Last Saturday (April 23rd) the new Center for Innovation and Training hosted an Earth Day festival in Rock Sound at which the Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI) and Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) community participated. The team, comprised if interns and staff, had a booth showcasing projects being conducted by CSD and information about our research initiatives and the environmental concerns they address.
From the Center for Sustainable Development the biodiesel and facilities team member Sam Dorcent brought in a big crowd by making biodiesel right on site. Michael Bowleg, aquaponics technician, displayed a mini aquaponics system and discussed how sustainable farming is possible in sandy island environments.
From the Cape Eeuthera Institute messages, games and information focused on: the invasive lionfish and the importance of culling this delicious, edible fish. The reef team was also promoting lionfish fin jewelry made by local artists. Sustainable conch harvesting was communicated using visual aids, games aimed at debunking common fishing misconceptions and stressed the importance of harvesting only mature conch in order to keep this fishery alive in the future. The regulations on sea turtle harvest in The Bahamas were explained and children were able to practice measuring turtles with a realistic stuffed toy sea turtle. Finally, several specimens of sharks and rays were on display and their importance in local ecosystems highlighted through a True/False quiz with children regarding the many misconceptions that surround sharks and rays in The Bahamas.
The energy at the Earth Day festival was high with musical performances and vibrant food stands that really brought together the whole event. Overall the event was really successful, full of family fun and informed people about better ways to take care of the planet. We look forward to next years festival!