Mangrove education gets €295k cash boost

| 20/01/2023 | 24 Comments
mangroves
Mangroves (photo by Alvaro Serey)

(CNS): As more and more of the mangrove habitat across the Cayman Islands falls victim to the bulldozer, the Mangrove Education Project received a grant of €295,000 at the end of last year, which will help the long-running project expand and complete its new local school curriculum, the Cayman Islands Coastal Education Guide (CEG), which was rolled out just before COVID. The grant was from the European Union, Expertise France and RESEMBID.

With the new curriculum, which is supported by the local non-profit organisation, the Mangrove Rangers, students will learn about the intertwined ecosystems of mangroves, seagrasses and reefs.

“MEP’s Marvellous Mangroves curriculum-based programme, which has been taught in Cayman’s schools since 2001, has been researched, revamped and expanded to include seagrass and coral reefs,” MEP Executive Director Martin Keeley said. “It will be rebranded [as] the ‘CEG’ and tailored to the coastal ecology and specifics of the Cayman Islands. A number of educational guide copies will be published and made available to teachers online, using up-to-date science, including illustrations, graphics and photographs of the relevant species, features and ecosystems.”

Supplementary materials, such as accompanying films, interactive ecology-focused stories and games, how-to videos and lesson plans, are being developed to augment the in-classroom educational component and integrate with the new UK Hamilton curriculum for primary schools.

Hands-on educational activities, such as examining specimens through magnifying lenses and microscopes and conducting tabletop experiments, as well as field trips to see local coastal ecosystems first-hand, are being developed and tested in consultation with local teachers. Activities will be videotaped and structured as supplementary learning resources to help other teachers understand how to deliver this teaching.

Mangrove Rangers Education Manager Cassandra MacDowell explained that teachers will be trained on the implementation and delivery of the Coastal Education Guide so they can confidently teach their students with the CEG materials and run the physical activities successfully.

“They will be given both a copy of the Guide and the necessary supplementary materials. Ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of the Guide for teachers and students will take place to improve all elements of the product as any difficulties arise,” she said.

A complimentary interactive website has been developed to enhance the curriculum and teaching efficacy and monitor the children’s uptake of the material. The website will include games and how-to videos, as well as a means for students and teachers to interact, which will enhance the monitoring and evaluation capabilities of the educational curriculum. This website will be launched later this month.

Periodically, high-school students will be taken into the Central Mangroves Wetlands of Grand Cayman to run small research projects and collect data from the mangroves accompanied by staff from the DoE, Cayman International School, the Cayman Islands National Trust and MEP. This will include a forest inventory, standard forestry measures, water quality testing and an assessment of soil carbon from soil cores.

Once the Cayman Islands version of this programme is thoroughly tested, amended as necessary and documented, and copies of the CEG have been distributed, MEP plans to introduce the programme to other Caribbean UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs) in conjunction with the local education ministries and local NPOs. Teachers in other territories with coastal lagoon ecosystems would be trained to implement the CEG to their schools through the website.


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Category: Education, Land Habitat, Local News, Science & Nature

Comments (24)

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  1. Anonimous says:

    Why we need to embrace and explore alternative Seafood measures

    Today, NOAA Fisheries estimates that between 70 and 85 percent of seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported.

    The United States mainly imports seafood from China, Thailand, Canada, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Ecuador.

    https://www.fishwatch.gov/sustainable-seafood/the-global-picture

    The Principles of Environmental Science Inquiry & Application 7th edition, written by William P. & Mary Ann Cunningham explains that over 1b one billion people rely daily on fishery from the ocean as a main source of their diet and 2/3 two thirds of the oceans fishery population is depleted.

    We as a people who rely on fishery as our main source of food for our diet and in some cases, as a main source of living, we really need to discuss expanding our Cayman Turtle Center to farm salt water fish, lobster and shrimp from the ocean

    A properly organized venture like this would create countless employment opportunities from farming, packaging, distributing, exporting and sale of various fisheries, that would create and attain much needed sustainable foriegn income to our country

    Some time ago, the Bahamain Government Minister projected to double there seafood exports by $90m and in some of the other countries, Lobster and Samon Fish Farming is expanding and gaining momemton as a main source of food supply

    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/rock-lobster-farm-could-soon-be-coming-menu-near-you-180965064/

    https://www.myvuenews.com/agriculture-minister-focused-on-doubling-seafood-exports/

    https://www.nationnews.com/2023/01/26/barbados-shrimp-industry-coming-stream-april/

    With 90% of lobsters depleted, the UK has a farming process to grow hatchlings to mature for release in the wild like the Cayman Turtle Center

    https://www.aquaculturealliance.org/advocate/uk-lobster-farming-project/

  2. Anonimous says:

    https://fishmongers.org.uk/creating-new-opportunities-for-spiny-lobster-aquaculture/

    With 90% of lobsters depleted, the UK has a farming process to grow hatchlings to mature for release in the wild like the Cayman Turtle Center

  3. Anonimous says:

    Why we need to embrace and explore alternative Seafood measures

    Today, NOAA Fisheries estimates that between 70 and 85 percent of seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported.

    The United States mainly imports seafood from China, Thailand, Canada, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Ecuador.

    https://www.fishwatch.gov/sustainable-seafood/the-global-picture

    The Principles of Environmental Science Inquiry & Application 7th edition, written by William P. & Mary Ann Cunningham explains that over 1b one billion people rely daily on fishery from the ocean as a main source of their diet and 2/3 two thirds of the oceans fishery population is depleted.

