PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The IUCN BEST2.0 programme approved a grant of 100,000 euro for an 18-month project aimed at bat conservation and protection on the islands of Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten. The funds will be made available to local nature conservation organisations through the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA), which is a non-governmental regional network in which the nature parks on all six Dutch Caribbean islands co-operate.
The implementation of this project will be done together with local communities and bat conservation experts. The overall objective is to increase bat populations and awareness on the important role bats play in the islands’ ecosystem. Bats are key pollinators, particularly of local vegetation including cactus, which are a major feature of the island biodiversity. Three of the target species of bats are endemic to the islands. By enhancing bat population numbers this project will have a significant and positive impact on the long-term sustainability of the flora and fauna of the islands.
The project aims on increasing bat numbers by increasing the amount of roosting and nesting sites in urban areas of the islands. This will be done by installing bat houses on private and public buildings. With an extensive education and outreach programme through schools, (social) media and organised events, local communities will be informed about the importance of bats for their island and asked to put a bat house on their house. Bat houses will be produced by local (technical) schools within a specially designed education programme, hereby involving local communities in bat conservation efforts.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The Nature Foundation encourages the community of St.Maarten/St.Martin to use Coral Isles Reef Friendly sunscreen/suntan lotions, Coral Isles Sunscreen is specifically formulated not to have any negative impacts on coral reefs while at the same time protecting users from the sun.
Over the past 30 years, Sint Maarten has lost over 80% of its coral reefs—an alarming statistic that is made even more disturbing by the fact that this has become a trend throughout the Caribbean Region and Globally. Although climate change (global warming) has long been identified as a primary contributor to coral bleaching, scientists have also identified pollutants in our oceans causing significant damage to coral. Many of these man-made pollutants are common ingredients found in sunscreens.
Coral reefs are popular recreational spots, they are high-traffic areas for swimmers and divers, many of whom wear sunscreen. Researchers at the Nature Foundation have been studying these high-concentration areas for some time, and there is a growing body of scientific evidence pointing to several ingredients in sunscreen that are highly toxic to coral.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The 2017 Sea Turtle Nesting Season has started on St. Maarten, with the Nature Foundation recording the first two nests on Simpson Bay last week and a third on Tuesday the 18th of April. The Nature Foundation actively manages and monitors the sea turtle nesting activities on St. Maarten since 1999. Endangered Leatherbacks, Hawksbill and Green Sea turtles come ashore during the nesting season that runs from April through November each year. In order to protect sea turtles, the Foundation conducts various activities with regard to nesting, including beach surveys, nest excavations, tagging activities, and nest success research.
Sea turtles are endangered and face several threats to their existence; therefore they are protected by law. It is illegal to kill, wound, capture or pick up sea turtles, based on Articles 16 and 17 of the Nature Conservation Ordinance St. Maarten. It is also illegal to directly or indirectly disturb their environment resulting in a physical threat or damage, or to commit other acts which result in disturbance of the animal. It is forbidden to disturb, damage or destroy sea turtle nests, lairs or breeding places. Also, it is forbidden to pick up or to destroy the eggs of any species of sea turtle.
‘Our sea turtle population needs major protection; especially important is the safe nesting of our females. Therefore was ask restaurants and beach bars along the major nesting beaches to refrain or limit the use of beach bonfires and artificial lighting, which can seriously reduce the survival rate of sea turtles.
GRAND CASE, Saint Martin — Amuseum Naturalis invites the public to the free gala opening of the museum’s exhibit WOMEN, PEOPLE OF COLOR, AND THE MAKING OF NATURAL HISTORY IN THE CARIBBEAN from 4-8pm on Tuesday, April 18th. The installation is part of a special series created to shine a light on the trailblazers of Caribbean natural science from the late 1400s to the early 1900s. The exhibit brings their discoveries, explorations and stories to life with vivid biographical snapshots and reproductions of beautiful antique zoological and botanical illustrations, engravings, maps, and portraits by historical and contemporary artists. Be The Change SXM contributed to funding for this exhibit and the upcoming companion website.
“People of color and women have made important contributions to science throughout history. But their work has often been suppressed, or just not as well publicized as that of their white male peers, and this happened in Caribbean science just like everywhere else. We wanted to create an opportunity for people to discover the fascinating stories of these incredible women and men who helped to build the scientific heritage of the Caribbean,” explains Jenn Yerkes, Amuseum Naturalis co-curator and Les Fruits de Mer President.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Last Friday the St Maarten Nature Foundation organized a beach cleanup with students of the Milton Peters College.
