Landscaping for Erosion Control
Under the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program grant project, Sediment Reduction Education and Outreach in Coral Bay, CBCC completed a variety of education and outreach activities that focused on ways individual community members can help continue sediment reduction efforts using vegetation best management practices (BMP) and landscaping for erosion control in Coral Bay that were started in 2009 and continue as a part of The Coral Bay Watershed Management Project – Stormwater Management.
While this project occurs within Coral Bay, the outreach activities used in this project are designed to be replicable and applicable throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands and elsewhere. All these outcomes are important to coral reef and other marine life health because they tackle land-based sources of pollution that can harm reefs and marine wildlife. Project activities included:
Local Vegetation Landscape Manual
Development of a local vegetation landscaping manual to help homeowners with erosion control and a supplementary bookmark defining watershed management. Click images to download the a printable version of the published book, Vegetation for Erosion Control – A Manual for Residents (13 MB) and bookmark, What is Watershed Management? You can pick up a free printed copy with bookmark at our office (across the street from the Coral Bay Fire Station).
CLICK HERE for more guidebooks, manuals and tips for Stormwater Management in the U.S Virgin Islands and other tropical islands!
Community & Professional Outreach
Workshops, consultations, and publications that provided recommendations on using vegetation Best Management Practices (BMP) for stormwater management and to disseminate information about erosion control techniques and landscaping practices for design professionals, government officials, and contractors, and for residents to undertake independently at their homes and on their access roads.
November 16, 2018: CBCC hosted the Stormwater Management using Natural Landscape & Vegetation BMPs Professional Workshop at Pickles in Paradise. This six-hour workshop focused on watershed and stormwater management, VI Rules & Regulations for stormwater standards, the VI Environmental Protection Handbook and the Vegetation for Erosion Control – A Manual for Residents, natural landscape & vegetation BMPs for stormwater management the Virgin Islands, along with active round-table discussions with Virgin Islands Department of Planning & Natural Resources (VI DPNR) on erosion and sediment issues.
Check out all the presentations from this workshop by clicking on the links below:
- VI DPNR Stormwater Regulations & Oversight – By Benjamin Keularts, Environmental Project Manager, VI DPNR
- Watershed and Stormwater Management Overview – By Rachel McKinley, Environmental Projects Manager, CBCC
- Sediment Control in Coral Bay – By Mary Vargo, Environmental Projects Manager, CBCC
November 19, 2018: The “Book Share” community workshop at Wok on the Beach was fun event where we shared and discussed experiences and non-fiction and fiction books about gardening, landscaping, landslide prevention, erosion control in the tropics. and island-living.
Check out some the book titles we shared:
- Learning about Trees & Plants by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of St. John, in the US Virgin Islands
- Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond
- Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home Scale Permaculture (2nd Edition) by Toby Hemenway
- Open Permaculture Guidebook for the Tropics by Timor Leste
- 2019 Whole Seed Catalog by Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
- Tissue Cultured Live Plants by Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
- Lillian Too’s Feng Shui for Interiors by Lillian Too
- Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things directed by Matt D’Avella (Video on Netflix)
- The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Mari Kondo
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
- The Garden Awakening by Mary Reynolds
November 26, 2018: The “Plant Swap” community workshop at Wok on the Beach was an interactive event with local plant expert, Ital Delroy Anthony, presented and identified local plants. CBCC hosted a table that provided the hard copies of the Vegetation for Erosion Control – A Manual for Residents handouts and information about Vetiver grass and other vegetation that residents could use for stormwater runoff. We had a wonderful time discussing and trading plants and gardening tips during the best time of year for planting – wet season!
April 21, 2016: CBCC hosted the Community Meetings / Plant Swap at the Agriculture Center that discussed 1) BMPs and erosion control techniques in landscaping as a part of the drafting process of the local Vegetation for Erosion Control – A Manual for Residents and 2) using stormwater management to properly design land subdivisions to reduce erosion.
You can check out all the presentations from this workshop by clicking on the links below:
- Controlling Erosion in Coral Bay – By Andres Torizzo, CPESC, CPSWQ, CISEC, Principal Hydrologist and Dana Allen, Water Quality Project Manager of Watershed Consulting Associates, LLC (WCA)
- Subdividing Land for Erosion Control and Efficient Driveway Placement – By Stephen Lamphear, a USVI certified Land Surveyor
Need some plant recommendations to stabilize your slopes? Check out some this species that were recommended to residents in the Gerda Marsh neighborhood the professionals of WCA. For more information for each plant species – see the noted pages in the Vegetation for Erosion Control – A Manual for Residents.
For the Short term and Roadside / Driveway situations:
- Page 34 – Spider lily, Lady bug or White lily (Menocallis caribaea)
- Page 36- Creeping inch plant, Bolivian jew, Turtle vine, Chain plant (Callisia repens)
For the Medium term, Steep slopes and Problems with feral livestock:
- Page 43 – Maran, Yellow maran, Solider whip (Croton flavens var. rigidus)
- Page 44 – Sage, Pink sage (Lantana involucrata)
For the Long term (Trees & Succulents) – Good for live-staking
- Page 52 –Turpentine tree, Cachibou, Gommier, Gumbo limbo, Red belly tree, Takantin, Tourist tree (Bursera simaruba)
- Page 57 – Seagrape tree, Grape tree (Cocoloba uvifera )
- Page 60 – White fig (Ficus citrifolia)
- Page 62 – Black mampoo, wild mampoo (Guapira fragrans)
- Page 63 – Water mampoo, loblolly, mampoo (Pisonia subcordata)
- Page 66 – Pink cedar, White cedar, Black cedar, Pink manjack tooshee (Tabebuia heterophylla)
- Page 68 – Century plant, karata (Agave missionum )
- Page 69 – Turk’s cap cactus, Pope’s head, barrel cactus (Melocactus intortus)
- Page 70 – Prickly pear, Miss blyden, Bullsucker (Opuntia dillenii)
What can you do you reduce soil erosion along roadsides and driveways? Keep vegetation at least 4″ high to trap sediment, promote infiltration and reduce stormwater runoff. Download full-size fliers in English and Spanish.
To find out more on how you can decrease development, pollution and landslide threats in your area, check out our Stormwater Management Tips. Or come by the office to discuss solutions to your stormwater issues.
Continuation of Quarterly Turbidity Monitoring
Why is that person standing out in the pouring rain with baggies? To collect stormwater samples for measuring turbidity (the amount of sediment being carried in the flowing stormwater)! Under this grant project CBCC, continued the existing stormwater turbidity monitoring efforts as a part of The Coral Bay Watershed Management Project and the associated 2014 Watershed Management Plan Update.
Check out the final Stormwater Turbidity Monitoring Memo (2015-2018) for more details and findings.