THE Moore Bahamas Foundation, an affiliate of Louis Bacon’s Moore Charitable Foundation, has donated $50,000 to the Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation, allowing the non-profit organisation to create a position of research and field conservation officer.
“This is a really important position that will enable us to reach thousands more students every year,” said Casuarina McKinney-Lambert, executive director of the education-oriented organisation marking its 20th year.
The conservation officer will focus on opportunities for students to explore Goulding Cay and South‐West reef areas, also known as Clifton Bay or Western Bays off the southwest tip of New Providence, its director said.
“Until Moore Bahamas offered support, increased demand by teachers to take their students to West New Providence Bays could not be met by current BREEF staff,” Mrs McKinney-Lambert said.
“This support will fill the critical gap in our education programme. A strong water safety component and a swimming event will be included. The grant will also make it possible for teachers and students to get more involved with BREEF community science projects such as conch midden surveys and monitoring recruitment of juvenile crawfish in nearshore areas.
“We could not have done this without the support of the Moore Bahamas Foundation and we are really appreciative of the opportunity that will make it possible for Bahamian students to take part in field and research activities throughout the year.”
The executive director of the Moore Charitable Foundation/Moore Bahamas Foundation said the grant was a natural fit.
“The Moore Bahamas Foundation applauds BREEF for its many contributions that mirror our core goals of bringing the urgency of environmental conservation to the forefront,” said Ann Colley. “We agree with BREEF that experiential education is key to creating the next generation of environmental leaders.
“It is because of BREEF’s work that hundreds of teachers in the Bahamas have been sensitised through hands-on experiences with land and marine resources every summer. In turn, those teachers are able to open students’ eyes to the natural world around them. When the opportunity arose to support BREEF’s request for research and education, it was a natural fit and we were very pleased to assist.”
BREEF is a Bahamian non-?profit foundation that was established by Sir Nicholas Nuttall in 1993. BREEF’s mission is to promote a sustainable relationship between Bahamians, visitors to the islands and the coral reefs that protect, nourish and enrich us.
BREEF informs the public about our marine environment and the threats to our oceans, and has a strong track record of motivating people to get involved with protecting them.
Key focal conservation areas have been efforts to protect the Nassau Grouper and the Queen Conch, starting with reports on fisheries management recommendations in 1998 and 2002, and including workshops for fishermen, public education campaigns and education activities.
BREEF has been instrumental in creating the Nassau Grouper closed season and establishing a network of Bahamian Marine Protected Areas.
The Bahamas is now leading the Caribbean Challenge in which the country has committed to protecting 20 per cent of our near-?shore marine resources by 2020.
BREEF works in partnership with other conservation organisations, and collaborates with key government agencies such as the Department of Marine Resources (specifically in areas of fisheries management, Nassau Grouper, Queen Conch, and the establishment of a network of Marine Protected Areas), the Ministry of the Environment, and the Ministry of Education.