WILLEMSTAD, Curaçao - Last Saturday, the Caribbean Coastguard in collaboration with Domain Manager, an audit conducted in Spanish Water, Curacao. There had been notified that they were trying to build a jetty there.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The St. Maarten Nature Foundation has updated its Climate Change Response Plan for the coastal zone and nearshore ecosystems of Sint Maarten and has submitted it to Stakeholders to be included in plans towards the mitigation of Climate Change effects.
The document was constructed as a plan of approach regarding the tackling of the effects global warming will have on the Marine and Coastal Zone Ecosystem of St. Maarten. The document gives an overview of the causes and threats posed by Global Warming to the Marine and Coastal Zones, Parameters for Monitoring and Recording those threats and possible mitigating suggestions to the effects caused by Climate Change to the Coastal and Marine Environment, which are the ecosystems and population centers most greatly affected by Climate Change.
From the mid-19th to the beginning of the 21st century, the air temperature at the earth’s surface increased by between 0.6 and 0.8°C, and this warming is expected to accelerate during the current century if mitigating measures are not put in place. The sea plays a key role in limiting this process as more than 80% of the heat absorbed by the planet accumulates in the world’s oceans.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The students of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Primary School received a special final end of year treat compliments of the Port of St. Maarten and Royal Caribbean International Cruise line.
"Our group 8 students got the opportunity on Wednesday to board the Oasis of the Seas for a tour and they truly enjoyed the priceless experience," said Stuart Johnson School Manager of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Primary School.
COLE BAY, St. Maarten – On Thursday June 29th Nature Foundation received numerous notifications regarding an incident which happened recently at the Philipsburg Landfill where a septic truck was found dumping raw sewage directly unto the Philipsburg Landfill. Based on the video recorded of the event it is clear that sewage was being illegally dumped and that the septic truck in question was doing so despite objections from witnesses to the event. “It is very clear what is happening on the video. This is a clear example of rules not being followed at the Philipsburg landfill, despite mention being made of increased security at the site. We are also very concerned by comments apparently coming from managers at the landfill stating that this is allowed and happens on a regular basis, which is most definitely not the case. There are various ordinances and pieces of legislation which speak directly to waste management, in particular the disposing of sewage,” commented Tadzio Bervoets, Nature Foundation Manager.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The St Maarten Nature Foundation started their queen conch (Lobatus gigas) research with a survival experiment to determine if the survival of juvenile queen conchs, which in many parts of the Caribbean are primarily associated with native seagrass beds, differs between native (T. testudinum) versus invasive seagrass (H. stipulacea). The Nature Foundation is collaborating with and supported by Ecological Professionals, Wageningen University and the Caribbean Netherlands Science Institute for this project (CNSI). The project is funded by Statia Terminals, NuStar Energy L.P. and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs (EZ).
The invasive seagrass H. stipulacea is native to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean and was first sighted in Grenada in the Eastern Caribbean in 2002 and subsequently recorded on Sint Maarten in 2011. The species has since spread rapidly throughout the Eastern Caribbean. The invasive seagrass is known to be more competitive, have higher production rates and be less sensitive to environmental disturbance than native seagrass and is expected to spread even further throughout the region in the coming years. Current information regarding the effects off the invasive seagrass on our marine life and their survival, including juvenile queen conch, is very limited.
PORT ST. MAARTEN – On Tuesday morning, a family of five out of Miami, Florida, were selected as the one millionth cruise passenger milestone for 2017, which is also the 16th annual one millionth milestone for the destination.
During the months of June and July, the destination surpasses the one millionth cruise passenger which signifies the growth of the country’s cruise sector over the years.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Managing Director of the Sint Maarten Nature Foundation Tadzio Bervoets Recently Returned from the prestigious IVLP Program, a three-week International Visitor Leadership Exchange Program cantered on Ocean Conservation and Sustainable Use and Management of Marine Resources. The IVLP program is the United States State Department’s Premier Leadership Program designed to expose international Leaders in their field to the work done by their American Counterparts.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - As part of the Save our Sharks Project the Sint Maarten Nature Foundation organized the very first Kingdom Shark Count in cooperation with several local dive schools including Ocean Explorers, Dive Safaris and Dive Adventures. The Shark Count was executed simultaneously on all six Dutch Caribbean island and in the Netherlands.
The shark count contributes significantly to the Nature Foundation’s scientific research into the abundance and movement patterns of sharks in local waters.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Recently, during St Maarten Nature Foundation Shark Week, Nature Foundation staff visited several Elementary schools to educate the kids about sharks, shark conservation and the Caribbean Ecosystem.
The Foundation visited six schools; the St. Maarten Montessori School, the Dr Martin Luther King School, the Sr. Borgia School, the Sr Magda School, the Sr Marie Laurence School and the Caribbean International Academy.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Last Week the Sint Maarten Nature Foundation organized its second successful Shark Week event as part of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance ‘Save our Sharks’ project funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery.
St. Maarten Shark day was organized in order to change the perception of people about sharks. Often sharks are incorrectly displayed as villains and as being dangerous but they are actually the victims with many species threatened with extinction through humans poaching, finning, overfishing and coastal development activities. Worldwide over 100 million sharks are killed per year; as a result half of all shark species are threatened with extinction.
We depend on our sharks as we depend on our oceans, sharks, as top predators; play a crucial role in maintaining balance and health within our oceans.
On the 3rd of June the Foundation had a very well attended Shark day for children at Buccaneer Beach Bar, with almost 100 kids showing up to learn about sharks and to test their knowledge by playing the Nature Foundation developed shark game! The kids had a lot of fun by colourings, making booklets and amazing shark face paintings. Children learned about St. Maarten shark species, why sharks are not frightening or dangerous and the importance of sharks to the environment.
People often think that sharks eat people. This is a misunderstanding, humans are not on the menu for sharks and sharks do not eat people. Occasionally shark bites do happen, however no unprovoked attack has been ever recorded on St. Maarten. It is more likely that you get killed by a coconut falling on your head than being bitten by a shark.
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