Barbadians to see coral
reefs up close|
Web Posted - Tue Feb 14 2006
Caribbean Conser-vation Association (CCA) is looking to
take a hands-on approach to educating Barbadians about
Word of this has come from Mr. Leslie Walling,
Executive Director of CCA, during a recent interview
with the Barbados Advocate.
This is a plan that is being discussed now. You may
be aware of a proposal to Government to create an
artificial reef in Carlisle Bay. We have been in
discussion with the company making that proposal and
local dive operators to create another dimension to the
project, to use it for public awareness and education,
The CCA head said they have suggested that they use
the artificial reef and make modules that simulate reefs
to educate the future generation about the importance of
protecting the coral reefs.
Our suggestion is to put small artificial reefs
close to shore in medium depth water. This allows us to
take for example young kids out and expose them to
certain environmental concepts; we can show them a
natural reef and an artificial reef. The artificial reef
can then be used to explain things like colonisation,
because it acts like a substrate for corals to settle
down and develop the reef, [as well as] recruitment
because fish are coming to feed along the artificial
reef and succession how a first wave of organisms come
in and move out and others follow, he explained.
Likewise, he said, they have suggested that
artificial reefs be put out at snorkelling depths to
cater to older children and adults.
What we are trying to do is make a transition from
the shore to the deeper water that will allow us to
cater to different units of the public, so as to educate
them fully, he added.
Additionally, he revealed that the CCA has been in
discussion with an overseas company that has developed
online training modules in coral reef ecology, to
encourage it to make this part of the modules. He also
believes that this proposal would be an excellent
complement to the People and Corals programme soon to
start in the primary schools.
The online programme is pitched at the ordinary
person. It is not highly technical, but it does provide
you with a good understanding of what a coral is, what a
coral reef is and what are the different zones. This
company has developed this product as a certification
scheme for scuba divers. What they are saying to us is
that they will provide us with online access to the
teaching material for the schools, so we will have the
hard copy for the teachers to use in the classroom and
online access to use in the classroom and at home, Mr.