Twenty-two first form students removed thirty bags of garbage from the beach and learned about the harmful impacts of trash on marine life.
COLE BAY, St. Maarten - The St. Maarten Nature Foundation is again warning of a potential influx of Sargassum seaweed in the coming weeks: “We have been coordinating our monitoring efforts with our partners in the region and based on weather predictions and aerial surveys there is a significant amount of the seaweed headed in our general vicinity.
“We have been really trying to work both with our partners in the region and with local stakeholders to monitor the situation and to find a way to control the amount of the weed washing up on beaches in the case of a significant influx. In the case of an influx we need to find a way to coordinate the removal of the seaweed with heavy loaders which causes serious risks to nesting sea turtles and hatchlings while the grass itself can be a hazard to the animals,” commented Nature Foundation Manager Tadzio Bervoets.
“Economically speaking there is a serious effect that seagrass can have on the beaches of the island. As soon as the grass is cleared it is being deposited back on the beach by the wind and currents. We will continue to work towards researching the effects of the grass and some possible solutions but at this point Sint Maarten, like many islands in the Caribbean, are being heavily impacted,” continued Bervoets.
Sargassum is a genus of brown (class Phaeophyceae) seaweed which is distributed throughout the temperate and tropical oceans of the world. Most of the Sargassum Seaweed lies concentrated in the Sargassum Sea, a region in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean surrounded by ocean currents.
Fort Lauderdale, Fl. – IGY Marinas today announced that its 5-Gold Anchor marina, Yacht Club at Isle de Sol – St. Maarten, received the 2017 Superyacht Marina of the Year award. The company – which also received the prestigious accolade in 2016 for Yacht Haven Grande – was presented with the honor by The Yacht Harbour Association (TYHA) during the annual London International Boat Show.
“IGY Marinas is truly humbled to once again be recognized by our customers for this renowned award,” said Tom Mukamal, CEO of IGY Marinas. “At IGY Marinas, we strive to provide an exceptional guest experience at each of our destinations. This incredible distinction showcases how our marina guests value our caliber of service, and is a testament to our staff’s dedication and hard work at Yacht Club at Isle de Sol.”
CARIBBEAN NETHERLAND - The Caribbean Coastguard (KWCARIB) In the early morning of Tuesday, January 3rd again detained a vessel with two Venezuelans.
The radar operator of the Rescue and Coordination Centre of the Coast Guard detected a suspicious contact southwest of the island. A unit from the coast guard fulcrum Curaçao was deployed right. South of Santu Pretu they found an unlit vessel type yola that again return to the south.
PORT ST. MAARTEN – Last week Thursday, December 22, representatives from the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau and Port St. Maarten welcomed Regent’s Seven Seas Explorer to the island on its inaugural visit.
Seven Seas Explorer delivers an unrivaled luxury cruise experience. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the world's most inclusive luxury cruise line with a fleet that visits more than 375 destinations around the globe.
Port St. Maarten and the Tourist Bureau welcomed Seven Seas Explorer to the destination on behalf of the Government, Board, and Management. The Port continues to be proactive in attracting new vessels to the destination with emphasis and focus on bringing a balance between quality (high-end) cruise tourism and quantity (volume).
The ship features extravagantly designed theaters and lounges, an unparalleled collection of opulent and spacious suites, five lavish gourmet restaurants and an unprecedented level of personalized service.
The line's fares include all-suite accommodations, round-trip air, highly personalized service, acclaimed cuisine, fine wines and spirits, unlimited internet access, sightseeing excursions in every port, all gratuities, and a pre-cruise luxury hotel package for those guests staying in concierge and higher suites.
The vessel is spaciously intimate, breathlessly elegant and perfectly staffed to offer Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ special brand of all-inclusive luxury. She brings elegance and glamour to the world’s greatest destinations, offering exquisite dining options that rival those of the finest restaurants ashore.
BELIZE CITY, Belize — Several agencies are working to prepare the first ever marine climate change report card for the Caribbean.
The report card, due to be launched in March 2017, will provide comprehensive, peer-reviewed and highly accessible information on what is already happening, what could happen in the future, case studies from across the region, knowledge gaps and potential socio-economic impacts.
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