Passion Points: Green/Eco
Indagare members have the chance to see some of the incredible work The Nature Conservancy is doing in the Caribbean. Here are five programs where “backstage access” can be arranged by-appointment only (depending on dates and availability). Contact Indagare for details.
St. Croix, USVI: Coral Nursery Visit
A private diving excursion to visit the Nature Conservancy’s coral nurseries with the science team that will also provide an overview of the work in advance of the dive and guiding on the dive itself. For an even more hands-on excursion, travelers may also be put to work helping with data collection or coral maintenance with the science team while there. Alternatively, any St. Croix visitor can see the demonstration coral nursery that has been mapped for recreational divers (you can access information about this St. Croix Dive-In from one of the local dive shops).
St. Croix & St. Thomas, USVI: Sea Turtles
The Nature Conservancy’s most active sea turtle nesting sites are on the island of St. Croix. Throughout the year, sea turtle monitors walk the beaches both at dawn and at dusk (and under moonlight when the moon is near-to-full) to locate, mark and monitor sea turtle nests. Guests can attend these monitoring sessions, assist the monitors with locating, marking and identifying the nests themselves, and maybe even get to see a hatching or two.
Jamaica: Fish Sanctuary Tour
Personal tour of Jamaica’s fish sanctuary in Treasure Beach with fisher-ambassador Dennis “Shaba” Abrams, a wonderful guide to the Galleon Beach fish sanctuary. As a fisher himself, Shaba is a font of knowledge and stories about fishing practices in Jamaica, the most overfished country in the Caribbean. On the way there or back, he may ask if you’d like to stop at the floating tiki bar in the middle of the ocean for a quick refreshment.
Jamaica: Tour of Pedro Bank
This is as authentic a Caribbean excursion as it comes. The Pedro Bank is the most remote fishing ground in Jamaica and the last viable fishing area in the country, providing 90 percent of the conch export alone. It’s also a grim reminder of the conditions that these fishers are willing to live under in order to make a living for their families. It’s the most important demonstration site for the Caribbean program’s sustainable fisheries work, and is one of our most compelling stories for conservation. In fact, our work there was called out by Dr. Jane Lubchenko of NOAA as a “beacon of hope” for the coral reefs of our oceans. There are only two ways to access Pedro Bank – by boat, it’s a 5-6 hour trip, but by helicopter it’s only 30 minutes. This is an expensive excursion designed for people really interested in diving deep into Caribbean conservation and sustainability.
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