Large quantities of seaweed blanket the beach in the east coastPlaya Los Machos in Ceiba, Puerto RicoThe 2015 seaweed invasion appears to be a bumper crop, with a number of shorelines so severely hit that some tourists have canceled summer trips and lawmakers on Tobago have termed it a 'natural disaster.'From the Dominican Republic in the north, to Barbados in the east, and Mexico's Caribbean resorts to the west, officials are authorizing emergency money to fund cleanup efforts and clear stinking mounds of seaweed that in some cases have piled up nearly 10 feet high on beaches, choked scenic coves and cut off moored boats. With the start of the region's high tourism season a few months away, some officials are calling for an emergency meeting of the 15-nation Caribbean Community, worried that the worsening seaweed influx could become a chronic dilemma for the globe's most tourism-dependent region.'This has been the worst year we've seen so far. The 2015 seaweed invasion appears to be a bumper crop, with a number of shorelines so severely hit that some tourists have canceled summer trips and lawmakers on Tobago have termed it a 'natural disaster'. A white-cheeked pintail duck stands over a heavily seaweed covered beach in the east coast town of Fajardo, Puerto RicoWhatever the reason, the massive sargassum flow is becoming a major challenge for tourism-dependent countries.
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Acquire dedicated assets, such as marine and air transport to support regional response to disasters. Strengthen community awareness and participation through integrating disaster awareness programs into community activities and educational curricula. Establish reliable partnerships at the regional and international levels to build efficient technical capacity for effective disaster management policy implementation. CDEMA’s role has become increasingly important but the organization faces significant challenges constraining its capacity to play a more effective role in disaster management.

The study found poor regional coordination, exemplified by organizational duplication and institutional overlap between actors. For small Caribbean states, commitments to more than one organization increases the financial and resource strain on the states. We really need to have a regional effort on this because this unsightly seaweed could end up affecting the image of the Caribbean,' said Christopher James, chairman of the Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association.There are various ideas about what is causing the seaweed boom that scientists say started in 2011, including warming ocean temperatures and changes in the ocean currents due to climate change. In large doses, the algae harms coastal environments, even causing the deaths of endangered sea turtle hatchlings after they wriggle out of the sand where their eggs were buried.
These threats are exacerbated by the effects of poor land use and environmental management practices. As illustrated in the previous table, some CDEMA member states are involved in other frameworks, creating multiple tiers of commitment. And these different organisations have each developed their own DRM strategy or plan of action.
Some researchers believe it is primarily due to increased land-based nutrients and pollutants washing into the water, including nitrogen-heavy fertilizers and sewage waste that fuel the blooms. Cleanup efforts by work crews may also worsen beach erosion.'We have heard reports of recently hatched sea turtles getting caught in the seaweed.

Small island states in the Caribbean are heavily dependent on the tourism industry and on the agricultural sector, both of which are adversely impacted by weather conditions. This evolution led to a transition to the Caribbean Disaster Management Agency (CDEMA) in 2009. The study explores these partnerships, finding that significant progress has been made in strengthening regional approaches to DRM.
Participating states provide less than 10% of CDEMA’s operational expenses, underlying the gap between political rhetoric and reality in the region. Effective disaster risk management (DRM) policies are thus central to development efforts of governments in the region. Lucia were of men, most of whom were attempting to drive through the floods.She recalled that during floods in Guyana in a recent year, several men died from leptospirosis because of walking through flood waters, whereas no women died from this illness. This increases the women's burden of care, said Kambon, since "women are responsible for the children and the elderly, and very often the schools are not reopened rapidly following a disaster.

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