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Island News

St. Maarten, Saba, Statia to Boost Coral Restoration

coralrestorationNature conservation organizations in St. Maarten, Saba, Statia and Turks and Caicos will soon start planting structures made from bamboo and rope in their marine parks with the objective to regenerate coral species severely depleted over the last few decades.   The focus will be on Elkhorn and staghorn corals, species which are fast growing and relatively insensitive to sediment, a signifi cant factor affecting coral on all of the islands, said Nature Foundation in a press release.

With this project the participants hope to create new reefs. Nature Foundation, Saba Conservation Foundation, St. Eustatius National Park Stenapa and Turks and Caicos Reef Fund are now in the process of selecting the exact locations.  The project is managed by the Marine Park Management Organizations, Wageningen University/ IMARES in cooperation with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and funded by the European Union (EU).  

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The plan is to source small coral fragments from so-called mother colonies of Elkhorn and Staghorn coral on the islands. The fragments will then be hung on locally developed ladder-like, flexible structures that are placed under water with at least five structures being deployed per island. The trees can be removed to prevent them from being damaged by storms or strong current. The coral fragments can grow 10 to 12 cm a year: after three years in the nursery they can be transplanted to form parts of new coral reefs.

"Courtesy of Caribbean Gems Newsletter"

St. Maarten Best Weekend Grows Into A Caribbean Festival

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Coors Light Best Weekend Festival is also known as the island’s Summer Spring Break and is set to take place July 28 to August 1. According to the organisers, the weekend serves the purpose of a very-much needed large-scale annual festival on the island.   Organisers and sponsors of St. Maarten Best Weekend (SXM Best Weekend) hosted a press conference on last week at Caribbean Liquors and Tobacco offices.  

Close to 1,000 visitors from the surrounding French islands will be attending the full week of events. Organiser “Skellet” spoke to the media about preparing the event and thanked Chippie and main sponsor Coors Light for their support.   Promotion team Kalaboom is one of the youngest promoting teams specialising in the marketing and production of events on the island. The first Best Weekend took place in 2015 and could be termed successful, according to the organisers.   The team has produced more than 30 events per year on both sides of the island, some of which are now annual events: Jouvert Morning Splash, Black On Black, and now Best Weekend.

For more information about event happenings, visit https://www.facebook.com/kalaboomevents/

"Courtesy of Caribbean Gems Newsletter"

 

Island Water World (IWW) Wins At St. Barths

Team Island Water World from St. Maarten won the Melges 24 one design class at the La Voile de St. Barths Sailboat Regatta over the weekend.  Team GFA from Martinique finished second and Team Gill from St. Maarten was third.  “In difficult conditions of light wind and strong currents it was a question of good tactics and weather knowledge to edge out the competition,” said Bus.  Several other St. Maarten boats competed in the regatta that attracts many top sailors from around the world.

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Norwegian Escape Makes Inaugural Call

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Norwegian Escape, one of the biggest ships of the Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) Breakaway Plus Class, will make her inaugural call to St. Maarten on Tuesday July 19th. The 4,200-passenger ship will head into port two more times in August.  Norwegian Escape is one of the newest and most advanced cruise vessels on the seas.   Port St. Maarten said in a press statement it continues to work on additional calls from NCL, “a very important cruise partner and we have been working diligently to have them return to destination St. Maarten.”  NCL has interests in Tortola and has moved vessels to that island, but for the coming season, new vessels will call here, said the Port.  

In April, Port St. Maarten met with NCL President Frank Del Rio Sr. and Vice President of Port & Itinerary Planning Mario Parodi  Jr. to talk about including the destination in the itinerary planning for new vessels.   NCL is said to be pleased with the ratings and what the destination has to offer cruise passengers. “We remain cognizant of the trends and developments in the cruise industry and are happy that NCL remains committed to the destination with respect to growing our cruise sector,” Port management said.

"Courtesy of Caribbean Gems Newsletter"

 

St. Martin Book Fair Shooting For The Stars

 Leading space scientist Camille Wardrop Alleyne will deliver the keynote address of the fourteenth St. Martin Book Fair, which will be held June 2 to 4, under the theme: “The Science of It.” Alleyne has served as assistant programme scientist for the International Space Station (ISS).  Alleyne developed and managed the communication strategy for ISS Research and Technology, which conveyed the benefits of ISS scientific research to stakeholders, including the United States Congress, the general public, and potential users. 

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Rio Productions Lights Up Streets With Parade

PHILIPSBURG--Carnival lovers jammed and jumped in the fifth annual Rio “Lightin’ Up de Road” parade on Saturday evening.  The streets were lighted with pink and green shirts behind Fantastic 4 (former Burning Flames) band and Small Axe Band. Fantastic 4 are pioneers of soca music and famous in the entire Caribbean and North America for their top-quality music and outstanding performances. The theme for the 2016 Lightin Up De Road parade was “The Clash of the Titans,” chosen was because two famous Caribbean bands performed on the road for one night.  Several costumes were also part of the parade while hundreds of spectators enjoyed the private jump-up. New this year was the Rio Village where the participants and spectators could meet to enjoy great music and enjoy local dishes.

Island a Top 10 Best Tropical Destination For Bird Watches

birdwatchingReader’s Digest Magazines Canada has named St. Maarten/ St. Martin in its “Ten Best Tropical Destinations for Bird Watchers.”  An article written by Susan Campbell describes St. Maarten/St. Martin as a, “…hot spot for migrating sea birds, the dual-nation island of St. Maarten and St. Martin has a burgeoning bird watching scene.  “Visitors to the annual Migratory Seabird Festival can enjoy guided tours to the island’s 164 species in a variety of locations via SeaGrape Tours and learn more about the birds through local environmental organisations like Les Fruit de Mer and the Nature Foundation.

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