BONEFISH Pond National Park was added to the national park system in 2002. This coastal marine park protects mangrove creeks and is an ideal spot for students studying mangrove ecosystems.
The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) has provided infrastructure with support from the government, in the form of a boardwalk and covered pavilion which provide access to the mangrove creeks.
The park is surrounded by farms and has been the site of inappropriate dumping of construction materials.
Last month, a copper burning site east of the entrance to the park was restored through a Global Environmental Facility Pilot Project facilitated by the Nature Conservancy (TNC) with partners BNT, BREEF and YME (Young Marine Explorers).
The project was led by Dr Craig Dahlgren and Ms Janeen Bullard.
The project removed copper, other metals and rubber casings from the area.
As a result of the newly created opening, water flow increased.
Mangroves were also planted along the restored channel.
Project managers felt that these actions would help return the area to a more pristine habitat for juvenile fish and other marine life that inhabits Bonefish Pond before heading out to the nearby reefs.
More than 30 students from the Ministry of Education’s Summer Camp, the Young Marine Explorers, and other volunteers came to support the planting exercise.
The team planted more than 600 mangroves to the area.
After only a few days, snappers, shads, barracuda and other fish were using the newly created channels.
This restored area will become a kayak launching site for Bonefish Pond National Park in 2014.
This restoration followed an earlier project that created what is now the parking area for Bonefish Pond National Park.