The relative stability of Tobago’s shoreline was evaluated using the coastal protection framework developed by IMA and WRI. Data on coastal geomorphology, geology, wave height, storm events, and elevation, as well as coral reef type, continuity, and distance offshore were integrated to evaluate the stability of the shoreline for all of Tobago. Areas with steeply cliffed coastlines as well as areas protected by coral reefs have some of the highest stability values.
The framework was also used to evaluate the contribution of coral reefs to shoreline stability. The relative reef contribution is zero in areas not protected by a coral reef, and ranges from about 25 percent where the shoreline has relatively good protection due to other factors, to 42 percent where the shoreline would be most vulnerable without the reef. The relative share of protection provided by coral reefs is particularly high behind the Buccoo Reef in southwest Tobago and in Roxborough Bay, as well as along several other portions of the windward coast.