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The CSD represents at the annual Agribusiness Expo

  Some of the CSD/CEI display at the expo

During the 5th to the 7th of March, Zakita and Micheal represented the Centre of Sustainable Development (CSD) and the wider Island School/CEI community at the annual Agribusiness Expo in New Providence. Here, they spoke about the models of food production (Permaculture and Aquaponics) currently being employed at Cape Eleuthera, as well as networking and informing visitors to the expo about the events and opportunities going on within this organization. 

Michael at the CSD/CEI booth.

Many primary and high school children came by the booth, and an exciting dialogue ensued on the benefits of aquaponics and sustainable agriculture. It was inspiring to see how many of the booth-visitors knew about aquaponics in particular and wanted to know how to set up their own system for household food production.
In total, the expo visit was productive and a success and it was heartening to spread the word about the good work that the Island School-CSD-DCMS- CEI community is engaging in.

Aquaculture team moves the off-shore cage

Last October, Hurricane Sandy caused a dilemma by shifting the off-shore aquaculture cage. Last week the aquaculture team, along with the help of a number of CEI and IS faculty members, successfully moved the off-shore cage back into its pre-Hurricane Sandy position. The move went off without a hitch and has been a long time in the making after months of prep work.cage moveGOPR0914
After a few dives, with a large team of helpers, new anchor lines have been installed and we are now in the process of re-positioning the anchors in order to prevent a repeat of last year's unfortunate events. With the cage back in its original position, preparation can now begin for a new batch of Cobia fingerlings in the coming months.
cage movecage move
cage move

Emma Cooper Primary School visits the CEI campus

Emma E. Cooper Primary school joined us last week for an afternoon tour. However, this was no typical tour of campus! The entire primary school came with Kindergarten through grade 6, a total of 83 students and 8 teachers; we had quite the group! It was their first visit in 4 years and all were more than excited to be here at Island School.  

Seven Queens University students, a group of visiting students from Ontario, Canada here fulfilling the field requirement for their teaching degree, came to lend a hand. We split the students into groups where they rotated between three different stations. In the Wet lab, they not only saw all the checkered puffers, bonefish, juvenile lemon sharks, lionfish, yellow stingrays, cobia, tilapia, etc. but they also learned how and why we are studying these marine species. The next station was a virtual tour of a coral reef – a movie by BREEF (Bahamas Reef Environmental Education Foundation) where the students learned what makes a coral reef, its importance in the Bahamas, and how to protect this fragile coastal ecosystem. The third station was split between the farm with pigs, ducks and a permaculture garden, and the sustainable systems of campus. The systems tour exposed students to how we make biodiesel for our school vans, resource/recycle ~90% of what we use, and how we reduce our energy “footprint” by using solar panels and a wind turbine to produce energy. And last but not least, the trip ended with homemade chocolate chip cookie bars as a treat from our kitchen! It was a fun and energetic afternoon that is for sure.

Sharing our unique campus & systems with students who our research directly affects is really something special and more than important for the protection of these ecosystems. I hope to see Cooper Primary as well as other local schools here to visit us in the near future!

Tiffany Gray, Lead Educator

CEI has an outreach booth at the Rock Sound Homecoming!

CEI attended the 2013 Rock Sound Homecoming as part of their community outreach, and engaged the local community members in a conversation about marine conservation.

The CEI booth was packed with information on a range of issues including plastics awareness, conch conservation, sharks, climate change, bonefish best handling practices, aquaponics, and aquaculture info. We also had free giveaways! The fried lionfish and tilapia samples were a big hit, especially with all the local kids! The aquaculture mini system and free lettuce was also very popular. The day in Rock Sound was great fun - thank-you to all the CEI staff and interns who help run the booth. Look forward to the next homecoming!