    We as a people who rely on fishery as our main source of food for our diet and in some cases, as a main source of living, we really need to discuss expanding our Cayman Turtle Center to farm salt water fish, lobster and shrimp from the ocean

    A properly organized venture like this would create countless employment opportunities from farming, packaging, distributing, exporting and sale of various fisheries, that would create and attain much needed sustainable foriegn income to our country

    Some time ago, the Bahamain Government Minister projected to double there seafood exports by $90m and in some of the other countries, Lobster and Samon Fish Farming is expanding and gaining momemton as a main source of food supply

    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/rock-lobster-farm-could-soon-be-coming-menu-near-you-180965064/

    https://www.myvuenews.com/agriculture-minister-focused-on-doubling-seafood-exports/

    With 90% of lobsters depleted, the UK has a farming process to grow hatchlings to mature for release in the wild like the Cayman Turtle Center

    https://www.aquaculturealliance.org/advocate/uk-lobster-farming-project/

  4. Anonimous says:

    Why we need to embrace and explore alternative Seafood measures

    Today, NOAA Fisheries estimates that between 70 and 85 percent of seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported.

    The United States mainly imports seafood from China, Thailand, Canada, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Ecuador.

    https://www.fishwatch.gov/sustainable-seafood/the-global-picture

    The Principles of Environmental Science Inquiry & Application 7th edition, written by William P. & Mary Ann Cunningham explains that over 1b one billion people rely daily on fishery from the ocean as a main source of their diet and 2/3 two thirds of the oceans fishery population is depleted.

    We as a people who rely on fishery as our main source of food for our diet and in some cases, as a main source of living, we really need to discuss expanding our Cayman Turtle Center to farm salt water fish, lobster and shrimp from the ocean

    A properly organized venture like this would create countless employment opportunities from farming, packaging, distributing, exporting and sale of various fisheries, that would create and attain much needed sustainable foriegn income to our country

    Some time ago, the Bahamain Government Minister projected to double there seafood exports by $90m and in some of the other countries, Lobster and Samon Fish Farming is expanding and gaining momemton as a main source of food supply

    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/rock-lobster-farm-could-soon-be-coming-menu-near-you-180965064/

    https://www.myvuenews.com/agriculture-minister-focused-on-doubling-seafood-exports/

  5. Anonymous says:

    When Hurricane Ivan came to Cayman the Central Mangrove and all trees on the mostly south side lost every leaf. They died, in fact if you look into where there is mangroves it is new growth. There is still dead trees in the swampland. I can’t still believe that a tree with no leaves stopped waves from a hurricane? I believe that mangroves on the coast allows young fish to grow and have protection. But mangroves in the middle of the island did not stop eight feet of surge anywhere on islands in the Caribbean, but concrete did.
    Every time a Northwester hits downtown the blue painted thick concrete wall stops waves. In the past waves would bring sea life to as far as the Post office.
    If you look at old houses when there is new construction you will notice the main roads are usually higher than the adjoining properties. Only during new construction is there more height to the new development by dump trucks putting in more fill.
    The swamp will never stop the hurricane surge from hurricanes. Eight feet of sea merely goes through from north to south and east to west. Concrete was invented by the Romans 2000 years plus. Their concrete still stands today.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Let’s face it. Such a grant is given to the converted. We can educate all we want but until the persons who need to hear the protective message is left to destroy this most important environmental species, then the European grant should really go to a country that gives a flying fart about protecting their natural environment because the Cayman Islands is not one of those countries.

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  7. Say it like it is says:

    It’s the “Lack” of Planning Board that’s responsible,authorising all these developments in environmentally sensitive areas.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Follow the grant money and see where it actually ends up!? There’s NO mechanism in our public system to monitor this!!!

    CNS: True. But this money is not coming from the Cayman Islands’ public purse so our public system wouldn’t be monitoring it anyway. It is coming from very established European organisations (which are linked), and I am guessing that they will be tracking the money and will have done their homework on the thousands of applications from around the world before deciding which organisations should receive the money.

    In addition, knowing where this is going and the passion behind the project, I feel 100% sure that it will end up where intended. If you have any doubt, you can always contact the Mangrove Education Project directly. There’s no need to cast aspersions because of the lack of checks and balances in the Cayman Islands, which is uttaly irrelevant.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Use it to set up a mangrove museum so that future generations will be able to see what mangroves actually looked like.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Farce. Joke.
    Whole swaths from road tones are leveled. Eg. By the Ritz roundabout

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  11. Anonymous says:

    So we are getting grants to educate about the mangroves and on the flip end, we are destroying for new roads and more developments……SMH.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Give it to Wayne the environmentalist to put in the environmental fund. Look how much good he’s done with it already.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Still no addiction rehab center, but here’s a third of a mill for bushes that are routinely cleared by machine operators who didn’t finish high school. It’ll get after-the-fact permission, we do this all the time.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    What’s the point of educating about mangroves while we continue to allow development to wipe out mangrove forests with impunity?

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    • Anonymous says:

      100% 2:03, it’s like rubbing salt into the wound. The Mangrove Rangers should also be given an additional grant 5x that to take violators to court, – an absolute sweeping purposeful educational package if you will.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Its not the students who need educating about the critical importance of protecting the mangroves. It is the developers and contracting companies, but they would ignore it and carry on.

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    • Big Bobo In West Bay says:

      We will learn when the next Hurricane Ivan hits. We have lost 50% of the mangroves since 2004 when Ivan hit. South Sound is going to have the biggest problems but so will large parts of the Seven Mile Beach Corridor which were largely under mangroves when Ivan hit.

      We only learn the hard way in the Cayman Islands.

      20
      • Anonymous says:

        If we see another Iva the flooding that we saw then will be tenfold worse now that natural flood areas have been or are being altered or eliminated for housing.

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  16. Al Catraz says:

    Mangrove education? Whatever are they going to teach to the mangroves?

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