If the biota, in the course of aeons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts? To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering. Aldo Leopold, Round River, 1993.
Reef Relief's Earlier Efforts to Establish Captain Roberts Environmental Center in Bahamas
-- New Plymouth, Green Turtle Cay, Abacos, Bahamas
For the past 26 years, Reef Relief has been headquartered at the Reef Relief Environmental Center in Key West, Florida. For seven years, the Captain Roberts House provided a headquarters for Reef Relief programs in the Bahamas. "Reef Relief has installed reef mooring buoys and created a coral nursery near Green Turtle Cay, the sister city to Key West. In addition to maintaining the buoys and monitoring the nursery, we want to expand our educational activities in Abaco. This is the perfect opportunity to establish a home base for these efforts!" noted Reef Relief Board member Linda Odum, a part-time resident and property owner in Green Turtle Cay.
The Architectural Preservation Foundation of New Plymouth has offered Reef Relief a 5 year lease at a cost of $10,000 per year to establish an environmental education center at the historic Captain Roland Roberts House in New Plymouth. The classic Bahamian two-story house in New Plymouth will be historically restored by the foundation. The first floor will feature a visitor center open to the public, operated and staffed by the foundation. The Foundation will display exhibits and information about Green Turtle Cay. Reef Relief will mount displays and provide materials for the general public to increase their awareness and support for protecting coral reefs. A classroom will be set up for regional student education activities. The upstairs and rear structures on the property will provide office space and lodging for visiting scientists, other educational organizations, and interested parties.
"The establishment of the Captain Robert's House will enable Reef Relief to expand coral reef educational programs in the Abaco area of the Bahamas--an area that is growing fast. The increasing activity on land and in the ocean is affecting the coral reefs here," noted Reef Relief's Executive Director DeeVon Quirolo." Education is the key to insuring the health of the marine environment in the future.
During the recent Reef Relief Board of Directors Advance, the directors approved establishment of an environmental education center and research facility at the Captain Roland Roberts House in New Plymouth, Green Turtle Cay in the Abacos, Bahamas.
The Reef Relief board of directors, led by board member Linda Odum, has agreed to launch a campaign goal of $50,000 to fund the establishment of the Captain Robert's House. "We will seek support from individuals, businesses, and grants to meet this goal. The funds will be used to furnish the house, create educational displays and materials, launch an educational program for local school students and establish a schedule of use by other interested parties. Scientists will be able to use the facility to support research on coral reefs in the Abacos as well. It's very exciting," noted Ms. Odum.
Disney Conservation Grant Funds have been earmarked for the project and for the buoy program in Abaco and West Marine Products recently donated $2000 to the Green Turtle Cay buoy program.