Montego Bay Marine Park, Sandals Foundation plant mangroves for World Wetlands Day
MONTEGO BAY, St James — In recognition of World Wetlands Day last Thursday, February 2, Sandals Foundatioon launched an awareness campaign across the Caribbean to educate students and community members on the importance of preserving wetlands. Sandals Foundation team members in the islands of Antigua, The Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, St Lucia, Jamaica, and the Turks & Caicos organised school field trips to give students a hands-on opportunity to observe the wetlands. They also hosted competitions and expositions within the schools to educate students on the multiple roles of wetlands in the Caribbean.
Wetlands, often referred to as ‘the cradle of life’, are saturated areas that prevent flooding, the erosion of coastlines, and serve as a habitat and haven for fish and other marine life. The absence of wetlands usually equates to a significant reduction in fish stock, which is not only detrimental to marine species but to fishermen who rely on them as a source of income.
On Saturday February 4, in the Montego Bay region, Sandals Foundation partnered with the Marine Park Trust to plant over 50 mangrove saplings. The initiative was an effort to bolster the ecosystem, which will in turn protect the marine life and the community of fishermen whose livelihood depend on it.
"We (Sandals) have been working closely with the Whitehouse community over the years to protect estuary-coastal wetland systems and the income of the fishermen in general," said environmental health and safety manager at Sandals Montego Bay, Haniff Richards.
Sandals Foundation is engaged in several projects and initiatives to ensure that fishing villages remain a viable resource for income generation for the fishermen, to include the management of two marine sanctuaries, coral planting and environmental education in schools.