Friends of the Environment E-Newsletter
Established in 1988 May 2015
Save the Date
Quick Links
Like us on Facebook

 
It is such an exciting time at FRIENDS. We have scientists coming through the centre studying all sorts of interesting topics, two lionfish derbies coming up in the next month, summer camps and Rockin' with FRIENDS. We hope you will join in on the fun!

Thank you, as always, for your support! Together we are making a difference for Abaco's future!  
 
Kristin Williams
Executive Director
 
The Frank Kenyon Centre: Sustainability in Action!


Our Outback Power Technologies solar monitoring system is live! Here is a glimpse of the data we are able to tap into at any moment through their online portal. We'll be writing more about this in the future as we gather data about our energy usage. Thanks to South Island Solar for setting us up with this system, and the UNDP GEF Small Grants Program and CARIBSAVE for their support of our renewable energy initiatives.

Central Abaco Lionfish Derby
  

      
When: 
Captain's Meeting: Friday May 29th 5PM-7PM (The Jib Room)
Derby: Saturday May 30th Sunrise-4PM

Prizes:
1st Place: $1,500
2nd Place: $1,000
3rd Place: $500
4th Place & Below: $100 per  lion fish  up to 100 lion fish 
Prizes for smallest & largest lion fish 


Citizen Science: Abaco Mangrove Survey!
by Ryann Rossi, North Carolina State University

Mangrove Survey
On the left, characteristic Red Mangroves. Note the extending prop roots, these are key in distinguishing Red Mangroves from Black Mangroves. The right photograph shows the characteristic lesions of the disease we are looking to document on a Red Mangrove leaf. These lesions are typically paper thin to the touch. Photo credit: Stephanie K. Archer, Ally Karaczynski

Mangrove forests and creeks are important ecological habitats. They act as buffers for inland areas from storms while also providing habitat for valuable species that we rely on for food and fun (e.g., Nassau Grouper, Spiny Lobster, Bonefish). These services, and many others that mangroves provide, are at risk as mangrove habitats disappear. Salinity, changes in water flow, and disease are just a few factors that may cause mangrove die-off. We, scientists from North Carolina State University, suspect that a plant disease is playing a role in the mangrove die-off in The Marls. As a result, we are looking to document the presence of this disease across Abaco to help us determine how important it is in mangrove death and we can use your help.

 

Come out and get involved in a citizen science project the first week of June that involves surveying Red Mangroves for disease. The team, or individual, with the most surveys completed will be rewarded with a $100.00 gift certificate for native plants! 

 

 

What does the survey entail?

  • Visit the Abaco Scientist blog (http://appliedecology.cals.ncsu.edu/absci/mangrove-survey/) and the Abaco Mangrove Survey Facebook page for more information.
  • Retrieve a survey packet at FRIENDS starting June 1 (optional)
  • Visit an area with Red Mangroves
  • Record the GPS point of the area 
  • Look for diseased leaves in a few patches of Red Mangroves
  • Take photographs of the area and leaves
  • Collect one diseased leaf and one healthy leaf
  • Return data to FRIENDS or submit online

For more information contact ryann.rossi@gmail.com or FRIENDS (p: 242-367-2721, email: olivia@friendsoftheenvironment.org)

 

Summer Camp for Adults! 

You asked... so we will deliver! This summer we are offering a special opportunity for adults to join one of our field courses. On July 1st, FRIENDS and Florida International University are hosting a one-day expedition to Snake Cay Creek for a turtle survey. Join researcher Elizabeth Whitman as she works to gain a better understanding of the distribution and population health of sea turtles in Abaco. Contact Us
  
    
Summer Camps: There are a few spaces left!

All children are welcome, however, registration forms are required, and acceptance is first-come first-served. Some camps will include a small fee to ensure commitment.

June 29 - July 3: Abaco Ecosystems Camp 1, Marsh Harbour (Ages 6-9) **New** **3 spaces left**This camp is primarily for students age 6-9 who have already attended our summer camp. We are introducing a new curriculum with different field trips and activities to help maintain student interest. Campers will learn about the importance of Abaco's ecosystems and the animals that live there. Each day students will learn about them in the classroom, then go on a field trip to see the ecosystems in person.

