The Panama City-based Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) says that the Caribbean’s coastal environment is stressed out, but adds that there is hope, according to data from a 25-year monitoring programme.

With 40 per cent of the world’s 2.5 billion people living in coastal cities and towns, the STRI has just released 25 years of data about the health of Caribbean coasts from the Caribbean Coastal Marine Productivity Programme (CARICOMP).

According to CMC News, the study provides new insights into the influence of both local and global stressors in the basin, and some hope that the observed changes can be reversed by local environmental management.

The STRI said the largest, longest programme to monitor the health of the Caribbean coastal ecosystems, CARICOMP revealed that water quality decreased at 42 per cent of the monitoring stations across the basin.

However, it said significant increases in water temperature, expected in the case of global warming, were not detected across sites.

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