A new project to restore Bahamian mangrove forests destroyed by Hurricane Dorian in 2019 has been launched by Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT) and its partners Bahamas National Trust (BNT), Friends of the Environment and MANG, an environmental apparel brand that plants a mangrove for every product sold. The coalition seeks to transplant up to 100,000 mangroves in the hardest hit areas with the help of Bahamian fishing guides, students and other volunteers.
“Mangroves are an essential part of the ecosystem that supports bonefish and other flats species,” said BTT President and CEO Jim McDuffie. “They provide habitat for fish and other wildlife, prevent coastal erosion, and help buffer the communities where our friends and partners live against storms. BTT is pleased to be a part of this important work.”
This large-scale, five-year project, the first of its kind in the country, will target Abaco, Grand Bahama and surrounding cays. Scientific surveys completed last spring found that Hurricane Dorian damaged or destroyed nearly 74 percent of Grand Bahama’s mangroves and 40 percent of Abaco’s across an area of 35 square miles.
In partnership with BNT, BTT has drafted a comprehensive plan to help restore this critical flats habitat and put local fishing guides to work. Without such a plan, in the best-case scenario recovery would take over a decade, and in the most severely impacted locations, sites where seed banks were blown out, recovery may not occur at all. The first phase of the project commenced in December with the planting of 6,048 mangroves on Grand Bahama and Abaco. Continue Reading