Mangrove restoration in The Bahamas

Bonefish Pond, The Bahamas. Image: via Panoramio.
Biodiversity

As part of the Global Environment Facility-funded Integrated Water and Coastal Area Management (IWCAM) Project, the Bahamas National Trust and The Nature Conservancy spearheaded the restoration of the Bonefish Pond National Park, removing tonnes of waste, improving water flow, and replanting mangroves.  Five years after the conclusion of IWCAM Project, monitoring shows that the project’s impacts and benefits continue:

[T]hough the project has closed, the project team is basking in their achievements and continuing efforts to ensure the sustainability of the Bonefish Pond National Park.

One significant achievement is that visibility of the pond has improved significantly and the wildlife, too is increasing. In recent times, the team recorded 100 fishes from 10-12 species living in the pond. In addition, twenty mangrove plots have been added bringing the total numbers of mangrove trees replanted or transplanted to six hundred and thirty-five.

The project is not without the involvement of youth. Using community and school groups such as the Discovery Club, the Governor General’s Youth Award Programme and the Young Marine Explorers, local high school students are gaining valuable experience in protecting the marine environment through the replanting of mangroves and monitoring the progress of their activities.

Lindy Knowles, project representative from the Bahamas National Trust, explained how the team was working in spite of all the challenges. ‘We lost a large number of our mangrove plants initially because of where the trees were planted in relation to the water, we learnt some lessons and we have been successful in replanting 50-70% of those plants’.

He added that the rate of the growth of mangrove plants in The Bahamas is not as rapid as the rate in other islands, but that the team is experimenting with other mangrove species to establish solutions that work best for the island.

Invasive species as well as local mariners and fishermen also present concerns. As a result, removal of invasive species as well as education, capacity building, outreach and awareness are some of the top priorities. The establishment of a visitors centre, improving fish life, improving the consistency of water quality and continued efforts to remove invasive species are also among the plans for the National Park.

Knowles says that the aim is to enhance the park, restore it to its once pristine condition and to continue to protect those areas that are worth protecting.

In the long-term, The Bahamas will experience greater benefits as increased fish life means greater food security and robust mangrove plants mean protection from the ill-effects of climate change and greater reduction in the effects of hurricanes and flooding.

Find out more from UN Environment’s Caribbean Environment Programme.

[Image: via Panoramio]

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

23 Nov 2018 - Brussels, Belgium - Initialing of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement between Guyana and the European Commission. © Bernal Revert/ BR&U via Guyana Forestry Commission.
Biodiversity
Guyana and EU sign agreement to improve forest governance and promote legal timber trade

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that Guyana and the European Union recently finalised a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) under the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) programme: Guyana and the European Union (EU) have concluded a six-year process of negotiations towards a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), which …

Imperial Amazon parrot, Dominica. Image: via earth.com
Biodiversity
Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots is revealed to have engaged in questionable practices, including in the Caribbean

From the Guardian, a comprehensively researched exposé of a shady “conservation” organisation and its questionable dealings in endangered parrots, including birds from Dominica, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots (ACTP) is home to one of the largest private collections of threatened …

Belizer Barrier Reef. Image: Nancy Gerard Bégin
Biodiversity
Belize and Australia exchange experiences on barrier reef conservation and World Heritage Site management

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the largest is the world’s largest coral reef system. The Belize Barrier Reef is part of the world’s second largest coral reef system, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (also known as the Great Mayan Reef).  Both the Great Barrier Reef and the Belize Barrier Reef …