EHCP receives grant for small boat moorings

GEF-SGP-UNPD Bahamas High Resolution Logo 2013The Elizabeth Harbour Conservation Partnership has received official notification from the GEF Small Grant Bahamas Programme of The Bahamas that our organization will receive a grant of $19,000 for the installation of small boat moorings at popular snorkeling locations in the harbor.

The primary purpose of the Elizabeth Harbour Mooring Buoy Project is to protect ecologically important seagrass and coral reef habitats that have become popular locations for snorkeling and diving in Elizabeth Harbour, Great Exuma. The communities of Great Exuma and especially George Town, thrive on the tourism draw of the harbor, but as use of the harbor has increased over the last two decades, certain activities have had an impact. This project will greatly reduce damage to seagrass and coral reefs caused by repetitive anchoring by small private boats, rental boats, and tour boats by providing moorings for their use free-of-charge at the most visited locations. The project will engage the local community through a mooring sponsorship program to ensure long-term maintenance of the buoys, and raise awareness about the importance of biologically diverse seagrass and coral reefs communities to a healthy harbour ecosystem in local and tourist communities through the creation of educational materials and signage.

Community support was critical in order to win this grant, and we wish to thank those that have pledged their in kind time and expertise to nearly match the funds that will be provided by GEF. A big thank you to:

DIVE EXUMA
TURTLE DIVERS
CATHERINE BOOKER
HOWARD BETHEL
OFF ISLAND ADVENTURES
STARFISH
OUT ISLAND EXPLORERS
THE GOOD LIFE
KEVALLI HOUSE
OFF ISLAND ADVENTURES

The EHCP applied for the grant over the summer with the assistance of Catherine Booker, the EHCP’s secretary. The EHCP looks forward to implementing the project over the upcoming months. Please stay tuned for more information, including ways that you can get involved.

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