The Mangrove Nursery established by the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) will begin the first transfer of mangrove seedlings tomorrow today.
The nursery was set up in July of this year with support from the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration and Unite BVI and has been cultivating Red Mangrove seedlings to suit the needs of areas around the BVI that were damaged by the hurricanes of 2017.
Research Consultant Dr. Lianna Jarecki is pleased with the progress being made at the mangrove nursery and its ability to plant, grow, and replace the mangrove wetlands that have been damaged.
Dr. Jarecki said, “We have enjoyed great community and government support to have our mangrove nursery up and running within just a few months of starting. Our goal is to supply the Ministry and partners with mangrove seedlings needed to restore our coastlines and build resilience to future effects of storms and climate change. With the CAMS nursery, we can supply about 1,000 Red Mangrove seedlings every year.” The college worked with local businesses and community-based youth and environmental organisations over the summer to create, cultivate, and prepare hundreds of seedlings to be planted in various areas. This was as a result of a compilation of scientific data from a survey carried out on the state of the mangroves in the Territory. Two areas that are considered priority areas are West End in the vicinity of the Frenchman’s Cay Channel and the roadside area of Sea Cows Bay.
Both sites have been cleaned thoroughly in preparation for the planting of the new seedlings.
Sea Cows Bay was cleaned in August by the interns at the CAMS Mangrove Nursery and the Jost Van Dyke Preservation Society. The mangrove site at West End was cleaned on September 26 by a team of volunteers from the Rotary Club of Road Town, Rotaract, and Commercial Dive Services. Approximately six cubic yards of trash and debris were removed from these two sites combined.
Once planted, the seedlings will be monitored by mangrove restoration partners, including the National Parks Trust, Rotary, and community volunteers.
The Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration will continue to lead Territory-wide efforts and support community partners to restore the Territory’s coastal mangrove forests and the many advantages they bestow upon the environment and communities.