ITME - Marine Habitats of Dominica Version 2008
 Region North: From Capucin to Melville Hall River

Facing the Guadeloupe Channel, the northern shores of of Dominica are characterized by a diverse array of habitats. While the area between Capucin and Carib Point (1) is characterized by cliffs and a rocky sublittoral with low epibenthic cover, seagrass beds, and fringing reef systems line many bays and coves between Blenheim and Pointe La Soie.

The fringing reefs in this region constitute the largest area of this habitat type in Dominica. White sandy beaches are also found in this region and are testament of the extensive reef formations which are the source of the "white sand" made from ground up coral skeletons and other calcareous structures produced by organisms. On the windward side of the small islands sheltering Hodges Bay, the sea floor (for thousands of square meters) is "tiled" by fragments of the branching "elkhorn coral" A. palmata skeletons. This is another indication of how important this species used to be in shaping the coral reefs of the northern region. The North also harbors the widest shelf areas of Dominica with a width of over 1 km at some locations possibly including extensive deep reef systems.

The seagrass beds of this region are marked by the abundance of Thalassia, which is far less abundant along the western shores. Reef flats (e.g Anse Soldat, Calibishie) and sheltered bays (e.g. Hodges Bay) are where they are typically found. To date, invasive species have not been identified in this region.

For each of the following areas, colored dots (see key below map) mark the presence of specific habitats baring sessile epibenthic communities.

The areas / sites are: 1. Capucin to Carib Point; 2. Carib Point to Blenheim River (work in progress); 3. Blenheim River to Pointe La Soie; 4. Pointe La Soie to Melville River (work in progress).



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