Government and Unite BVI has signed a grant agreement with H Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) which will see a mangrove nursery being established on their Paraquita Bay campus.
Minister for Natural Resources Vincent Wheatley said the agreement was important particularly because as mangroves are essential to the territory’s ecosystem.
“Apart from being able to replace the damaged mangroves that were damaged in the hurricanes of 2017, should we have another occurrence of a hurricane, we will replace those mangroves at a faster rate in the future,” Wheatley said.
Minister Wheatley added that while mangroves are known to protect the territory’s shores, they also provide a nursery for fish and other marine life.
Initiative will help the BVI become more resilient
Sharing similar sentiments to Minister Wheatley was Research Consultant, Dr Lianna Jarecki who said the initiative can help to transition the British Virgin Islands into being more resilient to the effects of climate change.
She said: “The damage to mangroves has been apparent since the hurricanes, but we have experienced a lot of wetland replacement long before that and because of that, we have flooding and erosion issues that we know mangroves are good at mitigating against.”
“I see the advantage of this mangrove nursery at the college as a platform for education in our community and also for our students as climate change continues to affect us,” Dr Jarecki added.
Nursery in alignment with HLSCC’s mandate
Meanwhile, Acting President of the HLSCC, Dr Richard Georges said the initiative is in alignment with the college’s mandate to contribute to the development of the territory.
Plans for the Mangrove Nursery
The nursery is expected to produce a variety of different species of mangroves, which will include Red, White and Buttonwood types.
The mangroves will be nursed from seedlings until they are grown, after which they will be transferred to various sections of the territory to replace damaged mangroves, which were affected during the passage of the 2017 hurricanes.
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