In a context of recurrent cyclone crises and sea-level rise, the Carib-Coast project, which is piloted by the BRGM and an integral part of the Interreg programme for the Caribbean, is setting up a Caribbean network for prevention and crisis management of coastal risks that arise with climate change.
12 February 2019
Carib-Coast project logo

Carib-Coast project logo.

© Carib-Coast

With exposure to extreme cyclonic episodes and to gradually rising sea-levels as a result of climate change, Caribbean coastlines are vulnerable to risks such as coastal erosion and flooding.

While the risks are above all for the safety of people and property, they also concern the tourist sector, which relies on preserving beaches and the biodiversity-rich natural heritage of associated intertidal habitats such as mangroves, coral reefs and seagrass beds.

CARIB-COAST: current meters deployment off Guadeloupe and Martinique

In order to study marine currents and help scientists to prevent coastal risks in the French West Indies, several devices are deployed at sea, starting in August 2020.

© BRGM

Measuring Campaign CARIB-COAST

We are in the port of Trois-Rivières with an unusual machine. Can you introduce yourself and tell us what it is?

I am André Dolle, an oceanographer from the company Nortek. We specialize in the measure of currents and swell. This is the machine we use. It is a 500 kHz Doppler ultrasound profiler that measures the currents through the water depth. We measure the current from top to bottom at 2-meter intervals. We measure it every 10 minutes, on average. Then we use 2 Hz bursts every 1,800 seconds to measure the swell. We measure the height of the swell with this vertical beam, which works like a reverse sonar. It hits the surface at 2 Hz and we can reconstitute the shape of the surface, and the four inclined beams here, measure the orbital speed of the swell at 2 Hz through the water depth which enables us to characterize the influence of the swell through the water depth. That is the main machine. It is powered by this blue machine, which has an autonomy of two months, and this is a sensor, to measure the inclination. It transmits the angle of inclination by acoustics. We put a modem in the water and obtain the angle of inclination before sending the tripod down. The angle must be 5 degrees in order to obtain valid measures, 10 degrees maximum, but we try to respect 5 degrees. This is the system that recuperates the water. This is an acoustic width to which we transmit an order with this transducer, which releases this black plastic element here. When it is released, the elastic rope unravels, releasing this floater, which has 5 l of buoyancy. Inside, there are 100 m of Kevlar which will rise to the surface, and we can recuperate it.

Out to sea to use ADCP current meters

The deployment, August 17 to 23 in Guadeloupe and August 25 to 31 in Martinique, will be followed by the deployment of 12 GPS buoys on the surface.

Knowledge of the currents and the sea depth off the French Caribbean coast is used to anticipate coastal events.

Please do not interfere with this material.

Should you find any buoys on the beaches, contact Ifremer.

CARIB-COAST: preserve one of the last natural saltworks in Guadeloupe

The CARIB-COAST project is a European multi-partner project led by BRGM. It enables the creation of a network of experts for the prevention of coastal risks and adaptation to climate change.

In February 2021, the teams conducted a new measurement campaign on the Grande Anse des Salines beach in Guadeloupe to study hydrodynamics as well as sediment and vegetation dynamics. The teams take a look back at this campaign, which is important both for the preservation of the coastline and for the economic and tourist aspects of the area.

© BRGM

Developing tools and a monitoring network to manage coastal risks

The Carib-Coast project builds on the principle of networking efficiency. The aim is to pool, co-construct and distribute  approaches to surveillance, coastal risk prevention and adaptation to climate change.

The project covers all the Caribbean islands, with a particular focus on the French partner regions - Guadeloupe, Martinique and Saint-Martin - as well as Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica and Porto-Rico.

In particular, it will set up a digital platform for modelling coastal flooding, a network for coastal erosion monitoring and prevention based on nature-based solutions, and operational tools for coastal risk management.

An integral part of the Interreg 2014-2020 programme for the Caribbean

With its broad range of partners, the Carib-Coast project is piloted by the BRGM and supported in particular by the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (5C).

The project is co-funded by the Interreg Caribbean programme through the European Regional Development Fund. The Interreg Caribbean programme, piloted by the Guadeloupe Region as the Management Authority, is a European programme enabling Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique and Saint-Martin, which are all French and European regions, to undertake projects in cooperation with their neighbours in the Greater Caribbean, totalling over 35 countries in a zone extending from Mexico in the north to Venezuela in the south.

The Carib-Coast launch committee meeting

Comité de lancement Carib-Coast, le 17 janvier 2019 en Guadeloupe. 

© BRGM