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Grenada

Carriacou Island

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Conservation benefit: Mangrove replanting in 19-acre area, conservation of mangroves and sea turtle nesting habitat for 10 years

Community benefit: Materials and training for women’s cooperative

Date Approved: 06.2017

Mangroves

This project protects mangroves, which trap more CO2 than any other kind of forest and as a result, slow global warming.

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.

Project Updates

May 2019

During the 2018 sea turtle nesting season (March to November), members of our nonprofit partner recorded 94 confirmed nests, 169 unconfirmed nests, and almost 100 instances of females coming up onto the beach but not creating a nest. An estimated 23,300 eggs were laid and saved from poaching, and the group confirmed the success of 35 hatched nests.
Since June 2018 the group has planted approximately 1,500 red mangrove propagules in the restoration area of Petit Carenage. About 30% of the plants were damaged and have been replaced. On February 2, World Wetland Day, they teamed up with local conservation organizations to plant hundreds of red mangrove saplings in the restoration area.
With the professional-quality sewing machines funded by a Seacology grant, the Creative Women of Carriacou are making bags from old clothing and sails, and are training youth to sew. A group at St. George’s University in Grenada recently ordered 95 pouches for carrying eating utensils, so students won’t have to use disposable plastic utensils. A Grenada boutique is also selling the bags.

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October 2018

Grenada field rep Tyrone Buckmire and program manager Mary Randolph toured Carriacou Island this month and saw the replanted mangrove area as well as the long sandy crescent of beach where hundreds of sea turtles nest every year. (They didn’t get to see any turtles, because it was near the end of the nesting season–and pouring rain.) They also visited the new store run by the “Creative Women of Carriacou,” who are making one-of-a-kind bags from old clothing and sails. The bags are already popular at St. George’s University, on the main island of Grenada.

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September 2018

On August 3rd, the CWC shop and project were officially launched in Carriacou. Seacology field rep Tyrone Buckmire spoke at the short ceremony, along with the Minister for Carriacou and Petit Martinique Affairs. Tyrone reports that the shop is well located and very nicely done up. The women are taking turns working there 1 to 5 p.m. daily. They have already received their first order, for 25 bags.

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May 2018

An unforeseen setback slowed the start of this project: The women’s group lost access to the storefront where they had planned to sell their products. But they have found another location and are now fixing it up. Community members began monitoring and protecting nesting sea turtles in March, with early morning and night patrols. They are also regularly monitoring recently transplanted mangroves and will plant more during the summer.

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