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"Save the wetlands"

June 12, 2014 – The Ride To Save The Wetlands Programme culminated this year with the Foundation’s first ever “Save The Wetlands” poster completion.

Ride To Save The Wetlands, which was funded by the Sandals Foundation, saw close to 5,000 children visiting Bonefish Pond National Park over a two-year period to experience and learn about the mangrove eco-system first-hand.

The top winners were Larouche Morley (Grades 1 and 2 Category) of St. Cecilia’s School; Cataina Basden (Grade 3 Category) of St. Thomas More School; Jernae Darville (Grades 4 and 5 Category) of Xavier’s Lower School; and Jorden Freemantle (Grade 6 Category) of Xavier’s Lower School.

Many of the posters in the competition portrayed the difference between a healthy mangrove area and a polluted mangrove area, and illustrated the destruction these fragile areas could undergo if not taken care of.

“These kids communicated beautifully in their posters, the reasons we need to respect these eco-systems,” said Chester Robards, Sandals Foundation spokesperson. “Some of these posters were so beautifully done, they could be used in a national campaign. Many of the posters took on a simple, but important message: “Save our Wetlands.”

The esteemed panel of judges was Olivia Saunders, Lecturer at the College of the Bahamas; Pamela Chandler, Senior Education Officer of Arts & Designs and at the Ministry of Education, Science & Technology; and Louise Barry, Senior Education Officer of High School Science at the Ministry of Education, Science & Technology.

For the past two years the Sandals Foundation and Experiential Education, through Ride To Save The Wetlands, has made it possible for children in primary and secondary schools to learn about the importance of the wetlands to our environment.

During the educational tour, the children look, feel and taste in order to get a greater understanding of what the wetlands are as well as the importance of the Bahamas’ mangroves, and why they need to be protected.

“We are grateful to the Foundation for providing assistance so that this programme remains at an affordable price for the participants,” said Aretha Rolle, a spokesperson for Experiential Education. “Experiential Education is also indebted to the Young Marine Explorers, a group of young budding marine biologists under the leadership of Nikita Sheil-Rolle for leading the exploration into the wetlands of Bonefish Pond. And finally, we thank the government of the Bahamas for empowering the Bahamas National Trust to develop programmes that protect wetland areas.”