Preserving the environment of Abaco, The Bahamas through education, conservation and research facilitation.
Students from Patrick J. Bethel High School and Forest Heights Academy interact with marine invertebrates in their classrooms.
February proved to be a busy month with field trips to the mangroves, a coral reef and a rocky shoreline! Long Bay School explored the mangroves at high tide, learning about the 4 types of mangroves found in The Bahamas and other flora and fauna in the ecosystem. Grade 12 students of Forest Heights Academy took a plunge into Mermaid Reef and saw many species including parrotfish, sea cucumbers, sergeant majors and more. Every Child Counts explored a rocky shoreline and saw chitons, a sea anemone and sponges. It has been a great season of field trips thus far. We are looking forward to more! If you would like to sign your school up for a field trip or presentation, please contact our education team.
FRIENDS had the opportunity to do some presentations around the island this month. Our education team participated in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Career Fair, where they spoke to over 100 students about different career opportunities in science and conservation. Our team also traveled to Cooper's Town to visit S.C. Bootle High School to give a talk about FRIENDS and what we do, which lead to scheduling a school-wide clean up with students from S.C. Bootle for next month. FRIENDS was also invited to speak at the Parent Teacher Associations' (PTA) meeting for Long Bay School about "Project Coral". Here, they discussed efforts of the project, and how we are fulfilling it via classroom presentations, field trips and the building of coral tree nurseries.
Kenyon Centre Update:
Highlighting a research stay
In mid-February a small team of researchers from the U.S., including Todd Pover, from Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, and Walker Golder and Matt LaBarr, representing the National Audubon Society, who organized this expedition, spent a week surveying for piping plovers on Abaco. A large number of piping plovers, an at-risk listed species in the U.S. and Canada where they breed, spend their winters in the Bahamas, including at least 200 scattered across Abaco. Annual winter surveys have been completed here since 2011, the early years were spent locating feeding and roosting locations where they tend to congregate, and identifying important habitat, while more recent surveys have focused on band resighting to help researchers learn more about survival and movements along the migratory flyway.
Marsh Harbour Reef Ball
From the auction at the dinner table to the entertainment on the dance floor, Marsh Harbour Reef Ball was one for the books. Guests were welcomed for cocktails and to start the night off with our silent auction, and then seated to enjoy a lovely meal during our live auction. Everyone danced the night away under the stars on the outside deck of Da Blue Hole to the sounds of "Suppa Time", ending the night with a celebration!
Thank you to David Thompson at Da Blue Hole, our auctioneer Michael Albury, and all of our guests, volunteers, and community supporters who made this night possible.
SAVE THE DATE:
Abaco Science Alliance Conference
Abaco Science Alliance Conference
Highlighting Environmental Warriors in our Community:
Capt. Errol Thurston, Jr.
Errol Thurston Jr., a local businessman of company "Errol Thurston Bahamas", has been leading Abaconians in community and coastal cleanups during the month of February. Thurston is a well-known boat captain, specializing in excursions such as boating, spearfishing, diving and more. According to the most recent publication from local newspaper "The Abaconian", Errol, or "Lil T" as he is affectionately called, came up with the idea to do island-wide cleanups while he had spare time due to bad weather. From this, he has led a variety of cleanups around Abaco, some including Baker's Creek and Tilloo Beach. With the help of his family leading this cause with him, as well as community members, over 100 bags of trash have already been collected. Errol would like to encourage everyone to join the effort as he believes in the importance of a clean and healthy environment.
FRIENDS would like to say "well done" to Captain Thurston and his team for their passion to raise awareness on pollution, their hard work, and community involvement in the matter. Let's keep Abaco beautiful together!
Follow his Facebook page to learn more about what he's doing.
You can do your part by not anchoring on coral reefs. When available, use moorings, or
anchor away from the reef.