Discovery Bay Marine Lab Opens New Biodiversity Boardwalk With EFJ Funding

So much has been happening that I am still trying to catch up. A lot of good things, actually. And here is just one of them, that will undoubtedly contribute to environmental education. It’s important for young people to see and experience important aspects of our natural heritage, and to examine our special and unique ecosystems more closely. Here’s a press release from the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica. You may find it on the EFJ Facebook page, along with some other interesting information. 

Environmental Foundation of Jamaica

Environmental education and eco-tourism in Jamaica received an exciting boost on June 20, 2017, when a ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory in St. Ann. The occasion was the official opening of a 300-meter long Biodiversity Boardwalk, which winds its way through mangrove and dry limestone forest habitat near the laboratory.
The boardwalk was funded by the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ). It is the first phase of a three-part project first conceptualized and submitted to the Jamaica Protected Areas Trust (JPAT) for funding in 2011, as the Northern Limestone Forest Conservation Project. Phase Two will be the construction of a coastal forest interpretive Visitor Facility and in the final phase a circular boardwalk will be built out to sea, linking Phases One and Two. A total of just over J$21.6 million was committed to the project, to run over a three-year period.
Walking along the boardwalk.
The overall goal of the project is to establish an environmentally friendly, certified and approved facility that will provide opportunities for academic research through displays focusing on the land and sea features of coastal areas. Through the interpretive Visitor Centre, the project aims to explain and educate the general public (including students) and to generate income from tourists interested in learning about Jamaican ecosystems.
The project also aims to create a biodiversity reservoir, to conserve and manage fourteen acres of coastal forest. Many coastal areas are undergoing development activities that often displace flora and fauna and it is hoped that the facility will serve as a sanctuary and temporary depository for important and protected species – especially those that are injured and recovering. A detailed mapping of the area will identify the location and number of these vulnerable species.
Executive Director of the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ) Barrington Lewis cuts the ribbon along with Professor Mona Webber at the Discovery Bay Marine Lab.
EFJ’s Executive Director Barrington Lewis commented: “The EFJ has two focal areas – the environment and child survival and development – and every so often we get projects that can twin these areas. We believe the work by the Discovery Bay Marine Lab will do this and we are proud to support this project. We have funded the cost of Phase One and we look forward to the successful implementation of the second and third phases.”
The Discovery Bay Marine Lab is a program of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Centre for Marine Sciences. It is dedicated to supporting research and the teaching of biology, chemistry, ecology, geology, hydrology and geography. The facility also seeks to apply the knowledge gleaned to the management of the natural resources in Jamaica’s important and vulnerable coastal zones.
Contact the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica, 1B Norwood Avenue, Kingston 5. Tel: (876) 960-6744  Twitter: @The_EFJ  Website: http://www.efj.org.jm

4 thoughts on “Discovery Bay Marine Lab Opens New Biodiversity Boardwalk With EFJ Funding

  1. Terrific initiative! Recently took a walk along a boardwalk into the Loxahatchee Wildlife Reserve in Florida to see mangrove dwellers, birds and reptiles. So peaceful and wondrous! Cant wait to take this walk. Thanks for the information Emma.

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    1. You’re welcome, Yvonne. Yes, this is a great idea for looking at things “up close” – and learning. There is a boardwalk near my brother’s house in Australia, in a swampy area. It was fascinating, because each time we went there, there was something new to see.

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  2. Emma! Thanks for this important info!! And yes, there is much good news about things happening in Jamaica, about which we need to be reminded – helps to energize and empower in the midst of the murders and poverty!! Judith

    On Sun, Jul 23, 2017 at 11:20 PM, Petchary’s Blog wrote:

    > petchary posted: “So much has been happening that I am still trying to > catch up. A lot of good things, actually. And here is just one of them, > that will undoubtedly contribute to environmental education. It’s important > for young people to see and experience important aspec” >

    Like

    1. Yes, Jamaicans are pressing on with doing stuff that will hopefully enlighten and support us all in the future. Thanks Judith! PS the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica is not to be confused with the Jamaica Environment Trust…two quite separate entities! 🙂

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