Top priorities for 2013: education and moorings

The fundraising event in April with guest, Fabien Cousteau of Plant A Fish, and the support of patron founding members, has given the EHCP resources to work with! During a recent board meeting, the directors decided that education and habitat protection are top priorities for the organization.

Education is a key part of any conservation effort. There is a recognized need to educate both visitor and local communities about local harbour rules, and provide useful tips on how to take good care of the marine environment. The EHCP will be developing educational flyers that may be distributed by hotels, tour guides, the Ministry of Tourism, schools, and anyone else that would like to support the effort to raise awareness about the importance of harbour conservation. The EHCP has an education committee that will be working on brochure and sign design over the summer to be prepared for next season. They are also interested in exploring other ways to educate the community.

So far, the reef restoration project with Plant A Fish has supported several harbour educational opportunities for Exuma including three field trips and a well-attended presentation by Mr. Cousteau.

Mr. Basil Minns, Mrs. Petherina Hanna, and Mr. Fabien Cousteau. The EHCP led a field trip of Moriah Harbour Cay National Park with Mr. Basil Minns. The event was attended by the Ministry of Tourism, The Department of Social Services, The Department of Environmental Health, the Island Administrator, and Tourism Today.

Mr. Basil Minns, Mrs. Petherina Hanna, and Mr. Fabien Cousteau. The EHCP led a field trip of Moriah Harbour Cay National Park with Mr. Basil Minns. The event was attended by the Ministry of Tourism, The Department of Social Services, The Department of Environmental Health, the Island Administrator, and Tourism Today. photo: Derek Smith

The EHCP organized a field trip to Fowl Cay with the Discovery Club and Ministry of Tourism. Thanks to Off Island Adventures and Kevalli House for their support. photo: Derek Smith

The EHCP organized a field trip to Fowl Cay with the Bahamas National Trust Discovery Club and Ministry of Tourism. Thanks to Off Island Adventures and Kevalli House for their support. photo: Derek Smith

The L.N. Coakley High School Environmental Club visited the coral nursery in May. Thanks to Dive Exuma for their support. photo: Dothlyn Blake

The L.N. Coakley High School Environmental Club visited the coral nursery in May. Thanks to Dive Exuma for their support. photo: Dothlyn Blake

The EHCP has also identified the installation of dinghy moorings at popular snorkeling locations as a top priority. The dinghy moorings will provide a convenient way for small boats to tie up at their favorite reef or blue hole. Use of the moorings, instead of anchoring, will ensure that seagrass and corals are not damaged by repetitive anchoring or accidental anchor dragging. The EHCP hopes to have moorings installed by next fall. The projects committee will be working on this and other initiatives.

Special thanks to our patron founding members and corporate sponsors for their early support of the EHCP. We wish to give extra special thanks to those local businesses that provided in kind support for our fundraising event including the Peace and Plenty Hotel, Dive Exuma, and Off Island Adventures. If you would like to support the EHCP as a member or get involved in a committee, please let us know by emailing elizabethharbourpartnership@gmail.com

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