and
conservation of the areas by the local population will be assessed. (7) Potential conservation
strategies for interventions by government and by women and men in the affected areas will be
Two coastal wetland ecosystems on the south coast of Jamaica in which to concentrate
the proposed research have been selected: the mangrove ecosystem fringing Portland Bight and
the Lower Black River Morass. Numerous environmental threats to these ecosystems have been
documented including (1) the influx of surface runoff and groundwater polluted by human
sewage, pathogenic organisms, pesticides, fertilizers, under (sugar cane processing waste),
paper processing wastes, and animal wastes from dairy and chicken farms; (2) deforestation due
primarily to agriculture, human habitation, and charcoal burning and (3) over-exploitation of
forest and fisheries resources (Alleng, 1990; Eyre 1991; McCaulay, 1993; SCCF, 1992). Local
populations, who overuse fishing and forestry resources in attempts to increase their low
incomes, may impact negatively on the very ecosystems upon which they depend for their
livelihoods. Commercial farmers' use of agrochemicals, the tourist industry, and elite sports
clubs may also contribute to the problem; undoubtedly all these constituent groups must be
factored into potential solutions.
To examine the social aspects, human land use patterns will be discerned and a wetland
inventory carried out for both study sites through the examination of existing aerial
photographs and topographic maps. Rapid rural appraisals of Portland Bight and the Black
River Morass will be carried out to assess agricultural (including fishing and forestry) and non-
farming enterprises for small scale and commercial producers. Selected faculty and extension
personnel will be team participants for the surveys. Knowledge, access and control of resources
by gender, income level, and use of governmental and non-governmental services related to these
enterprises will be appraised. The problems and constraints of small and commercial producers,
as well as those of the wealthy land and tourist attraction owners will be prioritized;
additional in-depth interviews and observations will be carried out. These data will be
analyzed for a relative assessment of the magnitude of human and animal waste, agrochemical
and tourist blight on water contamination and forest/fish resources. In addition, the particular
involvement of environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs), will be considered in
terms of their service activities with local populations and for potential intervention
There is an urgent need to address environmental problems that may threaten Jamaica's
most important ecosystems and hasten the irretrievable loss of the island's unique natural
heritage. At the same time, economic development and utilization of the island's natural
resources are worthy goals for Jamaica because they provide employment and improve the
quality of life. The primary objectives of our research are to provide fundamental information
about hydrologic pollutant transport processes, contaminant dispersion mechanisms in adjacent
inshore marine environments, and the environmental consequences of human activities and
knowledge related to strategies that degrade and conserve the environment. The information
will be used to explore the potential for developing practical policies and educational
programs aimed at preserving a harmonious balance between the imperatives of nature and
economic development. While it is true that a variety of management options have already
been designed to preserve wetland ecosystems (Alleng, 1990; Hamilton and Snedaker, 1984; Lugo
and Brown, 1988), they have no real probability of success in rural Jamaica for they all fail to
involve directly the various categories of people who utilize the wetlands (Eyre, 1991). The
joint natural and social scientific approaches utilized in this investigation will offer resource
managers and policy makers an in-depth understanding of the intimate interrelationship
between various populations and their physical environments in the two selected study areas.
While Jamaican policy makers have recognized the need for environmental protection as is
evidenced by the recent passage of the Natural Resources Conservation Authority Act of 1991,
effective programs aimed at environmental protection have not emerged. A joint natural and
social scientific approach will increase the likelihood of the development and implementation
of appropriate, lasting strategies to manage Jamaican wetlands, protect public health, educate
the local population to minimize the depletion of resources in their own environment, and
enforce existing legislation. The approach will find application in other developing nations.
The results of the proposed study will also improve knowledge of wetland hydrology.
