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Montego Bay Marine Park 
Conserving and Restoring Coastal Resources

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international_coastal_cleanup_day_jamaica_montego_bay_marine_park_trustMontego Bay Marine Park Trust | Coastal Clean Up Day

By Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

Montego Bay Jamaica is known for its lovely beaches, however, one of the main reasons why we can enjoy these beaches without a care in the world is because of organizations such as the Montego Bay Marine Park.

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About the Montego Bay Marine Park

After almost thirty years of conservation campaigning, the Montego Bay Marine Park Trust was created in 1991 to maintain Jamaica's first marine park through the sustainable management of marine and coastal resources.

The Trust, a membership-based organization, is managed by qualified staff under the direction of an elected Board of Directors. Together with public and corporate partners, they aim to increase environmental awareness, encourage stewardship, and safeguard and restore this national treasure. The Trust is responsible for overseeing two Special Fishery Conservation Areas and a 15 square kilometre park in the over 100,000-person-strong tourist hub of Jamaica.

The Bogue Island Lagoon Special Fishery Conservation Area (Bogue Lagoon) and the Airport Point Special Fishery Conservation Area (Montego Bay Point) are two fish sanctuaries that make up the first Marine Protected Area (MPA) that has been designated in Jamaica. These regions, which cover more than 15 square kilometres of mixed-use coastal habitat, enjoy extensive legal protection that limits permissible use. Over 20 kilometres of shoreline, including coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangrove ecosystems, make up the almost 16 square kilometres of the mixed-use marine protected area (MPA) that makes up the Montego Bay Marine Park, which is the economic engine of the city.

1. Bogue Island Lagoon Special Fishery Conservation

One of Jamaica's first fish sanctuaries was the Bogue Lagoon Fish Sanctuary, established in 1979 and is currently a Special Fishery Conservation Area. The Bogue Lagoon, created originally as a game reserve, is still an essential nursery for young fish and crustaceans in the Montego Bay region.

2. Airport Point Special Fishery Conservation

The Airport Point Fish Sanctuary, established in 2009, was created primarily to lessen fishing intrusion in the park's eastern reaches and to lay the groundwork for the introduction of the EcoReef restoration project.

To achieve it's goals, the Montego Bay Marine Park takes on several projects. Some of these projects include:

Care & Protect Jamaica

The Trust's Care and Protect Jamaica (CPJ) program, which was started in 2014, has given over 10,000 youngsters access to educational opportunities.

International Coastal Cleanup

One of the most significant island-wide initiatives and a key program for educating the public about land-based pollution sources is the International Coastal Cleanup.

Wetlands Replenishment

Every year, the Montego Bay Marine Park Trust observes World Wetlands Day to promote awareness and encourage the restoration of mangrove wetlands that have suffered damage from weather and human activity.

To date, the Montego Bay Marine Park has had over 1000 volunteers, collected 8735 pounds of trash and recycled 21,060 plastic bottles, thatโ€™s impressive!

Montego Bay Marine Park Tours

The Montego Bay Marine Park is more than just hard work, to include a little fun, they offer several tours. They include:

Glass Bottom Boat Tour

This tour gives you the knowledge and exposure youโ€™ll need to broaden your understanding of environmental issues. While seeing the Airport Point Sanctuary, you will see both natural and man-made coastal features and gain some insight into Montego Bay's past. Through the boat, you can see various fish species, coral reefs, and seagrass habitats along the coast.

Sunset Lagoon Tour

Take a voyage into the Bogue Lagoon Islands Fish Sanctuary during this leisurely twilight tour. Bring your waterproof camera or other gear, and wear loose clothing. The tour departs every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 5:30 p.m. The tour lasts for an hour and a half, but it can last up to two hours. Make the most of the event by bringing your music, food, and drink!

Bird Watching Tour

You may see our feathery friends fly home to roost as the sun begins to set. On this excursion, you'll get to watch and identify many seabird species as they migrate back to the mangrove island they name "Bird Island." You get to encounter them in their native habitat, gain cues about their behaviour, and learn how to recognize them at various life stages.

Sunset Bay Tour

Take in Montego Bay's magnificent sunset beauty! Youโ€™ll enjoy this voyage in the sunset atmosphere for one and a half to two hours.

If you are a certified scuba diver or snorkeller, you can also contact the Montego bay marine park and they will arrange for you to be taken to some of the best sites around Montego Bay.

Montego Bay Marine Park Contact:

Address: Pier One Complex, Howard Cooke Boulevard
Montego Bay, St. James
Phone: (876) 952-5619

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References & Sources For Montego Bay Marine Park

  1. Resources | Montego Bay Marine Park. (n.d.). Resources | Montego Bay Marine Park.
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