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North Eleuthera Students Applauded for Coastal Awareness
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Posted by:Jun 23rd 2005, 01:09:50 pm
Fig Tree News TeamJune 23, 2005 07:43
Students Applauded For Coastal Awareness

Students from schools throughout the country were honoured for their impressive exhibitions on the environment during an awards ceremony capping off the Coastal Awareness School Competition, 2005.

The ceremony was held June 17, in the foyer of the Ministry of Education on Thompson Boulevard.

North Eleuthera High School took top honours in the high school category with "a very well researched and excellent" presentation themed: "Preserving Our Natural Resources Hatchet Bay and Sweetings Pond."

The Ministries of Tourism and Education and the National Coastal Awareness Committee headed by Beverly J. T. Taylor, collaborated to stage a public awareness and educational activities for Coastal Awareness Month observed during April, under the theme: "Preserving our natural resources. If not now, when? If not us, who?"

Also participating in the project were The Bahamas Environment, Science and Technology (BEST) Commission, the Nature Conservancy and the Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF).

The month's activities included a Coastal Awareness Month Competition, in which students throughout The Bahamas were asked to identify and recommend solutions to challenges in their coastal environments. The competition was officially launched April 11.

The purpose of the competition was to enable students through their science-based classes and private organisations to identify environmental challenges from within their immediate surroundings, and proposing possible solutions to improve and/or solve the problem identified.

Addressing the students, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Environment Ron Pinder stressed the importance of preserving the natural surroundings.

Mr. Pinder quoted the 30th President of the United States of America Franklin D. Roosevelt who said: "The Nation that destroys its soil and undermines its environment destroys itself and undermines its very existence."

He noted that analytical data, as well as obvious evidence are indications that daily habits and everyday actions and activities of Bahamians are having profound and significant impact on the balance of nature.

"How we live today also affects how future generations will be able to live in the world of tomorrow," Mr. Pinder said. "The resources we use, the ways in which we care for our coastal zone and treatment of marine life, in particular, will all have a direct impact on the quality of life inherited by our children."

He said it is logical to say that all must take an active role in the preservation of marine resources, and students whose minds are being conditioned for life and work outside of the classroom, are an important part of this preservation.

In this regard, he said, the competition is one of the many mechanisms used to create an awareness among students of the incredible challenge and responsibility they face in ensuring and preserving the country's marine environment for the future.

Mr. Pinder said student participation in the competition would spark an appreciation for and awareness of the role they can play as environmental stewards, which would help to ensure sustainability of The Bahamas' marine reserves.

"The fact is that even though we may not live right near a coastal zone, oceans have a great impact in our lives. The statistics are that approximately 30 per cent of the world's salt comes from the oceans. Scale fish and other kinds of seafood resource, oil as well as natural gases are all oceanic or marine resources," Mr. Pinder said. "So no matter where we live, we all continue to be the beneficiaries of the ocean's resources in some form or another."

Mr. Pinder stressed that it is "vitally important" for students to get a sense of the overwhelming need for both the conservation and preservation of the environment.

"The myriad of skills, opportunities and experiences that students would have been exposed to as a result of their participation in this event will help develop and shape their understanding of the importance of science in the further development of our country," Mr. Pinder said.

He quoted another former President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, who said that appropriate training and education is desired not only for the sake of an individual's personal development but also for the sake of national development.

"Knowledge of our marine and coastal environment contributes not only to an appreciation of its existence, but also to initiatives to preserve it," Mr. Pinder said. "As for the minds of students, their curiosity is the only incentive they need to investigate the world. If we respect and appreciate their lead in this regard, amazing feats would be accomplished."

Second place in the senior category went to C.I Gibson Senior High School with "Sandy Beach Pollution Non-Biodegradable Materials," and third place went to the Government High School with "Sun, Sand and Pollution Preservation of our Mangrove Swamps."

In the junior division, Spanish Wells All-Age School took top honours with their presentation of "Flood Barriers for Buildings on Low Laying Coastal Areas." Matthew Town All-Age School depiction of "Comparative Analysis of the Marina" placed second, and L.W. Young Junior High with "Marine Pollution Oil Spills", placed third.

The winner in the primary division was Nicholls Town Primary School with "Innovative Species;"second place went to "Yellow Elder with Pollution Buster;" and Freeport Primary School depicted "Wave Attack" to place third.

The exhibition is mounted in the foyer of the Ministry of Education.

By Lindsay Thompson,Bahamas Information Services

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