Eutrophication status of Lac, Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean Including propolsals for measures

Slijkerman, D.M.E.; Peachey, R.B.J.; Hausmann, P.S.; Meesters, H.W.G.


Lac is a semi-enclosed lagoon located on the south-eastern side of Bonaire, and contains a diversity of shallow water coral reef associated habitats in close proximity such as mangroves, seagrass beds, Halimeda algal beds, the back reef and sand flats. These habitats support a diversity of fish and invertebrates. Nutrient poor waters are a requirement for healthy coral reefs. When these become enriched with nutrients, it results e.g. in increased algae and affected reef condition. One area of interest for management is the eutrophication status of Lac. Eutrophication is a pressure that might explain some of observed changes in the bay. However, no baseline on the eutrophication status of Lac exists. IMARES and Environics NV conducted a snapshot assessment of the eutrophication status for current understanding and as a basis for future management. Environics conducted the field measurements at Lac, and most of the data analysis. IMARES analysed geographical data and together with Environics cowrited the report. The purpose of this baseline study was to assess the trophic status of Lac by analyzing 4 potential indicators of eutrophication simultaneously: • Nutrient levels; • Levels of fecal indicator bacteria (enterococci); • Epiphyte loads of seagrasses; • Benthic community composition of the back reef. The monitoring was performed at 32 sites within the bay and 1 control site outside the bay in December 2010.