IMARES studies natural and human influences on the Lac Bay on the isle of Bonaire. One aspect of the research is pollution in the bay. Marine litter is a serious environmental problem, also on Bonaire. Research shows a remarkably high degree of contamination of the mangroves in the Lac bay.
Litter gets stuck between the mangrove roots. On Bonaire, the problem is mainly due to litter from elsewhere, that drifts along the island with the wind and waves. The researchers therefore argue that the source of the problem should be tackled at an international scale, rather than just cleaning up the litter. They also point out that there are very few studies on this issue in the Caribbean Sea and they recommend that colleagues in this region carry out litter studies.
IMARES Biologist Dolfi Debrot studied natural and human pressures in the Lac Bay. He did this together with environmental organizations from Bonaire and students from Van Hall Larenstein and Wageningen University. The Lac Bay is an important nature reserve of the Netherlands and is managed by the Stiching Nationale Parken Bonaire. This bay houses a large concentration of mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs. The area is crucial as a nursery for the endangered rainbow parrotfish, and as a habitat for endangered Caribbean conch, red necked heron and turtles.