Tag Archive | sustainability

#WorldEnvironmentDay, I AM THE CHANGE!

Embedded image permalink

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.

Embedded image permalink

Celine Cousteu=au, granddaughter of Jacques Cousteau.

Embedded image permalink

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.

Embedded image permalink

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.

Embedded image permalink

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.

Embedded image permalink

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

Embedded image permalink

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.

Embedded image permalink

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

#EatMoreLionfish, Creating a Demand

CONCHCEILOGO

#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.

lionfish

(c) Image property of Cape Eleuthera Institute.

Have you tried this delicious predator?

#ConservationAdventure So Much, Too Little Time

boat driving

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.

IMG_150215_132448

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.

bargedive

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.

Adventures at Cape Eleuthera

IMG_20150121_075505

Working hard after morning chores 🙂

For the past week, I have been on a whirlwind of an adventure here in Eleuthera. I have been given the opportunity along with another Bahamian, Alexio, to work at the Institute as a Research Assistant. It is not only he and I that arrived on the island. There were several interns that flew in as well from all over the world. Just by meeting them, I was given a small glimpse of the size and scope of the Cape Eleuthera Institute with its outreach and research.

island school map

Taken from Cape Eleuthera website: http://www.ceibahamas.org/

The campus itself is much larger than I would expect. I had just come from Forfar Field Station in North Andros where I spent two weeks with student’s from University of Saint Francis and Luer’s High School for Doc’s last Bahamas Field Studies trip that he would be leading. The torch has now been handed to an alum that joined us on the trip, Dr. Leo Procise.

For the first few days, it was orientation. During this time we got to know each other, the several interns and the RAs. Our fearless leader, Alp, took us around the campus, handing the baton to other staff members depending on the area. When I say this place is large, I am not exaggerating. It has its own aquaponics area where they grow Tilapia which is hooked up in a cycle with the garden; a wet lab where they can house sharks, stingrays, lionfish, basically most marine animals for research; solar panels on several buildings; a wind turbine; a sustainability office; several small dorms; a middle school further in the community; a farm with some chickens, geese, goats, and pigs; an orchard; boathouse; and several other buildings.

Currently, the RAs and several others are taking a course called WFR (wolf-er): Wilderness First Response. *edit: definitive care* It is an American based course that teaches first response emergency scenarios and training for wilderness areas (ocean, mountains, desert, etc.) or areas further than 1+ hour from definitive care. The skills that we learn here have been tailored by the medic, Jai, for being on an island. So drowning, snorkeling, boat incidents, construction incidents, etc. The way that Jai teaches this course is a fine balance between scholastic reading, notes, and personal research, and simulated incidents. The incidents have varied from constipation to shallow water blackouts.

The instructor teaches us to the extremes of reality around here. Fire or chemical burns from the biodisel area, cuts from power tools, back injuries from falling from a high place or not lifting properly from the legs, choking while eating, car accidents due to drunk driving, etc. Everything extreme he can think of because he knows in his mind that if we fall short of extreme fixer uppers, then he can depend on us to come to the call at any instant.

During each incident I have become more aware of how important keeping myself safe and uninjured is. In general society, you are taught that when someone needs help, you go and help them. In WFR, if someone is injured, needs help, unconscious, etc. YOU are number one. Your safety comes first above all else. I cannot help anyone if I become a victim as well by rushing in without assessing the situation, environment, or resources available to help this person. Do I have gloves? Am I wearing closed toed shoes? Are my legs protected from possible blood/fluids? These simple questions for yourself before interacting with the victim can save oneself a lot of trouble.

IMG_20150121_075408

It has been over a week and I am truly enjoying it so far. They are long days but its fun. I’m tired at the end of the day but if there is a get together with the other interns or colleagues, I manage the strength to go and hang out for a bit for relaxation.

The next several months are going to be epic.


If you would like more information on Cape Eleuthera Institute, you can check out their website.