Cole Bay- the Nature Foundation St Maarten organized a field trip for the young students of the Sister Regina School on last Tuesday. The students visited Mullet Pond and learned about the importance of Wetlands and Mangroves and how they protect Sint Maarten from storm surge. The students 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 students collected 145 pounds of trash in just half an hour using the Trash Tracker method developed by Ocean Clean-up Organization 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 vital for human survival and the world’s most productive environment, wetlands are protecting coastlines as they reduce storm wave power and protect us against extreme droughts and flooding’s. Wetlands and their mangroves are a habitat for many wildlife species, marine life species and birds call it 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. Mullet Pond is the last intact mangrove forest within the Simpson Bay Lagoon, 70% of all mangroves in the Simpson Bay lagoon are located in Mullet Pond. Simpson Bay has lost large parts of their mangrove forests due to development and worldwide we also lost about 2/3 of our wetlands. With the visit of Mullet Pond we created the opportunity for these students to see and learn about this important wetland habitat themselves” explained Melanie Meijer zu Schlochtern.