Being in the Caribbean in February is usually a reason for envy, but this time the temperatures in Tennessee felt so springlike, it was actually difficult to leave the States! These first pictures are from Dominica, the Nature Island, where rainforests cover much of the interior and the rainforests of the sea are vibrant and alive….except when they aren’t.. Nearly two years ago, Tropical Storm Erika dumped something like 27 inches of rain on the island in ten hours causing massive flooding and river erosion. That sediment from the rivers is still heading out to the reefs near Coulibistrie, where my friend Izzy showed me the new deltas that have formed and the small, winding, tree covered streams which are now wide river beds devoid of trees. Our plan is to evaluate the reefs and work on stream bank stabilization so maybe, just maybe, we can save these reefs. We will need lots of help.
We also are working with the Dominica Water and Sewerage Authority on reduction of sewage from communal septic tanks which flows into the rivers, potentially impacting human health. Dowasco officials are very keen on implementing pilot projects so communities will know how to address these issues. Can you see the wastewater draining directly into this street drain? The river is just across the road. When we work together with our local partners, real solutions can happen and be sustained so Dominica remains the beautiful Nature Island we all love.