The coastline of Barbados is central to the lives of all Barbadians. It features an environment of tremendous intrinsic and extrinsic value in terms of its natural and human assets and is under pressure because of the demands on these resources. Management of this environment is a complex task, requiring the involvement of many organizations and individuals, requiring action at the local, national, and even regional and global scales.
In Barbados, like many other parts of the world, the idea of integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) is considered to be the way forward. This process goes beyond the traditional approach to planning and management activities on an individual basis. Instead the aim is to focus on the synergistic effects of all coastal activities to seek a desirable outcomes. Sustainable use, with environmental considerations underlying decision making in all sectors of activity, provides the basis for this type of management. It is geared towards holistically dealing with the coastal environment – watersheds, coastal land, the nearshore, and offshore – and being forward-looking, as well as trying to resolve problems associated with current coastal use.