Along with community partners FRIENDS has undertaken several restoration projects to remove invasive vegetation, replacing them with native vegetation that will stabilize dune areas, provide food for native animals and promote bio diversity.
Sandy Point Restoration
On Wednesday March 28th, FRIENDS along with Michael Parotti from Sugarland Nursery, 18 eager helpers from JA Pinder Primary, members of the Sandy Point community and grant support from The Nature Conservancy combined efforts to restore a section of shoreline near the community’s Government Dock that has been experiencing erosion and had no native vegetation.
A cleanup was done to make sure the area was pristine. Then native plants were planted along the top of the beach to help prevent erosion and beautify the area. A local plant nursery provided plants for the restoration. Examples of plants that will be utilized in the restoration include: Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus), Cocoplum (Chrysobalanus icaco), Seagrape (Coccoloba uvifera), Orange Geiger (Cordia sebestena), Periwinkle (Sailor Cap), Autograph trees, fever grass, yellow elder and coconuts. The students were very enthusiastic and did a great job carefully placing and watering the plants! The plants chosen for the restoration are representative of those found in Bahamian coastal environments. Some of them, including the seagrape and cocoplum trees, will even provide fruit in the future.
FRIENDS provided two picnic tables (built by a Sandy Point carpenter), so that the community can further enjoy the area.
Crossing Beach, Marsh Harbour Restoration
In 2007, FRIENDS started a project to restore the beach at The Crossing, Marsh Harbour. The beach had been overtaken by invasive casuarinas and Hawaiian seagrape, which prevented many native plants from growing. With permission from local government, the invasive plants were removed. The historic dune was reformed and planted with native vegetation. Today, the beach is flourishing and has become a popular recreational area. Before and After photos:
Camp Abaco Coastal Restoration
In March 2015, FRIENDS surveyed the site along with student groups from Forest Heights Academy to investigate the state of the site and measure the size of a sample of Casuarinas in the proposed restoration area. In December 2015, FRIENDS partnered with the Abaco Forestry Unit to remove the Casuarinas. Data on tree size and the felling process was collected to assist the Forestry Department with their efforts. After the trees were removed, students groups visiting the site observed for signs of recolonization by native or invasive plants. In spring of 2016, student groups from Angel’s Academy and Central Abaco Primary assisted in planting native trees at the site.
FRIENDS also works with community groups and businesses to give advice on restoration and beautification initiatives.