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World Water Day salute!

Water.  We all require it for life.  We all need CLEAN water and LOTS of it!  Caribbean SEA and TenneSEA work at the grassroots level to empower kids and their communities to get clean water.  The Flint, Michigan water disaster was a wake up call for many to realize that you cannot take your water for granted.  The changing precipitation patterns throughout the Caribbean have led to water scarcity or tremendous flooding events.  Atlanta, Georgia faces water shortages not just because of increases in water use, but also because of changing precipitation patterns.  We CANNOT take our water for granted.

Today, we salute three water champions : Valerie Constantin-Regis, Naomi Abraham Moon, and Randal Hale. Read more

CMS is now a Sponsor of Caribbean SEA

We have a new Sponsor!

CMS

From their website: “CMS is a dynamic and innovative company, specializing in onshore and inshore piling, construction and marine engineering within the Caribbean Region. We install pilings which we design to suit each environment in which we work. The customization and use of non traditional, state-of-the-art piling systems ensures minimal environmental impact, increased installation speed, minimal material wastage and consequently a lower project cost for our clients

It’s never too late to be a sponsor and help provide clean water and environmental education

 

Mankote Mangrove in St Lucia

Something else fun that we do? How about Mangroves.

What’s a Mangrove? From WikipediaMangroves are various large and extensive types of trees up to medium height and shrubs that grow in saline coastal sediment habitats in the tropics andsubtropics – mainly between latitudes 25° N and 25° S. The remaining mangrove forest areas of the world in 2000 was 53,190 square miles (137,760 km²) spanning 118 countries and territories.

Caribbean SEA Assisted with field studies at Makote Mangrove, the only real protected mangrove in St Lucia which saw such drought this year that the entire mangrove was dry, even the pond.  Our camps this summer also went there and our kids are helping with trash clean ups ….it has become quite the repository of trash both from dumping and floating plastic.

 

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The Mankote mangrove is a basin mangrove which at 40 hectares is the largest mangrove
in St. Lucia. The Crown has ownership of this land. It represents 20% of the total
mangrove area in St. Lucia (Portecop and Benito-Espinal 1985). Mangrove species
identified there include the red (Rhizophora mangle ), black (Avicennia germinans and
Avicennia schaueriana), white (Laguncularia racemosa) and buttonwood (Conocarpus
erecta) (Conservation & Sustainable livelihoods). Mankote is critical to the protection of
wildlife and for the control of erosion. 

 

 

Caribbean SEA Video on Kids 4 Coral 2014 at Ti Kaye

This work was helped sponsored by this donation .

Snorkeling with kids where trash is the theme.

 

You donations help make things like this possible.

May 2014 Newsletter is up

Sorry for the extended absence – things are happening which is why we’ve been a bit slow updating.

May2014

What’s happening to the Bay in St Lucia?

As most ecologists know, observing the same location over time tells you a story about what is going on with the health of the ecosystem. We have a small ecosystem in trouble….a favorite little bay in St. Lucia where Katie (and Nina and Sam, Kievan, Karim, and Selena and sometimes even Keiwa) likes to jump off of the high rocks. The reef was so beautiful when I first saw it many years ago. It still has a diverse array of coral species, but at least half of the bay now has mostly dead coral. The fish population was equally diverse, but now very few fish call the bay home. And what happened to all the sea urchins? They are such important grazers of the reef and none were there this week. It is likely that the Christmas Eve storm that devastated St. Lucia dislodged and killed the sea urchins. The sediment from the torrential rains from Hurricane Tomas in 2010 and again on Christmas Eve have seriously damaged the corals. Green algae is growing more abundantly, likely aided by nutrient enrichment. We have been challenged to try to reverse this process. Even as we can see that the corals of the outer bay seem to be healthier than just after Tomas, others are bleached and dyingtu volland feb 2014 from above

tu volland feb 2014 close up rocks

tu volland feb 2014 kayakers

tu volland green rocks morning. Do you think we can do it? I think it will take a concerted effort, particularly from those who live in this watershed or visit the bay, but I DO think it’s possible. Who wants to help?

Caribbean SEA received Funding from La Mer

Soufriere, January 24, 2014: Caribbean SEA received funding from La Mer, an Estee Lauder company to launch its Kids 4 Coral program in 2013. The goal is to teach one hundred children in Saint Lucia how to snorkel. Approximately 60 children from Vieux-Fort, Soufriere and Marigot learned how to snorkel in 2013. Kids 4 Coral will soon be conducted in Dennery and Castries. Participation is free and equipment is provided for use during the program.

The island of Saint Lucia, our home, is surrounded by many beautiful coral reefs, yet many Saint Lucians have never witnessed these majestic sights that many tourists travel hundreds of miles to see every year. Furthermore, many of the actions that we partake in on land have a huge negative impact on this delicate ecosystem, which not only puts at risk the diverse marine life that lives there, but also directly damages the livelihoods of those involved in the tourist and fishing industries.

