Celebrating Earth Day and Mangrove Restoration in Grand Bahama

Over the weekend, in celebration of Earth Day, The Bahamas Mangrove Alliance (BMA) spearheaded a community-driven mangrove planting event in Grand Bahama. This was followed by a Monday exhibition, which provided an enlightening showcase of the phases involved in a large-scale mangrove restoration project. The event brought together the public, local leaders, and international attendees, fostering a global dialogue on marine conservation in honor of Earth Day.

Uniting for Earth: A coalition of conservation champions, including members of The Bahamas Mangrove Alliance and global partners, join forces to plant mangroves and safeguard coastal ecosystems on Earth Day 2024. Photo by: Preston Knowles


In a powerful demonstration of commitment to marine conservation, The Bahamas Mangrove Alliance led a series of significant events to mark Earth Day 2024, highlighting the vital role of mangrove restoration in enhancing coastal resilience.
This past weekend, the BMA facilitated a community mangrove planting initiative in East End, Grand Bahama, engaging local students, civic leaders, bonefishing guides, and representatives from BMA member organizations. The event underscored the importance of community involvement in marine biology programs, directly contributing to the preservation and restoration of our marine ecosystems.
Continuing the momentum, the BMA hosted an engaging “Mangrove Restoration Exhibition and Planting Experience” on Earth Day itself in Freeport, Grand Bahama. This event offered an immersive experience into the various stages of a large-scale mangrove restoration project at Dover Sound. Participants were able to witness firsthand the transformative effects of collaborative marine conservation efforts on local ecosystems.

Collaborative Efforts and International Support

The events drew special guests from the Clinton Foundation’s “Climate Leadership in the Caribbean” network and members of the CGI Caribbean Women’s Leadership Network, who joined to support and amplify the restoration efforts both regionally and globally. Participants explored areas designated for different restoration stages, gaining a comprehensive understanding of the restoration process from damaged landscapes to newly thriving ecosystems.
In addition to touring damaged sites, guests visited one of the primary mangrove seedling nurseries operated by the BMA and Waterkeepers Bahamas. This visit highlighted the crucial role such facilities play in supporting ongoing mangrove restoration initiatives, crucial for marine biology research and the broader field of marine conservation.

Voices from the Field

Nina Sanchez, BTT Bahamas Initiative Coordinator, expressed her enthusiasm for the day’s significance: “Earth Day 2024 marks a pivotal moment for the Bahamas Mangrove Alliance as we celebrate our ongoing efforts to restore and conserve mangroves across The Bahamas. Through collaboration and community engagement, we are committing to coastal resilience and protecting our environment and local communities from the impacts of natural disasters.”
Dr. Craig Dahlgren, Executive Director of the Perry Institute for Marine Science, reinforced the importance of community involvement: “As we celebrate Earth Day and at community events like these year round, it’s essential to recognize the pivotal role of individuals and communities in driving environmental action. These initiatives showcase the tangible results of our collective efforts and highlight the importance of grassroots involvement in conservation. I’m inspired by the dedication of those participating in one or both BMA Earth Day events – all involved are clearly demonstrating their commitment to restoring and conserving mangroves. Healthy mangrove forests are an essential resource for a functioning environmental system, and the people who depend on it.”
Highlighting the youth perspective, local high school student and Waterkeepers Bahamas Cadet d’Azjah Archer added, “Engaging young people in events like the Mangrove Restoration Exhibition and Planting Experience is crucial for fostering a sense of environmental stewardship and empowering the next generation of leaders.”

Join and Support the Cause

The success of these Earth Day events and the ongoing efforts in mangrove restoration are fueled by the generous support of partners such as Global Environment Facility Small Grants ProgramTNC, and other funding organizations. Those interested in becoming members or supporting BMA initiatives can contact bahamas@bonefishtarpontrust.org.

About the Bahamas Mangrove Alliance:

The Bahamas Mangrove Alliance was co-founded by Bonefish & Tarpon TrustWaterkeepers Bahamas, and the Perry Institute for Marine Science to promote mangrove conservation and restoration in The Bahamas. The BMA pursues these objectives by working to harmonize and scale mangrove science and restoration nationwide and to advocate for mangrove conservation through education and strategic outreach key to audiences. The BMA is a growing alliance of NGOs, community leaders, civil society, sustainably-minded businesses, and other local and national stakeholders.
This Earth Day, let’s remember the role each of us plays in supporting marine biology research, marine conservation programs, and initiatives like mangrove restoration that pave the way toward a sustainable and resilient future. 


Dr. Karlisa Callwood planting mangrove seedlings in Grand Bahama
A close-up view of Dr. Karlisa Callwood's newly planted mangrove seedlings, symbolizing hope for the future of coastal ecosystems.
Preparing to plant mangroves for restoration
Planting the Future: Preparing mangrove seedlings for planting, contributing to the restoration of vital coastal habitats on Grand Bahama. Photo by: Preston Knowles
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