Investing in our future
Innovating to continue Educating
Over the last two years we have been hosting sea turtle camps in seven communities in Roatan. The camps are a combination of presentations, interactive activities and field visits. Through the camps, children get hands on experience on sea turtle identification, biology and conservation. However, this year was certainly a difficult one. The Bay Islands Education department issued strict social distancing regulations which meant most children had to receive virtual classes.
During half of the year, we were uncertain on whether the turtle camps would be feasible. Thanks to an incredibly supportive group of 29 teachers and several adaptations to the sea turtle camp curriculum, we were able to successfully host seven camps! Teachers were very creative, using all means available such as WhatsApp, phone and text message. Over 300 children participated and the success was measured via daily journal entries. Students explained in their daily entries that turtles are "beautiful creatures", that their meat or eggs should not be eaten, and the importance of cleanups as this helps to protect their nesting beaches.
In 2021, we hope to have transitioned several of our education activities to virtual learning, to ensure we continue engaging communities in marine conservation.
Schools. Students of all ages learn and explore the different ecosystems and priority conservation species of the MPA. They learn through presentations and field based experiences such as visits to the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences, reef tours in the glass bottom boat, and guided snorkeling tours.
In order to build capacities in the students and professors we host events, campaigns, and develop institutional micro projects within the school . Currently we have a three school projects:
1. “Green School, Blue Future” is a project based in Punta Gorda in which we are developing an environmental curriculum within two schools that aspire to become eco schools and serve as role models
2. “My Island, My Treasure, My Future” was created in 2019 in the community of Camp Bay, located on the east end of the Island. The goal of this project is to empower the next generation of reef leaders and create national pride within the community.
3. Every year we conduct Turtle camps and holiday camps "Ocean Guardian Kids Camp" where more than 150+ students are instructed in marine conservation.
We train tour operators, transport Associations, fisher associations and companies in Best Tourist Practices to safeguard our reef.
We train dive operators and staff on the importance of the BINMP, Honduran diving standards and voluntary standards in the Mesoamerican Reef.
Through the Bay Islands Responsible Seafood Guide, we promote a guide for retailers, restaurants and consumers to select the best and sustainable seafood choices
We carry out conservation activities and campaigns, celebrations of environmental days (World Wetlands, Mesoamerican Reef and Oceans day) and support for current island wide initiatives such as beach, mangroves, and reef cleanups and waste management campaigns. We create awareness to empower communities in sea turtle conservation.
HOW TO BE RESPONSIBLE VISITORS
Please watch the following informational video to learn how you can do your part by following environmental best practices on Roatan.