The Cape Eleuthera Institute‘s Shark Research and Conservation Program recently initiated a novel project that aims to assess the spatial ecology and genetic diversity of three species of stingray in the waters surrounding Southern Eleuthera. It is hoped this research will provide much needed information on how species critical for ecosystem function occupy and share space as well as exploit fragmented seascapes for migrations and dispersal corridors.
Check out this amazing video from our friends at Behind the Mask to learn more about the stingray project!
This year, Deep Creek Middle School students chose to tackle a bigger issue when planning their Junkanoo theme. Graduating students in grade 9 brainstormed a number of creative and colourful ideas, but finally settled on the title, “Save our Seas.” The idea was inspired by Grade 9 Destinee Outten’s up-cycled fashion design: a plastic bag skirt fastened by a colourful band of Capri Sun juice bags. We decided to run with the idea by combining traditional Junkanoo materials like crepe paper, glue, cardboard, wire and glitter with reusable materials, like beach plastic, plastic bags and Capri Sun containers. Ultimately, the students would be wearing an environmental awareness campaign.
The grade 7 girls evolved into Plastic Pollution Princesses, adorned with plastic tutus, hot pink sashes and purple crowns. The grade 8 and 9 girls transformed into Bahamian sea species: turtles, sharks, jellies, sea stars and eagle rays. The drummers wore the nation’s colors of gold, blue and black, as Bahamian sea kings.
Our free dancers wore costumes that were meant to raise awareness of overfishing practices. One of our dancers wore a “Responsible Fishing” shoulder piece, with images of spiny-tailed lobsters and closed fishing dates. One free dancer wore a massive conch costume; another wore a spectacular invasive lion fish piece.
Overall, the night was a huge success. The kids invested an incredible amount of energy and enthusiasm into their performance!
Deep Creek Primary School, with the assistance of The Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI), has started a new initiative to build a school community garden with the aim to provide students with access to healthy meals and nutritional awareness.
The planning phase for this project began in October. Deep Creek Primary School teachers and CEI staff met to discuss the potential of a collaborative project that would not only be educational but also provide students with the opportunity to gain valuable practical skills.
A Parent Teacher Association meeting held in mid October ensured that all key-stakeholders were incorporated in the planning process and that there was sufficient backing to support the initiative. The meeting was a great success with demonstrated support from teachers, student’s parents and local community members. An assessment of the surrounding grounds was completed by the key-stakeholders and an area adjacent to the school was chosen for the location of the proposed garden.
In early November the first gardening day was held with a great turn out; 21 community members and 8 CEI staff came together to start clearing the borders of the land so that grow-beds could be constructed. Weekly gardening days were arranged to continue land-clearing efforts and seedlings were planted in preparation for transplanting into the anticipated grow-beds. The great physical effort of clearing the land was alleviated in late November by The Cape Eleuthera Resort and Marina, who kindly helped support this initiative by donating the use of their back-hoe to assist with clearing the large area of land and digging holes for fruit trees. This support was an enormous help to further the project.
Each class will have their own grow-bed, which they will be responsible for the up-keep of, creating ownership and competition between classes. Maintenance of the garden and respective class grow-beds will be incorporated into student daily chores. The combination of ownership that students have over the garden and competition between classes will motivate students and hopefully ensure the success of the project! This endeavor will not only provide students with useful knowledge but also requires them to be responsible and accountable for a project, a great life skill to practice.
In early December, a couple of fruit trees were planted, 7 of the class grow-beds were constructed and the previously potted seedlings were transplanted to the garden. Future plans include planting many more fruits and vegetables in the garden so that healthy meals can be produced for students at the school, and increasing education and awareness amongst students about a balanced, nutritional, healthy diet.
Professional fashion and beauty photographer, host of TV’s The Face, and judge on America’s Next Top Model recently toured the campus’ of The Island School and The Cape Eleuthera Institute while vacationing with his family. Mr. Barker was impressed with our commitment to sustainability and variety of programs offered by the organization.
Greetings from the Island School’s 2013 Summer Term! This weekend, students enjoyed an evening off to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the independence of the Bahamas. We piled into the bus with high anticipation of enjoying some traditional Bahamian food and dance. The warm hour and half long ride to Governor’s Harbour ended with a cool breeze and the sweet smell of celebration. Almost immediately it seemed that the overwhelming smells of conch fritters and coconut drinks drew everyone into a line behind Shauna’s food stand. After chowing down on the food, the cool grooves of rake and scrape music coaxed us into the dancing field. Many of us took a break from twisting and shouting to cool off along the ocean side. Some of us couldn’t help but admire the locally made jewelry and baskets. Only the strong winds and rain could stop our moving feet. A small storm blew in, forcing us to pile back into the bus with our conch salads and high spirits. The drive back quickly lulled us to sleep under the beautiful South Eleutheran stars. It was a truly memorable night. Happy Birthday, Bahamas!
Thanks to Savannah and Chase for this Student Update! In addition to celebrating Independence day today, we are also preparing the campus for the wind and rain expected to arrive later this week. Students helped out on Island School’s campus and at CEI by assisting in storm prep! Everyone is ready to face the wind and rain head on!
What an exciting Monday morning for aquaculture! We now have 3 goby breeding pairs that have all laid eggs this week. Our most recent pair needed to be separated from the two other resident gobies, so we decided to experiment. It has been relayed by word of mouth that gobies will clean parasites off the cobia. Nothing is ever that easy at CEI, so we needed to see it to believe it.
Nine thirty this morning, Marie and I decided to take the leap of faith and place the 2 gobies into the brood stock cobia tank. No one knew what to expect. Would the gobies like their new home? Would the cobia know to stay still so the gobies could clean them? How long would it take until we would observe the gobies actually cleaning the cobia?
Chores aren’t always a chore. This week the folks over at cistern chores have been hard at work keeping tabs on water consumption, as well as making efforts to get out the word on water conservation. They decided to answer a challenge issued by Hercampus.com that seeks to reduce shower times to three-minutes. As you may well know, a three-minute shower at The Island School is a luxury that we just don’t have, so instead we made a film to promote the one-minute shower.
Now we need your help! Watch the video and send it to your friends. Not only do we want to spread the word on water conservation, but we want to win! And the video with most views by Earth Day (this Friday) wins a cache of biodegradable bath products from The Body Shop! With Caleb behind the camera, Haley and Marco playing lead roles, and the support of our faithful viewers, the film is a lock to win. Don’t miss the blooper reel at the end!
In the last week of March, The Island School campus had the honor of hosting cave diver, Brian Kakuk and his team at The Island School and Cape Eleuthera Institute. Brian and his team have been diving caves and blue holes in The Bahamas for more than 20 years and were in South Eleuthera on an expedition. The many Blue Holes in South Eleuthera contain an intact fossil record that is helping the scientists piece together the history of The Bahamas as far back as 4,000 years ago. Continue reading →
Not wanting to be overshadowed by the goats and gobies, The Island School’s resident ducks have added a dozen new faces to the farm this morning. The ducklings are enjoying their new home between the badelynge of females and the flock of chickens. At the moment of writing an ugly duckling has not been discovered in the brood.
Introducing The Island School Farm’s six newest residents. In the past ten days six baby goats were born to three different mothers, increasing the number of goats living on the Cape to 11. Two were born little over a week ago with another two born last Saturday and the youngest two born on Monday. The kids are all doing well and adjusting to life on Eleuthera. Pictured are Moon, Shadow, Eli, Sunday, Flapjack, and Bonnie along with CEI staffers Al, Eric, Kelly, and Whitney as well as IS farmers Joseph and Noel.