Young pupils of Sister Regina School learning about mangroves at Mullet Pond during a field trip organised by Nature Foundation St. Maarten.
COLE BAY–Nature Foundation St. Maarten organised a field trip for young pupils of Sister Regina Primary School on Wednesday. They visited Mullet Pond and learned about the importance of wetlands and mangroves and how they protect St. Maarten from storm surge.
The children also learned about the impact of trash on marine life and, therefore, performed a clean-up at Mullet Bay Beach as part of the Reduce and Reuse St. Maarten Project.
About 25 pupils collected 145 pounds of trash in just half an hour using the Trash Tracker method developed by ocean clean-up organisation 4Oceans. Students weighed all the collected trash and used reusable bags and gloves.
“We are very delighted with these students because of their hard work, achievements and willingness to help the environment of St. Maarten, I have never seen such young motivated students before for a clean-up. These students might be the future generation to protect our natural environment and that is very much needed on St. Maarten,” stated Nature Foundation Projects Officer Melanie Meijer zu Schlochtern.
Wetlands are deemed vital for human survival and the world’s most productive environment. Wetlands protect coastlines, as they reduce storm-wave power and protect against extreme droughts and flooding.
Wetlands and their mangroves are a habitat for many wildlife and marine-life species, and birds call them home or rest in wetlands during migrations. Besides, mangroves improve water quality due to filtration of the water.
“Mullet Pond is listed and protected as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Treaty and is the last intact mangrove forest within Simpson Bay Lagoon. Seventy per cent of all mangroves in the lagoon are located in Mullet Pond.
“Simpson Bay has lost large parts of its mangrove forests due to development and worldwide we also lost about two-thirds of all wetlands. With the visit to Mullet Pond we created the opportunity for these students to see and learn about this important wetland habitat themselves,” explained Meijer zu Schlochtern.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/82929-pupils-clean-mullet-bay-beach-and-learn-about-mangroves