In particular, groundwater influx, which is the single most important hydrological determinant
for the establishment and maintenance of wetlands (Mitch and Gosselink, 1986), is difficult to
measure accurately. The application of geochemical tracers will permit the measurement of
groundwater flows, that cannot be easily obtained with conventional methods. In addition,
while the ability of wetlands to cleanse water has received much research attention, the
impact of polluted water on wetlands had not been adequately examined (Mitsch and
Gosselink, 1986). This investigation will provide information about hydrologic pollutant
transport processes and patterns of dispersion.
The scientific social methods that will be utilized in this investigation are significant
because most studies do not assess all the constituents, gender issues and indigenous
conceptualization and awareness of environmental conservation. This project represents a bold
initiative to conduct a joint natural and social scientific investigation for the purpose of
developing practical policies and educational programs that promote environmentally sound
Jamaica is a Caribbean island of 11,400 square kilometers with a tropical marine
climate. The geology of the south coast of Jamaica, where the investigation is focused, is
primarily composed of Tertiary limestones and alluvial deposits that dip to the south away
from the anticlinal crest of the island (Ellins, 1988). The limestone units show the effects of
karstification to varying degrees. Numerous NW-SE or E-W trending faults related to a Mid-
Miocene period of uplift occur throughout the area. These faults impede or act as preferred
paths of groundwater flow (UNDP/FAO, 1971). Due to the action of infiltrating rainfall and
corrosive runoff, an extensive underground hydrologic network of channels has been established
in the limestone beneath the surface of the karst as is evidenced by the existence of numerous
springs, underground rivers, and cave systems.
Eclogy of Welands and Inshore Marine Systems
Wetlands are among the most productive of all ecosystems and perform a number of
functions making them valuable as both a natural and economic resource. Jamaican wetlands
offer habitat opportunities to numerous endemic and migratory species of invertebrates, fishes,
birds, reptiles (lizards and the American crocodile), land mammals (Jamaican coney) and
marine mammals (manatees and dolphins) and support an extensive food web that extends to
adjacent marine systems. Wetlands may also improve water quality by intercepting nutrients,
such as nitrogen and phosphorous, and toxic substances transported by agricultural runoff,
rivers, and groundwater pathways (Femald and Patton, 1984). Their utility as natural water
treatment facilities has recently been recognized in Jamaica, where two pilot projects currently
function. Finally, cores of peat deposits taken in wetlands often yield information about past
climate, vegetation, animals, and human occupation (Fernald and Patton, 1984).
In Jamaica the mangrove wetlands that mark the transition from the marine to the
terrestrial environment are especially vulnerable to environmental degradation (Alleng, 1990).
A mangrove wetland or swamp is composed of an assemblage of botanically diverse species of
tropical trees and shrubs that are adapted to a saline habitat and periodic tidal submergence.
The individual mangrove species found in Jamaica are Avicennia germinans (black mangrove),
Rhizophora mangle (red mangrove), Laguncularia racemosa (white mangrove). (Alleng, 1990;
Odum et al, 1982).
A clear picture of the complex dynamics of the intricate interrelationship between
mangrove wetlands and other aquatic ecosystems, such as seagrass communities and coral reefs,
is only now beginning to emerge (Mitsch and Gosseling, 1986). The mangrove ecosystem supports
an extensive food web.and is the nursery for many species that colonize the coral reef ecosystem
or serve as prey for sport and commercial fish species (e.g, tarpon, snook, red drum, jack, and
jewfish). An estimated 150,000 Jamaicans derive a livelihood from commercial fishing (SCCF,
1992). Furthermore, Jamaican mangroves are vital for sport and commercial fisheries
throughout the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and even the North Atlantic Ocean. Finally,
coral reefs often buffer the mangrove wetlands from the open ocean. In turn, the mangrove
wetlands protect the fragile coral reefs from nutrient laden, fresh water runoff from the land
(Odum et al., 1982).
