It's been three years since the "ribbon was cut" celebrating
the opening of The Frank Kenyon Centre! It seems like yesterday, until
we reminisce about all that has happened since then and all who have
stayed there. From Green Turtle Cay's Amy Roberts Primary School to
National Geographic's Exploration group, scientists doing research on
climate change, coral, sharks, lizards, mangroves, turtles... scientists
from Harvard, Woods Hole, UC Davis, Duke University, University of
Miami, NC State, Plymouth University... A sincere thank you to everyone
who made it happen! I tell the story so often of how the generous
support from all the donors made The Kenyon Centre a reality. And since
then there has been continued support to ensure that environmental
education and conservation continues in Abaco and beyond. I can't
express my gratitude enough for all of you who share in the vision and
passion for protecting Abaco's environment and supporting FRIENDS and
The Frank Kenyon Centre. Thank You!
Friends of the Environment
Fragments of an Ecosystem: Campaign Success!!
to those of you who supported the campaign by following or donating.
Conch Salad TV exceeded their minimum goal and will be able to produce
the documentary sharing how conservation and research can help Haiti's
fisheries! Also, FRIENDS will be listed as an executive producer and
will be included in the opening credits. Stay tuned for news as the
project moves forward. Next month, we'll be planning some student
outreach in Abaco with Dr. Jake Allgeier!
Field trip season!
field trips are in full swing here at FRIENDS for the month of April!
Our education department has had field trips with Central Abaco Primary
(96 students total), St. Francis de sales Catholic School (20 students
total) and Long Bay School (10 students) this month. These field trips
included a mixture of learning about ecosystems and fossils found in
them, taking students out to the mangrove ecosystems at Camp Abaco, and
having a tour of the Natural History Museum located at FRIENDS' office
(learn more about the museum here).
10 & 11 students of Patrick J. Bethel High School (PJB) and Forest
Heights Academy (FHA) completed year 2, phase 3 and year 1, phase 3 of
the B.A.M. program at the end of this month. Since 2015, FRIENDS has partnered with the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation to make this program possible. Through
this program, students are able to go out in the field and conduct
research on mangroves over a period of 2 years. Each year only gets
better and we are thankful for this partnership! Thank you especially to
Amy Heemsoth and the faculty and staff at PJB and FHA for making this
Science Fair - November 15th
Theme: Investigating and implementing ways to eliminate single-use plastics. More info on project criteria and deadlines. We are having fun planning the fair, and looking forward to seeing what the students come up with!
Kenyon Centre Update
It's our 3rd Anniversary!
marks three years since we opened the doors of the Kenyon Centre. It
sure has been a busy time, and we are very proud of the progress we have
made. The partnerships that we have built and continue to build are
setting up a sustainable model for research, conservation, and education
in The Bahamas.
- Over 450 people toured, learning about our programs
Over 30 different research projects facilitated through the centre,
many are on-going and include community outreach components.
- 53 different groups/institutions utilizing the centre, many repeat guests.
- Kenyon Centre and FRIENDS building running on solar energy
- Native plant gardens started
Founder Frank Kenyon cuts the ribbon, officially opening the research centre which was dedicated in his name.
Shark Research Update:
As part of the Global FinPrint project,
researchers have been filming sharks in coral reef and seagrass
habitats throughout Abaco over the last several years. They recorded 10
the work of FRIENDS by facilitating scientific research and outreach,
and promoting sustainable development in Abaco, Bahamas.
Chasing Coral showing at the Hope Town Harbour Lodge
This past Friday we had a full house of interested community members and visitors join us for a showing of Chasing Coral at Hope Town Lodge. Chasing Coral dives into the exquisite underwater world of the coral reef ecosystem hidden beneath the waves. It taps
into the collective will and wisdom of an ad man, a self-proclaimed
coral nerd, top-notch camera designers, and renowned marine biologists
as they invent the first time-lapse camera to record bleaching events as
they happen. We were also joined by Craig Dahlgren of the
Perry Institute for Marine Science, who is doing coral reef research
and restoration around The Bahamas. We had a very interactive discussion
with great questions asked, and are hopeful for the future of this
ecosystem here! Thank you to everyone who came out! Here's a guide to things you can do in your daily life to help coral reefs.
Hope Town Zero Waste Program Launched
Hope Town Zero Waste Program aims to reduce waste generated in Hope Town
by implementing systems and activities reflecting the 4R's (refuse,
reduce, reuse, recycle). The goal of the program is to develop a model
of waste diversion and mitigation that can be replicated in other
communities and islands. The program is a partnership that includes Hope
Town Primary, Hope Town Association, and St. James Community Centre,
and is funded by the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Program
through the United Nations Development Program (GEF SGP UNDP).
A display by the Hope Town Zero Waste Program demonstrating items that can replace single-use plastic in our daily lives.
Bahamas National Trust Publishes Abaco Marine Park Management Plan
Bahamas National Trust (BNT) recently published a 10 year plan for
management of four marine parks in Abaco: Walker's Cay National Park,
Black Sound Cay Reserve, Fowl Cays National Park, and Pelican Cay's Land
and Sea Park. These four parks were combined into one plan taking into
account the reality of resources and staff being shared between the
sites. Information provided in the plan was developed through community
consultation and research. The plan highlights park resources and
threats to those resources and includes ways to mitigate those threats.
The 10 year budget amounts to $13,374,560 and includes the need for 11
staff members across all four parks. The BNT will be reaching out to the
community for further assistance in implementing the plan.
Bahamas commits to phasing out single-use plastic and styrofoam containers by 2020
The Ministry of Environment and Housing created a taskforce
comprising of The Ministry of Tourism, The Ministry of Health, The
Ministry of Finance, The Customs Department, The University of The
Bahamas, The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers
Federation (BCCEC), The Bahamas Plastic Movement, The Nature Conservancy
(TNC), Atlantis Paradise Island and Baha Mar Ltd., to advance an
inclusive national campaign to phase out single-use plastics such as
plastic bags, straws, food utensils and Styrofoam containers by 2020. By
implementing a plastic and Styrofoam ban, The Bahamas will join more
than 40 countries around the world including parts of the United States,
The United Kingdom, Denmark, Ireland, Kenya, Rwanda, Haiti, and Antigua
and Barbuda; that have already enforced or are in the process of
formulating bans on selected plastic and Styrofoam products.
Executive Director Cha Boyce congratulates Minister Ferreira (Ministry of the Environment) on the Ministry's progress.