TEAM ANTIGUA DONATES TO MANGROVE PLANT RESTORATION PROJECT Sunday 22nd April 2018
Team Antigua rowers of the 2017 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge (TWAC), Eli Fuller, John Watt, Scott Potter and Nico P. are taking the opportunity today on Earth Day to make an important announcement. As you may know, during our row we raised money for environmental projects/charity work. We had been working on two charitable projects and had been raising money for these in addition to the monies raised for our rowing campaign. We ended up raising approximately US$150,000 for these projects.
Today we announce that we will donate US$50,000 towards a mangrove plant restoration project in Barbuda's Codrington Lagoon National Park. In the park, there is a world famous Magnificent Frigate Bird Sanctuary. The Frigate Bird Sanctuary is the largest bird Sanctuary in the entire Caribbean. It is located in the island’s northwestern lagoon and is accessible only by boat.
Before the devastating category 5 hurricane, the sanctuary contained over 170 species of birds and was home to over 5,000 frigate birds. The sanctuary supported one of the main economic activities for the island by means of guided bird watching tours there by boat. Many of the birds have returned to nest, but much of the red mangrove plants that support the colony have perished as seen in the before and after images.
The project we will donate these funds to is being set up right now and is a partnership with the Waitt Foundation and the Marine Ecosystems Protected Areas Trust (MEPA) who both have been doing marine park type work in Barbuda for years. Essentially it will be a two year project where mangrove propagules or seed pods are collected and planted in a managed nursery. They will be monitored there until they reach a size where transplanting is possible. They they will be moved and planted within the bird sanctuary.
This project is not just an environmental project, but a social and economic one as well, and we are happy that we have been afforded the opportunity to establish something so important on Barbuda, an island that needs as much help as it can get.
We would like to thank all our sponsors and donors as it's work like this that could only have been a dream without you. Your financial contributions took a dream and made it a reality. We would especially like to thank The Global Citizen Foundation as this Barbuda project couldn't have been possible without their generous contribution.
Check out these before and after images after Hurricane Irma hit the mangroves hard, this project will help to bring them back.
More updates and images to follow as the project gets started on the ground.
Eli Fuller - Team Antigua Atlantic Rowers Inc.
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