The Human Fivironmnt
The use by Jamaicans of natural resources (forest and fish) has been described in terms of
a "love-hate relationship," where high value is placed on land ownership, but little value is
given to flora and fauna conservation (Eyre, 1991). Additional factors, including crop larceny,
uncontrolled land and crop residue burnings, lack of erosion control and land husbandry
techniques, and poor enforcement of laws, contribute to environmental degradation. Commercial
and smallholder agricultural techniques and marketing strategies, as well as other enterprises
such as fishing and charcoal making, involve different groups in using these resources. Yet, the
degree to which conservation techniques are employed by these users is little known.
The topic of women and the environment in terms sustainable development and the
conservation of natural systems is becoming important to a number of researchers in the area
(Antrobus and Peacocke, 1992; Bernal and Bruce 1990; Stubbs, n.d.; Wiltshire 1991). In rural
areas women are involved in smallholder production, as well as in wage labor in commercial
endeavors. Additionally, they are famous as the marketeers or higglers in the region
(Edwards, 1980; also see extensive the bibliography in Staudt, 1984). At least 34 percent of all
households are female headed (Massiah, 1983; McGowan, 1990; United Nations, 1991).
Caribbean women have been involved, or viewed as involved, with the environment in a
number of ways in terms of: (1) their concern and membership in environmental conservation
groups; (2) their work as agricultural producers and entrepreneurs using the natural
environment; (3) the perceived or real notions that women are closer spiritually to nature and
have a hand in sustaining and nurturing it; and (4) the misperception that women are sometimes
responsible for environmental degradation (Chaney, 1985; French, 1988; Harris, 1983; Stubbs,
Two coastal wetland ecosystems on the south coast of Jamaica have been selected for
the proposed research: the mangrove ecosystem fringing Portland Bight and the Lower Black
River Morass (Figure 1). The economic and aesthetic values of the Portland Bight mangroves
and Lower Black River Morass and adjacent marine ecosystems are well recognized. Both areas
have been under consideration for over 15 years for special designation and status as either
national parks or national conservation reserve and wildlife sanctuaries (Coke et al, 1982;
Government of Jamaica, 1987; National Physical Plan for Jamaica, 1978).
Portland Bight, has the largest and most productive fisheries and is also close to the
capital city of Kingston. Some of the mangrove areas there have been preserved because the
city's elite utilize the area and employ local people as rangers to keep poachers and would-be
charcoal makers out. Black River has a mixture of commercial (sugar and rice plantations) and
smallholder farmers (including illegal Cannabis sativacultivation), and small fisherfolk.
Here, again wealthy individuals and environmentalist groups (ENGOs) have introduced
tourism as a counterpoint to forest encroachment by local people Yet, tourism has brought its
own type of contaminants, namely the vendors and the garbage they generate. Standard
descriptions note that many Jamaicans are ambivalent towards the land, valuing ownership,
but not conservation and showing "no positive valuation of forest itself...apart from the cash
value of individual trees" (Eyre 1991: 28).
The mixture of rural and peri-urban rangers, sugar plantation workers, small holder
farmers, fisherfolk, charcoal makers, and vendors as well as sports club members, tourist
industrials, and ENGOs form the constituents whose activities impact on the environment. The
objectives of sports club members (and their hired rangers), industry, and ENGOs are sometimes
in conflict with those of local people, who depend on the natural resources to gain a livelihood.
The Portland Bight lies between the two fastest population centers in Jamaica, May Pen
in the west and Spanish Town in the east (SCCF, 1992). Along the coast of the Portland Bight,
mangrove wetlands stretch from Hellshire Point to the mouth of the Rio Minho, a distance of 90
kilometers, encompassing more than 75 square kilometers (Figure 2). Most of these mangrove
wetlands have enjoyed limited protection as they have been leased for 50 years or longer by
several sports clubs and by Old Ponds Limited, a group of concerned private citizens. In the
Portland Bight project area, the largest population centers are Old Harbour, Lionel Town, and
the fishing village of Old Harbour Bay. Population clusters can be found at McCooks Pen,
Bridge Pen, and Hayes. Inland from the coast, the area is of agricultural importance, with
sugar cane being the dominant crop. Animal husbandry is also important and there are several
dairy farms and over 88 chicken farms in the area. The town of Old Harbour Bay serves as the
largest commercial fishing base in the island of Jamaica. There are 633 registered fishing boats
and numerous unregistered fishing boats that operate out of Old Harbour Bay (SCCF, 1992).
