September saw the beginning of a new phase in Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire’s involvement in Ecological Restoration of Lac and the South of Bonaire. Together with the openbaar lichaam Bonaire and WILDCONSCIENCE BV, STCB continued its efforts to protect Bonaire’s wildlife by organizing a large clean-up of the area, and by placing natural barriers around Sorobon parking lots as well as informative signs.
Mangrove forests are one of the world’s most threatened tropical ecosystems. On Bonaire, damaging activities include, amongst others, the use of vehicles near the mangroves which can lead to soil compaction, the destruction of seedlings by trampling and illegal waste dumping which causes pollution. With the placement of boulders and logs around the parking lots, the involved parties intend to limit car access, thereby minimizing potential damage from vehicles. The new concrete signs, which can also be found at Te Amo Beach and the South of Bonaire, will moreover increase awareness of both locals and tourists visiting the Lac Bay mangroves.
STCB manager Mabel Nava: ‘Mangrove forests support a wealth of life; they are among the most productive and biologically complex ecosystems on Earth. On Bonaire, the mangroves are home to a wide variety of marine creatures who depend on the health of this ecosystem. Bonaire’s turtles, for example, feed on sponges and sargassum which can be found in this area. It is therefore of great importance to keep our mangroves clean and undisturbed.’
The activities at Sorobon, which are similar to earlier works carried out at Te Amo Beach, form part of a wider ecological restoration project. This project, in which local organizations and businesses concentrate on nature conservation, is coordinated by the openbaar lichaam Bonaire and funded with the so-called ‘natuurgelden’ made available by the Dutch government