NEW! July 1-2: Sea Turtle Field Course (ages 16-18)**4 spaces left**
Learn about sea turtle biology, behavior and habitats in the morning and then conduct field surveys in the afternoons. Students will participate in species identification and tagging the animal.  All students must be competent swimmers. 

 

NEW! July 3: Sea Turtles ADULT Field Course (Ages 18+)

We have had so many parents say "I wish I could be a student in that course". Well, now you can!  

 

July 6-7: Sustainable Fishing Camp, Marsh Harbour (ages 10-12)**FULL**

This camp, sponsored by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) is designed to introduce students to sustainable fishing. Campers will learn how to tie knots, bait a hook, safely remove a fish, and will have a chance to go fishing with their very own fishing rod. Campers will also learn about fishing regulations in The Bahamas, and important marine species.

July 8-9: Sustainable Fishing Camp, Coopers Town (ages 10-12) This camp, sponsored by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) is designed to introduce students to sustainable fishing. Campers will learn how to tie knots, bait a hook, safely remove a fish, and will have a chance to go fishing with their very own fishing rod. Campers will also learn about fishing regulations in The Bahamas, and important marine species. This camp is for North Abaco students only.

July 13-17: Abaco Ecosystems Camp 2, Marsh Harbour (ages 6-9)
 
**8 spaces left** This camp is primarily for students age 6-9 who have not attended our summer camp before. This camp includes exciting field trips to the Sawmill Sink blue hole, Mermaid Reef, and Broad Creek (near Camp Abaco). Campers will learn about the importance of Abaco's ecosystems and the animals that livethere. Each day students will learn about them in the classroom, then go on a field trip to see the ecosystems in person!

 

July 20-24: Nature Detectives Camp, Marsh Harbour (ages 13-15)
 
**7 spaces left** Campers take the reins as they learn to be junior scientists. Each day we will investigate a new habitat or animal and campers will design their own research projects on the chosen theme.

 

July 27-28: Coastal Shark Ecology Field Course, Marsh Harbour (ages 16+)
**5 spaces left**
Participants will be part of a new research project as they spend two days with a researcher from North Carolina State University investigating coastal shark populations in proposed protected areas on Abaco. Learn more about the role of sharks in marine ecosystems and get an in-depth look into marine research and conservation!

August 4-7: Abaco Ecosystems Camp, Grand Cay (ages 6-18) 
This camp is for students in Grand Cay only. Campers will learn about the importance of Abaco's ecosystems and the animals that live there.  Each  day students will learn about them in the classroom, then go on a field trip to see the ecosystems in person!

Contact our office for registration forms, or download them:

 

FRIENDS in the News!

 

Support National Habitat Conservation Efforts

You can help protect one more beautiful place in The Bahamas by signing this petition for Booby Cay or sharing it on Facebook. 

Sign Here

 


 

Anglers, Your Help is Needed!

The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) is conducting an economic impact survey of fishing tourism. IGFA is doing this survey in close collaboration with the Government of The Bahamas and the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC).

 

The results will be used to help conserve fisheries resources in The Bahamas and its abundant recreational fishing opportunities. Once complete, the results will be used to demonstrate to business and government leaders in The Bahamas how a healthy and sustainable recreational fisheries sector provides jobs, livelihoods, tax revenues and other benefits to the country. Your help is vital!  

Please take a couple minutes to join in this important survey. Your response will remain anonymous and confidential. The reward will be outstanding fishing opportunities and healthy fisheries well into the future. Thank you.

SURVEY HERE

 
Abaco's Environment in Photos

Photo by Cha Boyce. 

The Abaco Boa is endemic to the Little Bahama Bank, meaning it is found nowhere else in the world. They belong to a group of boas called "rainbow boas" for the colourful shine their skin gives off in the sunlight. Human development encroaching on boa habitat means that we may be more likely to encounter them. Please be kind to our native snakes, they play an important role in our ecosystem.

Learn more about Bahamian Boas from The The Bahamas National Trust and The Abaco Scientist