Fisherfolk utilize fish traps, pots, seine nets, and lines. In the project area strip, development
has occurred at the intersection of roadways with the establishment of bars, restaurants, shops,
hardware stores, gas stations, and supermarkets. Two important ports, one at Rocky Point and
the other at Port Esquivel, are used primarily for the shipment of bauxite ore (SFFC, 1992),
although Rocky Point is reputed to be an important offloading point for smugglers bringing cars
and large appliances (generators, televisions, refrigerators, etc.) into the island.
A preliminary needs assessment carried out by the South Coast Conservation
Foundation (SCCF), one of the ENGOs concerned with the protection of the Portland Bight
area, has documented several serious environmental threats in the Portland Bight/Old
Harbour project area: (1) the influx of surface runoff and groundwater polluted by human
sewage, pesticides, fertilizers, under (sugar cane processing wastes), paper processing wastes,
and animal wastes from the dairy and chicken farms; (2) marine pollution from oil spills at the
two existing port facilities (Jones, 1989; SCCF, 1992); (3) mangrove deforestation due to
clearance for cultivation, logging and charcoal making and (4) overfishing in the mangroves
and in the Portland Bight because of too many fisherfolk (who fish more frequently and
harvest younger and smaller fish and shellfish, often out of season). Many engaged in fishing
use illegal practices such as dynamite and chlorine that kill indiscriminately, destroy the
coral reefs, and may cause injuries to the practitioners. Most recently, there has been an
increase in the collection of turtle eggs from nesting sites for human consumption (Levy, 1993).
Problems connected to overfishing are exacerbated by the piracy of vessels and fish pots of
legitimate fisherfolk by armed thugs (SCCF, 1992).
The Lowr Bl*ack RiwAr M ass
The Black River hydrologic basin is located in the southwestern part of Jamaica
(Figure 3). The Black River and its two main tributaries, the Y.S. and Broad Rivers, drain an
immense wetland ecosystem, the Upper and Lower Black River Morass. The Lower Black River
Morass is an exceptionally complex and diverse wetland ecosystem known to support a rich
indigenous flora and fauna (Proctor, 1986). The vegetation of the Lower Morass includes a
mangrove community, sedge savannah or marsh, riparian swale, marsh forest, riparian forest,
aquatic vegetation, and limestone islands (Figure 4). Mangroves occur along the coast and in the
estuaries of the Black and Broad Rivers. The open wet savannas are dominated by sawgrass,
the sedge Cladium iamaicense. Non-woody thickets (riparian swale) occur along the Black
River and its tributary streams between the mangrove woodland and the marsh forest. Here
the giant grass, Phragmites australis. is dominant and the rare herbaceous vine, Ipomea
sagitata. also occurs. The marsh forest, considered the most distinctive feature of the the
Lower Black River Morass, has been decimated by unchecked cutting of the trees. Important
species include Roystonea princeps (a palm endemic to Jamaica) and Combreteum robinsonii (a
woody climber endemic to Jamaica). The special characteristics of the riparian forest are
nearly lost due to cutting, and burning, and modification by introduced species (Proctor, 1983).
