After a morning of run and swim track, we started the day with a big spread of breakfast food with all of the adults who came for the Symposium on Tourism and Coastal Development. There were members from the local and national Bahamian government, Island School Board Members, the Kinship Fellows, One Eleuthera members, scientists from around the world, and others associated with The Island School. We also had the Deep Creek Middle School students attending the conference throughout the day and we were able to spend more time with our DCMS buddies in a new environment.
The symposium started off with Junkanoo to bring energy and life into the day. Everyone was smiling and clapping as the DCMS students marched through campus. Then we all sat down to listen to a keynote speaker, Clay Sweeting, who talked about Bahamian culture and governmental policy. After he spoke, we got to choose to talk with a panel of experts either about tourism development in South Eleuthera or waste management. I went to the tourism development where we discussed what went wrong with the abandoned resorts and what could be done in the future to bring tourism back. Ideas were shared throughout the room, creating some debate, but overall producing proposals for tourism development. We concluded that small resorts that have sustainable systems and are a part of the national plan would be the most successful here on Eleuthera. It was a unique opportunity to here the ideas of the residents of Eleuthera, the visitors of Eleuthera, scientists, and Island School students. That lasted until lunch, where again we have a grand feast with all of the guests here on campus!
In the afternoon, we broke up into groups again with our Deep Creek Middle School buddies. My buddy and I went to here a talk about fisheries and aquaculture in The Bahamas. In this discussion, members of the community talked about the status of our marine life and how it ties into the economy of Eleuthera. Questions were asked about the success of regulations in the surrounding areas, and how to conserve the species that are currently struggling to maintain a balanced population. This was another great opportunity to ask professionals questions about the future of the oceanic life here around Eleuthera. We concluded the day with a discussion about our ideas shared and different actions we could take. The day was filled with many quality ideas for the success of the island Eleuthera, and it was a privilege for Island School students to be a part of and learn from.