Thursday, June 4, 2020

Friends of the Environment May E-News

Preserving the environment of Abaco, The Bahamas through education, conservation and research facilitation. 
Friends of the Environment E-Newsletter
Established in 1988
May 2020
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Future Events

July 2020
Official dates TBD
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Dear readers,

Abaco's youth are on our minds, always. Planning and discussing summer camp is our go-to topic right now. We can not predict what July will bring, but FRIENDS' summer camp will happen. What camp will look like and when it will happen will be determined in time. We have all been through so much and the world continues to throw challenges our way. Abaco's children need an outlet, and we will do our best to provide a safe, fun and educational space, and continue to share the natural world with them. These kids are wise and insightful and have something to say. As we adults have our stories, so do they. We will be there to listen and share, because at the end of the day what's important and brings change is the voice of the next generation and what kids want and need and deserve is for us to literally just show up. Thank you to all those who support FRIENDS programs, your support makes it possible for us to all show up together.  
We are looking forward to once again getting kids out into Abaco's environment, sharing stories and seeing smiling faces.

We are excited to be planning a "ZOOM" FRIEND'S member update, on June 23, the meeting information is listed below. 
I hope you will join us.

Cha Boyce
Executive Director 
Reminder: Stone Crab Season closes June 1st

June 1st marks the beginning of the closed season for Stone Crabs. Season is closed through October 15th. Let's support a sustainable fishery and respect the closed season!
In the meantime, why not try lion fish?
Join us for a FRIENDS Member Update!

We are so grateful for the never-ending support of our members. Without you, we wouldn't be where we are today. To give you an update on what we've been up to and what we're planning for the future, we'd like to invite you to a ZOOM event
on Tuesday, June 23rd at 1:00pm. 

To join the meeting, click here 

or, enter the meeting ID and password:
Meeting ID: 874 7464 4680
Password: 191939

If you don't already have Zoom on your phone or computer, you can  download the application here
Education Update

Summer Camp 2020
It's that time of year again, and we're coming back like never before! We are excited to announce our plans to host summer camp this year. 

 NEW overnight camps, activities, topics, field trips and more! 
Stay tuned for more updates on our Facebook and Instagram pages. 

**Restrictions in place due to COVID-19, subject to change.**

Summer Camp Testimony
Camper Spotlight: Brad Cooper, age 16
Years attending FRIENDS summer camps/programs: 6

"Growing up on a family island I've always had a love for my environment. The Friends of the Environment summer camp has helped me develop a passion for learning more on how I can help to protect and take care of it. I hope there will be a summer camp this year so just like me, someone else can learn to love the environment like I did." 

More Summer Program Opportunities: 
Whale Camp!

Bahamas 100k Tree Planting Initiative

To support The Bahamas' 100k Tree Planting Initiative, FRIENDS has formed a partnership with Sustainable Lifestyle, a new group out of Nassau who have made it their aim to use the 2030 UN Sustainability goals to develop sustainable lifestyles in order to reduce our individual carbon footprints, thus ensuring a higher quality of life for future generations. Sustainable Lifestyle is spearheading the Bahamas project as part of the Caribbean Philanthropic Alliance's regional million tree planting initiative.

The goal of the Bahamas campaign is to educate the public about the importance of native trees and their roles in the environment, and to stimulate a sense of national unity through community involvement, partnerships, and philanthropy while achieving the overall objective of planting 100,000 trees. 

 The goal for Abaco alone is to plant 17,500 trees to aid in environmental recovery following Hurricane Dorian!

You can help make that happen! It's easy:
Plant a tree in your neighborhood or backyard today!
(or, already planted one? That counts too!)
Report types, quantities, and location of planted trees here.  

Visit our Facebook page for more on the campaign and information on suggested trees to plant.

Bahamas National History Conference 
Webinar Series

The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) has announced their plans to host this years Bahamas National History Conference (BNHC) as a virtual webinar series. This virtual webinar will take place weekly on Wednesday's, beginning Wednesday June 10th at 10:00AM (EDT). The series will continue into August. 

The first session is themed "Hurricane Dorian: Reports from the Field". If you are interested, please register here.
For more information, visit
Marine Debris Assessment
We are investigating priority areas for debris cleanup in each community. Help us out by sharing your community's concerns!

Click here to complete survey and help identify marine debris locations in The Sea of Abaco
Shout Out to Local Solar Companies:

Please email us with contact information and we can pass it on to those interested in going solar in Abaco.

Research Spotlight: Coral Reef Publication

New research was published on May 21st 2020 highlighting a reef near to our hearts, Mermaid Reef, located off Marsh Harbour. Research concluded that this particular reef is able to withstand environmental conditions that are seemingly unfavourable to other reefs in Abaco. 
Read more here.

Mermaid Reef

These research expeditions were led by scientists from The Perry Institute for Marine Science, along with scientists from Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, SECORE International, the University of South Florida and Middlebury College. 

CORRECTION from April 2020's Research Spotlight 
(Dr. Jake Allgeier)
Last month, we highlighted research done by Dr. Jake Allgeier on artificial reef research. It has come to our attention that the presentation link did not work. Please see the updated link here

Environmental Highlight
First Turtle Nests for the Season! 

loggerhead tracks
green turtle nest

We are excited to see turtle nesting activity on Elbow Cay, the first nesting season following Hurricane Dorian! We will be keeping track of nesting activity and collecting reports from the community. If you see tracks or nesting, please take photos and send to FRIENDS or the Bahamas Sea Turtle Network along with information on the location, date, and time. 

*It is illegal to harass, harvest, purchase or sell any species of sea turtle or product (eggs, shells) in The Bahamas. It is also illegal to disturb or tamper with sea turtle nests. 

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