The limestone islands are raised rocky outcrops that support the scattered human settlements
and pastures. These islands have been inhabited for so long that most of the natural vegetation
has disappeared. Important for the preservation of the system are the remaining indigenous
species that include the palm Sabal jamaicensis and M. zapota (naseberry, with edible fruit)
The major population centers in the study area are Black River and Lacovia. Other
population clusters can be found on the limestone islands at Cataboo, Slipe and Frenchman. To
the west of Black River is Negril, Jamaica's most popular tourist resort strip. The area is
important for agriculture, with sugar cane, bananas, and rice the most important crops. Animal
husbandry and subsistence farming are also important and much of morass has been cleared for
pasture, the cultivation of subsistence crops and illegal Cannabis sativa (Coke et al, 1982).
The palm Sabal jamaicensis, that occurs naturally, is of economic importance because the leaves
are used for thatching houses and to make baskets and mats (Coke et al.; 1982; Proctor, 1986).
The Middle Quarters River supports crayfish and African Perch fisheries and is an important
source of potable water (Coke et al, 1982). The town of Black River, located on the coast, is
also an important fishing base and commercial center.
Environmental threats to the unique ecosystem of the Black River include the
following. (1) The influx of groundwater and rivers polluted by human sewage, animal wastes,
pesticides, fertilizers, and under from the Appleton Rum distillery (Coke et. al., 1983;
Government of Jamaica, 1990; Proctor, 1982). (2) Wetland deforestation of the marsh and
riparian forests that have been decimated by clearance for cultivation (Coke et al, 1986;
Garrick, 1986). (3) Tourism has spawned new environmental threats as enterprising locals
engage in the destruction and clearing of mangroves, marsh and riparian forests, and riparian
swale, in order to establish concession stands to sell beverages, food, and souvenirs to the
tourists who venture upstream. Piles of garbage are left behind. (5) Overfishing is a large
problem in Black River Bay and nearshore coastal waters. Of particular concern is the fate of
the West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus). Once abundant in the shallow water of Black
River Bay, manatees have rarely been sighted in this area since the early 1980s (Lefebvre et
al., 1989). Although manatees are protected by the Wildlife Protection Act of 1945, that
prohibits hunting and possession of endangered species, Jamaican fisherfolk continue to take
and sell them illegally. In addition, they are often accidentally captured in gill nets and
beach seines where they drown. Attempts to educate the public about their protected status
has apparently failed in the Black River area where the fishing-related mortality of
manatees is greatest (Lefebvre et al, 1989).
RESEARCH DESIGN AND DATA COLLECTION
Wetland Inventory and Historical Evaluation of land Use Patterns
Existing aerial photographs, nautical charts, and topographic maps will be examined
for both hydrological and human use (land and marine) patterns. Hydrological reconnaissance
surveys of the water contaminants will be carried to document the occurrence and extent of
karstic features and fracture patterns in the project area and to map the distribution of springs
and creeks in the wetland ecosystem. Well logs on file with Jamaica's Underground Water
Authority will be examined to help characterize the subsurface structure. Surveys of the
inshore waters of Black River Bay and the Portland Bight will be also be undertaken. Rapid
appraisals and in-depth anthropological investigations of the constituents groups to document
the constraints and problems of the local and commercial producers and utilizers of natural
resources will also be carried out. Finally, particular attention to local peoples' especially
women's, use of environmental resources as well as to professional urbanites interest in ENGOs
will be investigated.
Idntifying and Ouantifying G oundwater Influx
Since groundwater and surface discharge transport a myriad of natural and
anthropogenic substances, a hydrologic study is an important component of this investigation.
Previous work by Ellins and colleagues (Ellins, 1988; Ellins et al, 1990; Ellins et al, 1991) and
investigations carried out by others (Genereux, 1990; Wanninkhof et al., 1990) have
successfully established that high concentrations of natural 222Rn, an inert radioactive gas,
measured in a stream are indicative of groundwater influx. (222Rn occurs in much higher
concentrations in groundwater than in rivers). Hence, the difference between the 222Rn
concentration in the local groundwater and in the stream can be used to estimate the relative
proportion of groundwater influx (Ellins, 1988; Ellins et al., 1990; Ellins et al., 1991). 222Rn
measurements will be made using a small portable extraction system and Lucas-type cells with
alpha scintillation counters following the methods described in Ellins et al. (1988).
