The island of Carriacou, in the eastern Caribbean, is known for shipbuilders who craft wooden sailing vessels using designs that have changed little in two centuries. It is also home to some of the largest mangrove ecosystems in Grenada. Leatherback, hawksbill, green, and loggerhead turtles nest there.
The turtles’ fate is tied to the island’s mangrove forests, which have been damaged by hurricanes, dredging, and cutting for charcoal production. This project will expand a replanting effort begun by a local NGO, the YWF-Kido Foundation. Working with a wetlands biologist from the States since 1994, the foundation has restored more than 25 acres of mangroves.
Islanders from four communities (Windward, Dover, L’Esterre, and Hillsborough) will replant 19 acres over three years. For at least 10 years, trained volunteers will monitor Petit Carénage nightly during turtle nesting season, patrolling the beach and the mangroves. Volunteers prevent poaching of turtle eggs or adults, help disoriented turtles, and remove debris that could entangle hatchlings.
A Seacology grant will help a group of women, who have started a sewing cooperative, buy equipment and materials. Using post-consumer materials, including old sails, they will make tote bags and other items. They will get training in finishing, labeling, and pricing items, and will open a small store at the ferry dock.