Press Release

Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration
Release Date:
Wednesday, 29 January 2020 - 5:14pm

A Mangrove nursery will be will be established at the H. Lavity Stout Community College (HLSCC) following the signing of a Grant Agreement.

The agreement was signed yesterday January 28 between Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Honourable Vincent Wheatley; Executive Director of BVI Unite Foundation, Dr. Sauda Smith; Acting President of the HLSCC, Dr. Richard Georges and Research Consultant, Dr. Lianna Jarecki.

Honourable Wheatley said mangroves are very important to the Territory’s ecosystems, as they not only protect our shores but they also provide a nursery for fish and other marine life.

Minister Wheatley added, “Apart from being able to replace the damaged mangroves that were damaged in the hurricanes of 2017, should we have another occurrence of a hurricane, we will replace those mangroves at a faster rate in the future.”

Executive Director of BVI Unite Foundation, Dr. Sauda Smith commended the HLSCC for being such a great partner and for submitting a flawless proposal to establish the mangrove nursery.

Meanwhile, Acting President of the HLSCC, Dr. Richard Georges expressed the importance of having the mangrove nursery to the fulfilment of the mandate of the college while serving the BVI.

Dr. Georges said, “Being a community college, we have to be mindful of ways that we can buttress the needs of the BVI. I see this as a culmination of the work that the college has already proceeded to do.”

Research Consultant, Dr. Jarecki stated that mangroves can help make the BVI more resilient to the effects of climate change. The idea of the nursery she added is to build capacity to generate mangroves in areas that have been damaged.

Dr. Jarecki said, “The damage to mangroves has been apparent since the hurricanes, but we have experienced a lot of wetland replacement long before that and because of that, we have flooding and erosion issues that we know mangroves are good at mitigating against.”

Dr. Jarecki further added, “I see the advantage of this mangrove nursery at the college as a platform for education in our community and also for our students as climate change continues to affect us.”

The Mangrove Nursery is expected to be a valuable resource for mangrove seedlings to be grown until they are ready to be transferred to various areas around the Territory that were affected since the 2017 hurricanes. A variety of different species such as the Red, White, and Buttonwood mangroves will be nursed to maturity.

Notes: (Photo credit: GIS/ P. Bridgewater)

Photo 1: (Left to Right): Representative from Unite BVI Foundation, Ms. Kim Takeuchi; Research Consultant, Dr. Lianna Jarecki; Acting President of the HLSCC, Dr. Richard Georges; Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Honourable Vincent Wheatley; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Dr. Marcia Potter; Executive Director of the Unite BVI Foundation, Dr. Sauda Smith; Marine Biologist in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Mr. Mervin Hastings; Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Mr. Joseph Smith-Abbott

Photo 2: (Left to Right): Acting President of the HLSCC, Dr. Richard Georges; Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Honourable Vincent Wheatley; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Dr. Marcia Potter; Executive Director of the Unite BVI Foundation, Dr. Sauda Smith

Photo 3: Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Honourable Vincent Wheatley

Author

Paul Bridgewater

Information Officer I (Ag.)
Department of Information and Public Relations
Telephone:468-3333
Email: Pbridgewater@gov.vg