Tracing ormndwater Pathways
Both study sites are underlain by soluble limestone. Contaminants transported by
surface runoff may be diverted to the groundwater system via karst features, such as sinkholes
and caves, and rapidly delivered to the wetlands and coastal waters along extensive
cavernous zones. Recent work in the Santa Fe River basin in northern peninsular Florida has
demonstrated that SF6 gas, which is non-biodegradable, non-toxic, and inert (Wanninkhof,
1986), is a safe, viable alternative to the conventional application of fluorescent dyes in water
tracing studies (Ellins et al., 1993). In this investigation SF6, will be used to identify specific
point-to-point connections of groundwater recharge and spring discharge. SF6 analysis will be
done on a Shimadzu gas chromatograph equipped with an electron capture detector in
accordance with the techniques described by Wanninkhof (1986).
Tradng Ishore Cirulation
SF6 will also be used to track the dispersion of contaminants introduced to inshore
waters of Portland Bight and Black River Bay by submarine springs and rivers. SF6 will be
introduced in a 50 meter long streak at selected locations and tracked to coastal waters over a
period of two months using grid sampling (Ledwell and Watson, 1988)
Determining Srmam Reaeration
Stream reaeration, which refers to the uptake of oxygen, is the primary mechanism
by which oxygen depleted during the decomposition of organic matter, such as sewage, is
replenished (Kilpatrick, 1989). Reaeration coefficients will be determined for the primary
surface waterways (Salt Island Creek, Black River, Broad River, Y.S. River) in gaseous tracer
experiments involving the continuous release of SF6. These coefficients will be used to quantify
the process of reaeration in dissolved-oxygen water quality models and to determine the
optimum organic pollutant (sewage) loading for the surface waters in the study areas
Conducing Rapid Rural Appraisals
The practices of these various constituent groups will be investigated by using
several methods Including the field intensive method of a week long rapid rural appraisal or
sondeo in each area (Figure 5) (Hildebrand 1980; Poats et al. 1988; Spring 1982; 1988),
additional interviews, examination of land-use from aerial photography and census data.
Rapid rural appraisal involves multi-disciplinary teams of researchers and extensionists
coming together for (1) examining secondary data and planning for field collection of data; (2)
collecting data in the field and daily processing of information; (3) synthesizing models of the
various farm, forest, and fishing and non-agricultural enterprises in relation to the sexual
division of labor and an annual calendar; (4) discerning the problems of various constituent
groups and assessing the probable causes; and (5) evaluating short and long-term strategies for
Conducting Interviews- Communily Sludies and Participatoy Ranng of Paential Solutions
In-depth participant observation, community studies in the twp sites by students at
the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, will facilitate learning about enterprise
development, people's own conservation techniques, and potential ways to change people's
behavior to natural resource management. The various natural resources users (constituent
groups) and the wastes they produce will be related to the hydrologic data studies, allowing
comparisons of types, frequency and amounts of contaminants. The potential for educational,
legal, and technology strategies that might provide additional options for conservation will be
discussed with the different constituent groups. Participatory evaluation of resource
management strategies will be carried out to test for acceptability versus non-adoption, and
possible problems in terms of dissemination, costs, and cultural compatibility.
To understand the nature of these issues, a number of topics will be queried, namely
differential utilization of environmental resources by the different constituent groups (by
gender of user); differential impacts by gender of resource changes and depletion; and relation of
environmental usage to other income sources. The involvement of women and men in ENGOs and
other environmental organizations and the strategies that they have utilized will be
examined and discussed with the local user groups.
Based on the findings of the anthropological community investigations, a number of
potential alternative solutions for program, project, and policy actions and activities will be
devised. The different constituent groups will be asked to evaluate and prioritize these
suggestions in terms of feasibility, logistics to enactment, and potential for adoption.
