Barbadians,?? school?? children?? and?? visitors?? alike will have the opportunity to learn more about?? coral reefs and their stewardship, thanks to a travelling regional coral reef exhibit currently?? on display at the Folkestone Park and?? Marine Reserve?? in St. James.

Entitled Our Reefs: Caribbean Connections, it will be open on weekdays between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. until next Thursday, December 16.

The exhibit, which seeks to promote awareness and understanding of the reasons for the deterioration of coral reefs and the fact that quick action can begin to reverse current trends, contains some local photographs.

According to the project’s official website, the exhibit offers a scientific perspective of the declining condition of many corals reefs in the wider Caribbean, and presents local attempts to conserve sustainably, utilise or restore reefs and related ecosystems.

Topics to be covered are: Caribbean Currents; Paradise for Sale; Creating a Coral Reef; Depleted Harvests; Coral and Climate Change; Marine Reserves; Land and the Reef; Experiments in Reef Repair; Vulnerable Coastlines; and Caribbean Reefs : the Future?

The display, said to be a revision of a traveling exhibit developed by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, debuted at the eighth International Coral Reef Symposium in Panam?? in 1996 and subsequently, visited multiple venues in the U.S., Honduras, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Belize and Panama.

Due to the deteoriation of coral reefs in the wider Caribbean over the past decade, as well as the increase in scientific knowledge and emergence of new strategies for management and remediation, it was felt that an update was needed. Designed and produced at Florida State University, this new version opened at the 11th ICRS in Fort Lauderdale in 2008.

The initiative is being supported locally by the Coastal Zone Management Unit, the Folkestone Marine Park and Reserve, the National Conservation Commission and the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES), University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.????

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