#WorldEnvironmentDay, I AM THE CHANGE!

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Today has been an event filled day here at CEI. We held many from around the world to celebrate our love of nature and living sustainable. People from all over the world such as Africa, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, and Bahamians came together in one spot to learn about how we all are connected through our love of the water.

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Celine Cousteu=au, granddaughter of Jacques Cousteau.

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5 Gyres Co-Founder, Marcus Erikson.

We have been graced by the presence of people such as Marcus Erikson and Anna Cummins, Co-founders of 5Gyres. The ever majestic Celine Cousteau, guests from United Nations Environment Programme UNEP, Bahamas Plastic Movement, and Jack Johnson.

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UNEP Director, Naysán Sahba (Left) and new UN Ambassador of Goodwill, Jack Johnson (Right). Image courtesy of @UNEP.

Yes…THE Jack Johnson. And he was officially signed in as the UN Ambassador of Goodwill. How awesome is that? Something as powerful as this, captured right here in Cape.

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Going to events around the world, to bring back opportunities for young Bahamians-Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald

The Minister of Education of Science and Technology, the Honourable Jerome Fitzgerald was here as well delivering a powerful message in spreading the opportunities that other countries and private institutions have with their students to Bahamians. I was touched by his words in going out to other places, meeting new individuals, and networking to bring back knowledge for us, the people.

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Kristal Ambrose, founder of BPM. Image courtesy of BPM.

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Say it with me “I AM THE CHANGE!”-Kristal Ambrose 2015

Another familiar face today, Kristal Ambrose. She is the founder of BPM, Bahamas Plastic Movement where her goal is to rid The Bahamas of single use plastics by 2020. She gathers her inspiration from working at Atlantis on Paradise Island in Nassau, New Providence. Here she worked with the Turtle Sanctuary. Over a period of time during her stay there, she noticed that one of the turtles would keep to themselves and barely ate. Upon calling the vet to come in and check to see what was the matter, it was discovered that there was a blockage. come to find out, it was plastic. She remembers vividly having to hold the front flippers of the turtle, hearing it cry in agony as they would pull plastic from it rectum.

From then on, she was on a mission to figure out where this plastic came from and how WE can combat it.

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Alexio Brown (familiar name yet?) spoke on behalf of future Bahamian researchers to come during the Ribbon Cutting of the new graduate studies building. He recalls fondly of his time here at Island School as a student, becoming and intern, and now a research assistant at CEI. He strengthens the need for this building for Bahamians to come home to conduct their research in their own backyard.

There was even a fun beach clean up for everyone to join in.

It is happening, slowly but surely, the growing awareness that WE ARE THE CHANGE.


Please follow these wonderful people on their respective platforms on their personal Websites, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

5 Gyres

Bahamas Plastic Movement

Celine Cousteau

UNEP

#DeepCleanDeepCreek, Bringing the Community Together to Care

 The clean up team posing in front of one of the truckloads of trash collected.

Image courtesy of CEI.

Within the past few weeks, members of the Deep Creek community have come together to #deepcleandeepcreek. The lead of this deep clean is a recent resident of Deep Creek, Flats Intern Georgie. Thanks to her and others of the CEI community, this has become a success that will continue as long as there are people passionate for their work.

Georgie has gotten together with Deep Creek Middle School and Deep Creek Primary School to foster and encourage the concept of trash and the importance of proper disposal.

Get the full story here.

#ParentsWeek, Showing What We learned

Only a piece of the awesomeness.

Only a piece of the awesomeness.

A quick update on the festivities at Island School.

http://blog.ceibahamas.org/2015/05/31/is-students-shine-in-sp-15-parents-week-presentations/

#EatMoreLionfish, Creating a Demand

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#EatMoreLionfish outreach flyer made by Luanettee’ Colebrooke.

#EatMoreLionfish is a new hashtag slowly gaining popularity on the social network scene. By creating a new demand for this invasive fish, locals can enjoy a new source of income without negatively impacting their local traditional stocks of Nassau Grouper, Queen Conch, and Spiny Lobster within The Bahamas.

The purpose of this is to create a ‘natural’ control of the species through the use of subsistence and commercial fishermen. When people ask for #lionfishjewelry or #lionfish to eat in local restaurants, vendors and souvenir shops, if enough requests are made, owners will ask fishermen for them. In turn, fishermen will head out and capture them.

Dr. Jocelyn Curtis-Quick, also known as Dr. Lionfish on Twitter, encourages people to request this fish whenever possible.

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(c) Image property of Cape Eleuthera Institute.

Have you tried this delicious predator?

#Earthday: I have a Dream, that Eleuthera’s Going Green

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Group photo of Sustainable Fisheries and Center for Sustainable Development from Cape Eleuthera. Photo courtesy of Gacintha Gordon of One Eleuthera Foundation.

Sustainability Fisheries, and Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) gathered under one booth in honor of #Earthday in Governor’s Habrour, Eleuthera.

Children came flocking over to do some ‘science’ with our very own Mike Cortina by making biodiesel from CSD. High schoolers seem mainly interested in the Aquaponics system and how it works from Michael Bowleg, another portion of CSD.

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Last but not least, Sustainable Fisheries drew in the crowd with the live lionfish display, diagrams, and simple to follow fillet guide.

