Each year we select projects to make an impact in our communities.
International Coastal Cleanup
FRIENDS has been an island coordinator for International Coastal Cleanup for about 15 years! We help coordinate group cleanups, and provide data collection forms, trash bags and gloves for other community cleanups. Please contact us if you would like to join a cleanup or start your own!
Project Coral is an effort by FRIENDS and community partners to raise awareness about the importance of coral reefs and what the public can do to help conserve them. Project Coral is supported by BEP Foundation.
Why should we care about coral reefs?
Coral reefs have a high economic value. These beautiful ecosystems serve as a major tourist attraction in The Bahamas, and provide a high amount of income to our economy annually. This in turn provides Bahamian tour companies with jobs, as well as restaurant workers, fishermen, local vendors, and more.
Coral reefs serve as a source of nutrition for us! The Bahamian diet is highly reliant on the fishing industry as a source of protein in our daily lives, and corals are home to most of the fish that we consume.
Corals provide a home for fish and other marine animals. Corals serve as a source of food and protection for them, and is the ecosystem with the highest biodiversity in our oceans. This helps to maintain a balance in oceanic food webs.
Corals protect our coastline from large waves. Some coral reefs act as a barrier between the ocean and our coastlines, breaking waves down into smaller ones before they reach land. This prevents erosion and flooding damage.
Corals are natural filters of the ocean. Most corals are filter feeders, which means they filter out matter in the water column, improving water quality and clarity.
As part of Project Coral, we produced an educational video with Conch Salad Films, along with Executive Producers at the BEP Foundation. Fun and educational, "The Coral Reefs of Abaco" has a unique Bahamian flare! Watch it here.
FRIENDS partners with local dive operators and the Bahamas National Trust to maintain and install moorings at local marine protected areas including Sandy Cay Reef, Fowl Cay Reef, and Mermaid Reef. Moorings are rated to a maximum boat length of 28ft. If moorings are full, please wait your turn or anchor in the sand away from the reef. Moorings are currently available for free use (except no overnights), however donations towards mooring maintenance are welcome!
Other 2020 community programs to be announced!
WASH and DRY program
FRIENDS has partnered with local and international NGO's to develop a program to be implemented in local schools and communities. This program is called WASH and DRY, and stands for Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Disaster Recovery. Our hope is that we can utilize this to increase awareness on the importance of maintaining a clean, fresh water supply, while teaching conservation practices and being sensitive to the context of hurricane recovery and disaster preparedness. Read more about it here.