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SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer

November 22, 2018

Save the Mangroves

Ryanne Murray, Eckerd College

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Above: Zoya points us toward a rare bird hiding in the mangroves. Below: Thanksgiving dinner with my ship family.

Today started out with a ride to St. George’s University where we met up with Zoya Buckmire, an SEA alumni. She’s from Grenada and started an NGO with her father called the Grenada Fund for Conservation (GFC). The organization works on conservation around Grenada, primarily with mangroves. They work with communities doing education and mangrove restoration. She took us around the island to many of the different mangrove sites that GFC works on.

The first site we visited was Woburn, which is technically a marine protected area, but there is little enforcement to protect this site. This site has taken the longest to recover from hurricane damage in 2004 because of the pollution from a nearby rum distillery. Regardless, at both this and the next site we were impressed by the before and after photos Zoya showed us depicting the mangrove restoration progress; where nothing but mud and blue sky was visible before, mangroves overtook our view. It was evident that her organization has done a lot for these ecosystems, despite the bureaucratic and public obstacles. It gave us some hope.

The last visit was split into two areas at the Telescope restoration site. On the coastal area, heartbreaking shore erosion that has encroached dramatically on the community has been partially addressed by mangrove restoration. The rate of the erosion, however, is exceeding the rate of the mangrove growth. On the other hand, the second Telescope site was doing well. We visited the nursery where they grow seedlings for planting on the island and elsewhere. Although the restoration they’re doing is incredibly important, community outreach and governmental support is crucial to the success of this mission.

On the bus, on our way home from our field trip, I reflected on being away from home this Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and this is the first time I’ve spent it in another country. We had dinner at the St. George’s University Club, where they host dinner for people who celebrate today. Overlooking the ocean, feeling the Caribbean breeze, and being surrounded by friends felt like home. Today was a great day, full of reflection and gratitude for the opportunities I’ve been able to seize. Happy Thanksgiving from C 283!

- Ryanne Murray, Eckerd College

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Caribbean Reef Expedition, • Topics: c283  coral reefs  study abroad • (0) Comments
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