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  • Lyndeisha Curry

Relief for Mangroves Damaged by Dorian

FRIENDS is proud to be in partnership with Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, Bahamas National Trust and MANG for the Northern Bahamas Mangrove Restoration Project (NBMRP). As we all know, Hurricane Dorian caused extensive damage to Abaco and Grand Bahama’s environment. Assessments indicate that hurricane-induced mangrove damage and mortality was approximately 40% on Abaco and 74% on Grand Bahama.

Typically, mangrove habitats recover from hurricane damage within 10-15 years. Unfortunately, mangrove damage and mortality was so extensive that there are few damaged or surviving mangroves to regrow and there aren’t any “seed banks”- undamaged areas able to produce propagules - within or nearby the damaged areas.

We are excited to support this project because it will assist in the recovery of Abaco’s environment and economy. As partners, our main objective, staying true to our mission, is to facilitate community awareness of the importance of mangroves and the reason for this restoration project. Not only are we assisting with developing and implementing education and community outreach for the project, we are also hosting a small mangrove nursery at our campus in Marsh Harbour.

As of mid-April, we are pleased to have our mangrove nursery up and running thanks to Justin Lewis from Bonefish & Tarpon Trust with a helping hand from Matthew Struble, Dashane Knowles (an avid FRIENDS volunteer) and Lyndeisha, our Education Officer.

Justin Lewis of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust constructs the mangrove nurseries.

Dashane will be our resident “mangrove farmer” ensuring that the propagules within our nursery are well taken care of. 937 out of 3200 propagules that can fit in the nursery have been collected and planted; collection efforts and planting are ongoing!

Dashane Knowles planting propagules in the mangrove nurseries.

There are five proposed planting sites within The Marls that can be reached only by boat. The NBMRP Team will be working closely with fishing guides and other community members to implement that phase of the project. Community outreach and student engagement will commence following the summer. If you would like to be involved, please contact us!

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