Other organizations that were there were One Eleuthera, BREEF, and Preston Aurbry High School representing Bahamas Plastic Movement just to name a few. They had a large interactive banner that people would place their hand print on and write one disposal plastic they will not use anymore (or at least try to if had the option).

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High School marching band.

The outreach was a huge success thanks to the community coming and working together. Many signed up for the CEI Newsletter, while others became intrigued on our YOU SLAY, WE PAY campaign.

Until next time!

HOLYTRINITYEATMORLIONFISHPLAIN

Lionfish mantra inspired by #Chikfila #eatmor’lionfish. Made by yours truly. 

#EnvironmentalEducation, Rock Sound Homecoming 2015

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(L to R) Mackey (Deep Sea Researcher), Adrian (Sustainable Fisheries), Alexio (Sustainable Fisheries), Luanettee’ (Sustainable Fisheries), Alanna (Sustainable Fisheries), and Christina (Sharks). Photo courtesy of Alanna Waldman, SP15 Sustainable Fisheries Intern.

This past week was Homecoming for rock Sound, Eleuthera. Homecoming is a gathering within a settle or on an island where people ‘go home’ to their family island (any island outside of New Providence) for a few days of celebration, music, food, family and friends.

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Luanettee’ speaking to some curious youth about the Lionfish display. Photo courtesy of Alanna Waldman, SP15 Sustainable Fisheries Intern.

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Photo courtesy of Alanna Waldman, SP15 Sustainable Fisheries Intern.

Sustainabale Fisheries, Deep Sea Exploration and Sharks research programs were there holding the fort, bringing all ages and occupations to the table to learn about what we do and the opportunities for Bahamians at CEI. We talked heavily on the invasive species of lionfish, educating all on the venomous verses poisonous, their health benefits, and the increasing jewelry market for them. Deep Sea and Sharks strutted their stuff with a show of some interesting creatures they haul up from the deep sea (anything beyond 200M in depth).

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Christina (R back row) talking with a local fisherman. Luanettee’ (R front listening and answering questions from curious bystanders. Photo courtesy of Alanna Waldman, SP15 Sustainable Fisheries Intern.

Fishermen came around wanting to learn more about our YOU SLAY WE PAY campaign down at the Institute. Our very own Alexio (Sustainable fisheries Research Assistant)  and Christina (Sharks Intern SP15) getting down and nitty gritty with them on the growing market for Lionfish.

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Photo courtesy of Alanna Waldman, SP15 Sustainable Fisheries Intern.

It was a success, with many newly informed and interested in the research of The Bahamas.  Once all was done we packed up, we danced the rest of evening, enjoying food, music, and embracing my culture.


Have you ever been to a Bahamian event? What did you expect and how was it met? Let me know in the comments below.

Until next year 🙂

#ConservationAdventure So Much, Too Little Time

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Driving the boat for our quarterly patch reef surveys. These are conducted every three months on 16 patch reefs. Half are lionfish removal sites while the others are untouched. For more info, click here.

It has been a while since my last post.  Its interesting to me how busy I have become that the thought of writing up a blog, makes me weary inside. Yet, despite this, I am excited to write about the adventures I have had in the recent weeks.

Down Island Trip

So individuals from CEI call any trip going North ‘down island’ despite the institute being South (literally down on the map). I was curious as to why and found out something nifty. ‘Down’ refers to the direction the current runs. 🙂

A group of us took a shuttle to Lighthouse beach. I have never felt sand so soft before in all my life. It felt like a very fine exfoliant on my entire body. you know I scrubbed my body with that before taking a dunk in the sea. There’s this cliff that outlook ont he beach between 7-10m high and a calm inlet on the other side. There is an abandoned lighthouse on top of this place with three levels.

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The Glass Window Bridge with the hollowing Atlantic on the left and the calm Bahama Bank on the left.

After exploring that area for a bit, I felt comfortable that I could live there in that small place. All you really need is a place to sleep, cook and use the restroom. The hardest part would probably be the treck to and from Lighthouse since the roads are not the best and climbing the cliff.

Earthwatch:

The wonderful Dr. Alastir Harborne had his final trip down here for research on the patch reefs with the Earthwatch group. it was a wonderful experience and I hope to meet with him in the future. I even had a patch named after me and found a very rare species out in this area that he had said he hadn’t seen before: the Jackknife fish.

Island School:

The semester for the spring is 100 days of intense learning, physical, and mental activity for not only students from around the world but for adults as well. It teaches us to expand our point of view and engage with young researchers (not students) on a daily basis. If you know anyone who is interested in spending a semester abroad, check it out here.

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Lighthouse Beach:

Lighthouse Beach has been featured in many magazines as one of the top beaches in the world. The water was cool to the burning sun, and the sand like baby powder.

Triathlon:

The Gap Years trained for a triathlon this year that included a 1/2 mile swim, 13 mile bike ride and a 3 mile run. The winning time was about 1.5 hours while mine was 2.5 hours. It’s all good though because I got this epic medal as my reward.

The Gap year program is for any individual who is a recent high school graduate or college students taking a semester or so off from school. It is a wonderful opportunity with lots of experience including an internship. Check it out here.


So much has happened and yet my time here is still for another several months. Anything in particular you want to learn about the institute  or the programs I have mentioned above? Let me know in the comment section below.