Created: May 30, 2022 08:00
What a start: Pictured left, Rosemary Holmes of the Garden Club; JP Skinner, of Waterstart; Carol Sims, of the Garden Club; Phoebe Barboza, Head of Operations and Research, Waterstart; and Jan Macdonald, of the Garden Club (Photograph provided)
A program that teaches young people how to take care of the environment has received a $10,000 boost.
Waterstart, which provides students aged 12 to 18 with an education in aquatics, conservation and marine science, received the donation from the Garden Club of Bermuda.
The program is based on Burt Island in the Great Sound and has taught over 500 students over the past year. Current projects include shellfish restoration, forest restoration, organic gardening and seagrass management.
Waterstart is currently working with the local community and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to protect the island seagrasses.
Phoebe Barboza, Head of Operations and Research at Waterstart, said: “Seagrass beds are beautifully unique. They are the only flowering plants adapted to grow submerged in the sea and are extremely valuable and environmentally crucial species.
“These species must be protected to ensure that the essential food sources, shelter and nursery grounds they provide for commercial and recreational fish species as well as the many invertebrates living in seagrass communities remain.
“Our team is extremely fortunate to be able to work to protect these grasslands while providing a memorable hands-on experience for so many students and community members.
“Thank you to the Garden Club of Bermuda for their incredible support and confidence in our efforts to protect the environment and share our natural classrooms with everyone who joins us at Waterstart.”