Principal investigators include an anthropologist (Anita Spring) and a physical
geographer hydrologist (Katherine Ellins) from the University of Florida, and a wetlands
scientist (Gerard Alleng), who will be working under the supervision of Peter Bacon at the
University of the West Indies (UWI) in Jamaica. We will also collaborate with Elsa Leo-
Rhynie, Director of the Women and Development Programme at UWI. Graduate students from
both the University of Florida and the University of the West Indies will serve as research
assistants. In addition, two Jamaican ENGOs, the Jamaica Environment Trust and the South
Coast Conservation Foundation, will assist with various government departments and
regulatory authorities, as well as providing some logistical support for the research efforts.
The results of the investigation will be compiled as a report to be submitted to the
North South Center. Papers will be presented at national and international meetings and
submitted to appropriate peer review joumals. The research conducted will serve as the basis
for the masters theses for two graduate students from the University of Florida, and possibly
for the University of the West Indies students. Finally, the documents produced will serve as
the basis for policy development and future work.
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II- I I
HYDROLOGIC BASINS '
Blue Mountain South I
Ria Mioer ELEVATION (etres aos. 1I
Caborita River 0 -150
Great River 150-600
Martha Brae River
Dry Harbour Mountains 600-1200
Blue Mountain North above 1200
%v4 Basin Boundary
t IL Swamp
i 7 o-.
Figure 1. Physiographic map of Jamaica.
. li :--:: ,., ,,, ,? -.
Figure 2. Portland Bight Study Site.
Figure 3. Black River Morass Study Site
Figure 4. Distribution of wetland vegetation in the Black River Morass (Coke et al., 1982)
Figure 5 Rapid Rural Appraisal Sequence
I MAY BE REPEATED
19th February, 1993. Fax No. 904 392 6929
Dr. Anita Spring
Department of Anthropology
Dr. Katherine Ellins
Department of Geology
University of Florida
1112 Turlngton flail
Gainesville, Florida 32611.
Dear Dr. Spring & Dr. Ellins,
The Jamaica Environment Trust is a non-profit non-Government
organization dedicated to the preservation of Jamaica's unique
natural resources and the concept and practice of sustainable
development. We are comprised entirely of volunteers with a high
proportion of women. The Trust was formed in February 1991 and
now has a fairly broad based membership of 95 individuals and 14
Corporate sponsors. We are funded from membership and
subscription fees, corporate donations, sales of various
environmentaly-friendly products, and apply for and receive
grants to carry out specific projects from time to time. Our
main area of interest is education and advocacy with an emphasis
on Solid Waste Management, and we have carried out on-the-ground
community projects such as Beach and Gully clean-ups. We support
student environment groups at two schools in the Kingston area.
We hive extensive contacts and networking arrangements with the
environmental community across the Island.
We fully endorse a comparative study of three wetland ecosystems
and the dependant populations. The choices of Old Harbour,
Bowden and Black River are ideal, situated as they are in
different parts of the Island and presenting three entirely
different communities and uses of the ecosystem. Old Harbour
and Black River are both under extreme threat from bad fishing
practices, charcoal burning in the mangroves and unplanned and
unregulated tourism development. The three communities are
depressed areas, badly in need of assistance in identifying and
implementing sustainable ways of earning a living.
'.j.%. ; I .,. .- T, 'i i! ,' 58 Ha!l \' v 1t,, R )oad' r i-.g' ") A.oiw.,-i iH O W i929 ?'i7E
The Jamaica Environment Trust offers to assist you in any way
possible. We have an indepth knowledge of two of the three
areas. We can introduce you to leaders and business people in
the communities and assist you w-th intarraction with the various
Government Departments and regulatory authorities. We can
provide secretarial and communication facilities.
We look forward to welcoming you to Jamaica and if there is any
further information you require, please do not hesitate to