Monday, September 3, 2018

                             FRIENDS 30yr logo

Celebrating 30 years of conservation and environmental education!
Friends of the Environment E-Newsletter
Established in 1988
August 2018
Save the Date
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It's been another great summer at FRIENDS!  We're now looking forward to the coming months and have been busy planning for school visits, field trips, after school clubs and our annual science fair. Environmental education and awareness are the key to protecting our resources for the future.  The more we know about Abaco's beautiful environment the more likely we are to be protective of the treasures we have here. Thank you to all who share in the vision of protecting our environment and to all who support FRIENDS so we can continue with our efforts in helping to make a difference.   It's the entire team, all of us, working together that helps make it all happen.

Cha Boyce
Executive Director
Friends of the Environment

Education Update 
Camp hosted in Grand Cay
Our summer camp programs successfully concluded at our final camp in Grand Cay from August 1st-3rd. Education Director Cassandra Abraham goes back to her roots in Grand Cay every summer to make this camp possible. Thirty-six kids attended and learned about marine animals and conservation, and enjoyed all the activities that came along with it! Campers shared that the highlight of the camp was a day of swimming and exploring a sandy beach, a great ending to a phenomenal summer.
Thank you EVERYONE for your encouragement and support that helped make our summer camps successful! 
Follow our Facebook and Instagram pages to see all the photos! 

Save the date: After School Programs!
Back to school means back to our weekly after school programs! If your child is between the ages of 3-16, they won't want to miss this. 
Programs begin the week of September 24th. 

We offer three programs:
Eco-Scouts (ages 6-11): Weekly on Mondays, 3:30-4:45pm 
Island Investigators (ages 12-16):  Weekly on Wednesdays, 3:30-4:45pm
Sea Beans (ages 3-5): Weekly on Thursdays, 3:30-4:45pm (Starting date Oct. 4th)

Sign up online or at our office in Marsh Harbour.  

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! Teachers, note that this year projects should include an action component (not just research).
Highlight: Kenyon Centre

This year makes 3 years since FRIENDS opened the Frank Kenyon Centre for Research, Education, and Conservation. The Kenyon Centre is designed for the purpose of hosting groups doing research, education or service projects in Abaco at a low cost, while supporting FRIENDS' mission for conservation and sustainability. These groups include school groups (primary, high school and university), scientists offering field courses, and scientists doing long or short-term research in Abaco's environment. Affiliated with FRIENDS, the Kenyon Centre offers the option of education packages during your stay, such as presentations on and trips to the blue holes, mangroves and sandy beach ecosystems in Abaco. 

You could be the next group to stay at our centre! Visit our website for booking and to learn more information. Interested in partnership, or have questions about organizing a trip to Abaco? Just contact us, and we'd be happy to help!

Kenyon Centre

Kenyon Centre Vision: 

Support the work of FRIENDS by facilitating scientific research and outreach, and promoting sustainable development in Abaco, Bahamas.
Community News: 

Abaco Marine Parks - check the boundaries
Thank you to our partners at the Bahamas National Trust for providing these updated maps showing the boundaries for some of Abaco's most popular marine parks. Please refer to these before you visit! These parks are all "no take" with the exception of Walker's Cay National Park, which is zoned for three different uses. Stay tuned for the 2019 Cruising Guide to Abaco by White Sound Press which will reflect these updates.

Walker's Cay National Park

Black Sound Cay National Reserve

Fowl Cays National Park
Fowl Cays National Park boundaries

Pelican Cays Land and Sea Park


"Songs at Sunset" with Elizabeth at the Abaco Inn

Thank you to Elizabeth Covington for volunteering her time and talent to entertain a crowd at the Abaco Inn for Songs at Sunset on August 3rd! It was a beautiful evening for an outdoor event, and we are grateful to the Abaco Inn for hosting us. Thank you also to our surprise performer, "Ryan Holt" for singing a few songs and helping with the sound equipment. We appreciate everyone who came out to join us and supported our education programs through donations and merchandise purchases.

Project Coral

Thanks to sponsorship from the BEP Foundation, FRIENDS has been able to undertake an outreach project to help raise awareness about the importance of corals. Project activities will include building coral nurseries with high school students, and the filming and release of a video about coral restoration and conservation efforts in Abaco (stay tuned for release in Spring 2019). 

Follow our Facebook and Instagram pages for tips on how you can change your routine in simple ways to help coral reefs!

Abaco's Environment in Photos: Overcoming Obstacles, Sea Turtle Style

Between the months of May-October, female sea turtles make their way back to the beaches that they originally hatched on to lay their eggs for the next generation of turtles in our oceans. Female sea turtles lay their eggs far up on the shore, but sometimes run into obstacles caused by humans. In this case, the female was successful in laying her nest (see bottom left photo), but it is obvious that she had to divert her course. 

As a home owner/caretaker of an ocean-front residence, here's what you can do to help female sea turtles in their nesting process:
  • Turn off all ocean-facing lights at night, or use turtle-safe bulbs. Bright lights may discourage female turtles from nesting, or cause hatchlings to become confused and go in the wrong direction. (They rely on the reflection of the moon on the ocean at night to guide them where they need to go). More info
  • Remove all beach furniture after use (such as umbrellas, beach chairs, beach towels, etc.)
  • Fill holes and knock down all sandcastles built
  • Pick up any trash that you may see on the beach
Thank you for doing your part! 

Thanks to local community members for helping The Bahamas Sea
 Turtle Network with turtle nesting observations:
Rudi Verspoor, Christi Sherouse, MJ Jacobs-Smith and David Smith, Connie and Mike Zeckendorf

Friends of the Environment, PO Box AB 20755, Marsh Harbour, Abaco, Bahamas