Vision and Goals Outline
Guanaja Island Ecology Center
- Long range restoration programs.
- Community education and interpretive programs.
- Ecotourism programs.
- Ecosystems research.
- Habitat protection restoration and sustainability.
- Community awareness and education.
- Establishment of coastal and marine protected areas.
- Partnering with local, regional and international agencies and NGOs.
Guanaja Mangrove Restoration History
- 2003 Initial restoration begun at the tail end of a terrestrial reforestation project.
- 2005 Local volunteer Ray Powery begins replanting near Mangrove Bight.
2008 August: Guanaja Mangroves Restoration formed, collaborated with locals and began planting test plots to learn more about critical success factors.
- 2008 January – February: With the help of local and international volunteers GMR planted 21 test plots with 1000 Rhizophora propagules each. Meanwhile forming relationships with Guanaja Island’s community leaders and international mangrove experts.
- 2009 December: Field notes and data recorded and GMR team planted 17,000 red propagules. Initial experimentation with Black and White replanting started.
- 2010 March: Additional notes and data recorded and 6,000 more red propagules planted in long transect line plots to complement our previous square plots.
- 2010 April: Guanaja Island’s Berkshire School Director, Rigo Dawkins joined our mangrove education efforts by collaborating with Martin Keeley of Mangrove Action Project to hold a teacher training and mangrove curriculum development conference.
- 2010 April: former USA President Jimmy Carter participated in planting mangroves.
- 2010 June: Ted Turner Foundation joined our base of supporters.
- 2010 Launch fundraising effort: Growing roots in Guanaja and beyond.
- 2010 August: Coordinate a large planting of Red Mangroves.
- 2010 October: Introduce a locally supplemented mangrove curriculum to island schools.
- Acquisition of building to house center: 2010-2011.
- 2011 Establish programs, exhibitions, and activities. Outreach to the Bay Islands, Honduran mainland, and international academic researchers.
- 2011 – 2012 Collaborate ecology programs with Falls Brook Institute based in Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge.
- 2011- 2015 Guanaja Island Ecology Center established as a local, regional and international research center.
Active Projects and Fundraising:
(1) Education and Volunteer Center: We are pursuing the purchase and renovation of a building and property for the center. The selected location is now for sale and will provide classroom and laboratory space, volunteer and staff housing and immediate access to critical habitats. Fundraising Goal: $250,000 in 2011.
(2) Mangrove Restoration: Our core project is both an educational center piece and aims to restore 100 hectares of critical mangrove fisheries habitat. Our volunteers have now planted over 50,000 mangroves in test plots. From lessons learned we are developing a restoration plan. Our goal is to plant over 400,000 Red, White and Black mangroves. Fundraising Goal: $20,000 annually.
(3) Environmental Education Curriculum: We are facilitating the regional introduction of an educational curriculum which teaches hands on biology, science and conservation lessons based on studies of mangrove environments. For grades 2 through 7. Funded!
(4) Community Access Board Walk and Trail System: We are working with the municipality to determine the feasibility and cost of a public trail system providing access from the towns of Mangrove Bight, Savannah Bight and The Mitch to the remote mangrove forests, hills and beaches of Guanaja's East End. Fundraising Goal: TBD.
(5) Capacity Building: We are collaborating with the local Office of Environmental Protection to raise funds for enforcement of laws protecting mangroves, coral reef, marine reserves and pine forests. Fundraising Goal: TBD.
(6) Research: We are developing an archive of research projects conducted in Guanaja following Hurricane Mitch, and we are coordinating ongoing research by international scientists with our own mangrove restoration studies: Fundraising Goal: TBD.
(7) Coral Reef Protection and Restoration: We are currently soliciting projects to research, protect and restore the world class coral reefs of Guanaja. Fundraising Goal: TBD.
(9) Analogue Forestry:
We are now partnering with the Falls Brook Institute to develop a program for applying their Analogue Forestry technique to the restoration of Guanaja’s terrestrial forests. Fundraising Goal: TBD.