SSS Education Project
Education and public awareness remains the most powerful tool in nature conservation. For this reason the nature conservation foundations of the Windward Islands, Saba Conservation Foundation, STENAPA in St. Eustatius and Nature Foundation St. Maarten, launched a comprehensive three-year education and conservation program. The program was made possible by funding through the Truus and Gerrit van Riemsdijk Foundation, Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance Foundation (DCNA), Prince Bernhard Culture fund and Usona.
2004 – 2005 “HELP OUT OR SEA TURTLES MISS OUT”
The major goal of this project was to increase national pride in the fact that we still have sea turtles on our islands, to create awareness that they need protection and to identify concrete ways in which the public can help to save sea turtles from extinction.
This project also served as a case study, to raise general environmental awareness and care and to build a foundation for nature and environmental education on the Windward Islands. It was in this first year that our mascot ‘Scout’ the sea turtle was born.
2005 – 2006 Reduce-Reuse-Recycle: “The Waste Watchers”
As the title already implies, this theme focused on garbage control and littering reduction. The major awareness goals of this project were to make students conscious of being a part of our environment; that they understand that garbage and littering is everyone's problem and that they too are responsible to help prevent and solve these problems.
One of the by-products of this year was the production of a CD compiled of winning songs about waste reduction by students from different elementary schools.
2006 – 2007 The Water Theme: “The Story of Captain Scout of the Black Turtle” The WATER topic was fitted into a pirate theme that focussed on marine life and the different characteristics of water. The major awareness goals of this project were that students learn about the importance of water, our marine habitat and coastal vegetation.
Just like former environmental education lessons, the sea turtle mascot, Scout, was involved. Cursed by the spell of greed, he became the wicked captain of the pirate ship “The Black Turtle” and he and his crew sailed out to find a hidden treasure. Each of their adventures during this journey served as the introduction to one new lesson on water. In the end, Scout is freed from the curse of greed and returns to the sea as the friendly turtle he always was.