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Rotary tackles major mangrove initiative, rebranding disaster-hit projects

President of the Rotary Club of Road Town, Vincent Wheatley.

The Rotary Club of Road Town is set to embark on a major mangrove project for its 2018/2019 calendar year.

Newly sworn-in club president, Vincent Wheatley told BVI News yesterday (June 4) the initiative is part of a wider endeavour to be ‘more visible’.

“During the hurricanes, a lot of mangroves got destroyed on the southern coast of the island [of Tortola] and it has made the island very vulnerable to flooding and other natural disasters,” he explained.

Wheatley said the project, which is in its infancy stage, is seeking to plant at least 100,000 mangroves over the next 12 months.

He said there are many other projects in the pipeline, including an aggressive rebranding of many Rotary projects that were reversed during last year’s catastrophic weather events.

“One of the things that I want to do once given the opportunity is to have the impact of Rotary felt throughout the British Virgin Islands. No matter where you go, you should know that the Rotary Club is alive and well. It should be felt, it should be seen,” he said.

Usual projects will be continued

In the meantime, the club will continue its usual projects such as working alongside Peebles Hospital’s post-natal ward, working with the seniors in society, assisting with the recovery efforts, and hosting their major fundraiser – Kiddies Fiesta.

Kiddies Fiesta is one of the territory’s main events for children. It is slated for July 28 and will target close to 500 children.

Wheatley said the venue is still being worked on but promised the day will be fun-filled and each child will receive backpacks with back-to-school supplies.

During a Rotary function at Village Cay yesterday, the club announced it received a $5,000 cheque from its counterparts in Europe.

According to the new club president, those funds will be channelled towards assisting persons who lost their roof during last year’s disasters.

Meanwhile, President of Rotary International, Barry Rassin is expected to visit the territory on August 9.

“It is going to be a jammed-packed year,” Wheatley remarked.

The theme for Rotary’s 2018/2019 calendar year is, ‘Be the inspiration’.

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8 Comments

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  1. Gordaguy2 says:

    Way to go Vincent – Very important projects.

  2. E. Leonard says:

    ???????? to Rotary for its mangrove ( pond bush as they were called back in the day) replanting effort. As recent as the mid 60s, I remember mangroves lining the coastline from Fat Hogs Bay to Red Bay to the Sound and beyond. Other areas of the territorial coastline were also lined with pond bush. Over time, natural and man-made actions depleted much of the mangroves.

    Moreover, what value does mangroves provide? Well, they are a valuable environmental resource that serve as a natural barrier by protecting the shoreline from wind, wave, floods and hurricanes, protecting and minimizing erosion along the shoreline. They also trapped and filter sediments, improving water quality and protecting reefs and sea grass. They also serve as a breeding ground for fish, lobster………etc. Anyone salivating about a fried snapper caught in pond bush in East End. Lol.

    • Where's the Vision? says:

      On point E.Leonard. I particularly like the fact that mangroves provide a natural habitat and breeding ground for fish and lobsters.
      Before during the earlier tourism days, lobsters were usually found in relatively shallow water, 5 to 20 feet or thereabout. Today fishermen have to venture out into very deep water; oftentimes using scuba tanks.
      Great idea to replant the mangroves.

    • Class Mate says:

      Remember, when we use to scud school and go fishing in the pond bush in Jimmy Young, in front of Major Bay Primary School, below Ms Evelyn…………etc. Them fish use to taste sweet sah. Still trying to figure how you scud school and still come first or be at the top of the class. Miss you on your visit in May; let’s do lunch next trip so we can catch up on olde times and current events.

  3. waste ah time says:

    Those mangroves didn’t help us one bit during the hurricane

    • Political Observer (PO) says:

      The mangrove (most of which has been destroyed) does not offer absolute protection against damages from hurricanes, floods, waves…….etc; nonetheless, they minimize the damages, including erosion and sediment trapping.As there is no protection against all possible flooding, ie, 500-year flood, so too there is no total protection against all damages from hurricanes. However, nature, as well as man-made actions, can reduce the damages. Of course, if there is little to no mangroves, how can they help? The benefits of replanting mangroves exceed the cost. Along with mangroves, sand dunes, grape-lined beaches……….etc help to mitigate hurricane and tidal damage/erosion. Seize the time.

  4. @ waste of time says:

    If your comment is correct, which it’s not could you imagine what would have happened if they were not there.

  5. Curious Cat says:

    Vincent, charity starts at home. So said, please earmark a good 25000 mangroves for the reef off Handsome Bay, that should go a long way in saving us from the seaweed stench we are dealing with right now.

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