Antigua and Barbuda are a twin island nation located in the northern Eastern Caribbean archipelago. Antigua is a volcanic island with scattered hills and highly undulating coastline. Barbuda is a flat low lying coral island rising only 45 m above sea level.
Antigua has fringing coral reefs which protect large portions of the east, north and south coasts, while the west coast has larger areas of sandy bottom and scattered reefs to the far west. The Northeast corner has an indented coastline with a wide shelf that supports the greatest coral reef development and highest living coral cover. The North East Marine Management (NEMMA) is located in this subregion, stretching from Beggar’s Point in the north to Friar’s Head in the south. The southern portion of Antigua has less developed fringing reefs and large areas of continuous low relief hard bottom areas with many small coral heads and numerous gorgonians. The west coast has a wide sandy shelf with continuous low relief hard bottom areas with many small coral heads and numerous gorgonians further offshore in deeper depths of 10-15. The leeward side of Barbuda is protected from direct oceanic waves and has the most extensive seagrass areas, mangroves, the highly productive Codrington Bay and some isolated patch reefs to the south. The southern portion of Barbuda is slightly more protected and has the most extensive patch reefs with the highest coral cover. Remnant reefs consist of elkhorn and mountainous star coral.
AGRRA surveys were conducted at 14 sites in 2005.
The Climate-Resilient Eastern Caribbean Marine Managed Areas Network (ECMMAN) project published six Eastern Caribbean Coral Reef Report Cards – a series of individual reports for the 6 participating countries, which provide an easy-to-understand summary of the state of the region’s marine resources. The Report Cards collate data from 277 comparable coral reef surveys and map in detail 383 km² of coral reefs, 19 km² of mangrove, 286 km² of seagrass, 44 designated and 50 proposed Marine Managed Areas (MMA).