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APRIL IS MARINE AWARENESS MONTH
Thursday 25th April 2013

April 24, 2013 – Throughout the month of April 2,000 students and Sandals Resorts guests were exposed to some of the unique aquatic ecosystems in the Caribbean, and taught the importance of the preservation of marine life.

In keeping with its mandate to protect and preserve the environment, the Sandals Foundation observed the entire month of April as Marine Awareness Month, which encompassed Sandals Resorts Reunion Week activities and the globally-recognised Earth Day.

“The Sandals Foundation undertakes sustainable projects that fall under the headings of community, education and environment,” said Heidi Clarke, Director of Programmes of the Sandals Foundation. “We take preservation of our environment very seriously as so many livelihoods in the Caribbean depend on it.

“This month-long education campaign was implemented to bring awareness to students and our community members of how we, as well many throughout the world, depend on coral reefs and marine life,” she continued.

To promote on-going awareness, the Sandals Foundation – through its partnership with the Releaf Environmental Awareness Programme Competition (REAP) in Schools – contributed to educational posters on coral reefs that were handed out to 70 schools this month. The Foundation also organised more than 20 outreach activities across the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, St. Lucia, The Turks and Caicos Islands and Jamaica. These included tours of the Boscobel and Whitehouse marine sanctuaries in Jamaica; the Soufriere Marine Park in St. Lucia; the Bonefish Pond wetlands in The Bahamas; and hands-on lessons covering the significance of coral reefs in Antigua and Barbuda. 

“The visit by Sandals Foundation volunteers added scope to the science and social studies curricula and our senior students thoroughly enjoyed it,” commented Villa Primary School Principal Bernadette Jarvis. “This first-hand approach has been argued by some as one of the best strategies in teaching and learning.”


(Students at the Villa Primary School)

During Sandals Resorts’ Reunion Week, marine-oriented Reading Road Trips were organised for guests to visit primary and secondary schools. Meanwhile on Earth Day, students at nine schools participated in a variety of exercises including quiz competitions; interactive sessions such as puzzles; and dramatic presentations. The aim of these activities was to bring awareness to the benefits of coral reefs and the threats they face.

In keeping with its commitment to environmental preservation, the Sandals Foundation fully supports marine education and awareness in the communities where Sandals and Beaches Resorts operate.
The Foundation has engaged in managing marine sanctuaries, reforestation, promoting awareness of the invasive lionfish specifies, and investing in turtle and conch conservation.

Additionally, the Foundation is working on developing environmental stewardship in Caribbean communities and schools through lessons, fieldtrips such as the Ride to Save the Wetlands, and its partnership with REAP, which includes establishing environmental clubs in schools.

 


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