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St. Lucia We Love

The title of the catchy calypso song from a few years ago, St Lucia, We Love, really captured the essence of this trip to our Caribbean home base.  While the traffic was horrendous, the place and people were simply wonderful.  I learned about regattas by being a helper for the Yacht Club’s Mango Bowl Regatta, thanks to Lily!  Two experiences made the trip exceptional. One was all about our young people who have grown up into smart, caring young adults who are doing great things in their communities.  It made my year to talk  to and watch Neige, Kimberly, Keiwa, Kievan, and Pernill in action making their country a better place! The other is working with the

kids of today who are participating in community or school environmental clubs  and who have such great enthusiasm and joy in being together under the watchful eyes of a caring teacher like Valerie or our fabulous colleagues in the Peace Corps, Sean and Sarah, or our very own Nadia! Our reusable grocery bags were a big hit!  The Marigot kids earned money for their projects by selling them all so very fast!  Now we are working with a small grocer to also sell them for us. The grocery stores in St. Lucia no longer give out plastic bags, so this is great timing!

If we all just loved St. Lucia (or our own country) just a little bit more, then maybe our waters would be clean again and the plastic bags and straws and bottles wouldn’t be covering our ocean gyres.  Love St. Lucia!

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.

 

IMG_1645 IMG_1649
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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

McCallie School Trip to St Lucia

McCallie

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