In order to sensitize the youth of Saint Lucia to the beauty and importance of these reef ecosystems, we are started our “Kids 4 Coral” program. Through this program, we teach students ages 8 – 12 years how to snorkel, identify many of the local marine plants and animals, and how to make simple changes in their everyday lives to protect the underwater world. We also encourage parents to attend both the classroom and the snorkel sessions and have had great support particularly in Vieux-Fort. We work with lifeguards as well as dive and snorkel operators and other volunteers from the community who assist in running the program.

The program, which we have successfully run in Curaçao in the past, is a four week program which includes lessons on Coral Reefs, Mangroves, Seagrass, reef fish and associated species. A special lesson on the lionfish is also included and participants get to eat lionfish. The children get to enjoy snorkeling at four different beaches and reefs on the island, all whilst learning a new life skill. Each snorkeling experience is different and the children and a few parents get to see all the common reef species like parrotfishes, yellowtail snappers, trumpetfish, grunts and sergeant majors. We have had a few rare sightings of lobsters, mating octopi, a small sting ray, porcupine fish and a reticulated eel (pictured above, credit Saphira Hunt).

Caribbean SEA is grateful to our sponsor La Mer for making it possible to bring an appreciation of the sea and marine life to the youth of Saint Lucia. We would like to thank Shala Monroque and the Saint Lucia Tourist Board for their valued assistance. The program was featured in the May 2013 issue of Vogue magazine. Special thanks to our volunteers including Stella Clingman (PCV), Johnson Charles, Kimberly Charles, Tessa Hinds, lifeguards Germain and Coach Andy and operators Mystic Man Tours, Dive Fair Helen, Tides Dive Shop, Island Divers and Scuba St. Lucia.

We welcome volunteers who would like to assist. For more information contact the Program Director for Saint Lucia, Nadia Cazaubon via email at ncazaubon@caribbean-sea.org

SEA Creatures Activity 1: Upcycled Paper Necklaces

For the first week of the SEA Creatures club, we will be making nautical-themed necklaces with the kids’ names on them, almost completely out of upcycled materials!

(The parrot and iguana are examples from other projects – we will be using other animals.)

This project can be high in prep time, but is easy enough for kids as young as 5 to participate in.  It’s a great startoff project though because it helps to learn the kids’ names, separate them into smaller groups (each character type is a group), lets them be crafty and allows them to take something home to show their parents (which is important when trying to recruit kids for an after school activity!).  Hopefully they’ll learn some about the animals they are coloring and recycling while we are at it!

Big thank you to Nami, Afua, and Grace who helped design this craft!!

 

How to make an Upcycled Necklace:

For ages 5+ years

Preparations:

Character Pendant

Materials Necessary:
– white paper (best if reused!)
– thin cardboard (from cereal-type boxes) or cardstock
– glue
– scissors
– big needle
– colorful string (yarn is not recommended)
– this file is using my characters – Necklace Characters – Sea theme

How to:
1) Print the characters onto the white side of your reused paper. Cut them all out.
2) Glue the characters to the cardboard, fitting as many as possible onto each piece. Cut   them out.

3) Use a big needle to poke a hole at the top of each character.  Thread a piece of string (ours were about a meter long) through each hole.Alternative options:
-If you don’t have a printer, draw or trace characters onto the paper.
– In classrooms with enough scissors, allow older kids to cut their own characters out.
Paper Beads

Materials Necessary:
– colorful magazine (Thank you St. Lucia Tourist Board for donating ours!)
– scissors

How to:
1) Take pages of the magazine and cut into long triangle shapes.  They don’t need to be the same size.

 

Bottlecap Bead
Materials Necessary:
–  bottlecaps
–  nail
–  hammer
–  needle and thread
–  spare fabric
–  5cm (2-inch) diameter circle to trace

How to:
1) Use a nail and hammer to tap holes through the middle of your bottlecaps.
2) Cut fabric into circles with a 5cm or 2 inch diameter.

3) Sew the fabric onto the bottlecap.

 

 

 

Alternative option: You may let kids paint their bottlecaps instead (or spray paint them all beforehand).

 

Now we are ready to find some kids! I borrowed my neighbor to be my model.

Kids part:

Materials necessary:
– Character Pendants w/ string
– crayons/markers
– scrap colored paper if adding names
– paper strips for beads
– glue (sticks if possible)

1) The kids should try to make the beads first. Sometimes they get glue everywhere and the beads have to dry before they can thread them.  They need at least 5 beads (any odd number works though).

To make the beads:
Tell the kids to pick which side they like the most.  Put that side on the bottom and start rolling from the fat end. As you roll about halfway up, put glue on the skinny part of the triangle.
Younger kids will need help and they may be loosely wrapped once they finish, but it’s their craft so I leave it unless they ask for help.  Just grab the ends and pull the “tail” if they want it tighter though.Some kids will go very quickly – they can make more beads or move on to coloring!

2) Allow the kids to color the pendants. 

I don’t have the string on this parrot yet, but if you are working with a lot of kids, it’s better to have as much stringed up beforehand as possible.
Glue a piece of scrap paper with the children’s names on their characters.

3) Add beads.  We put both strings through one bead and the bottle cap (using a needle for the bottlecap), and then put the remaining beads on either side of the necklace.

Tie it all together and…

TA-DA!