The Palisadoes-Port Royal Protected Area (P-PRPA) is approximately 7,523 hectares (75.23 km2) and includes both terrestrial and marine areas. The Palisadoes tombolo (15km long), is considered an area of national importance owing to the various ecological, economic and social functions that it supports.
Wetland & Species
In a recent assessment of the Palisadoes area a total of five (5) species of reptiles were recorded (Technological and Environmental Management Network (TEMN), 2019); One (1) species was introduced while the others are endemic to Jamaica. Other endangered and vulnerable species within the area include the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus), green turtle (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) and bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops).
Green Sea Turtle
Mangroves are a critical part of the earth’s biosphere and have been beneficial to both man and nature. These special forests are however under constant threat from development along coastal zones and as a result, reduce their effectiveness as a species. The entire southern fringe of the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) runway is lined with red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle), black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) and white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa), however, they do not show the typical zonation of other mangrove habitats. The mangrove community becomes more prevalent again in proximity to the Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) and incinerator complex.
Palisadoes Spit Formation
The Palisadoes is a spit. It was made up of more than one spit in the past. There is evidence to support the belief that Port Royal was once an island however it is speculated that the island was linked together with other cays to the mainland by a series of spits (Robinson & Rowe 2015).
Evolution of the Coastline
The substratum of the Palisadoes coastal environment is comprised of sand with a significant difference between soil composition on the north (coral sand base) and south coast (siliceous sand base). At the start of the Holocene ~11.7 ka, ESL was ~60 m below present and rose at rate of~15 m/ka from ~11.4 to 8.2 ka.