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‘Save Our Summer’ launch deemed a big success

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Save The Bays (STB) is calling its inaugural ‘Save Our Summer’ event a big success, with turnout exceeding expectations and much-needed funds raised to support the fast-growing environmental group’s diverse range of programs and initiatives.

CEO Vanessa Haley-Benjamin said more than 100 attendees learned about STB’s efforts to protect the environment from threats such as oil pollution and unregulated development, through a unique approach that combines public advocacy, education and – when necessary – court action.

“We raised awareness about the environment, forged new relationships, and saw a considerable boost in the number of signatures on our petition calling for an Environmental Protection Act and a Freedom of Information Act. All in all, the day was a big success,” Haley-Benjamin said.

None of it would have been possible without the help of STB partners such as Sands Beer and John Watlings Distillery, she said, reserving special thanks to the Green Parrot Bar and Grill, which hosted the event.

“Green Parrot provided us with the platform to share what we have been doing and what we have planned,” she said. “STB considers such partnerships invaluable and looks to forge even more with the wider community to build awareness.”

The fun-filled event had something for everyone, with the face-painting booth proving a particular hit among the children. Haley-Benjamin said family engagement was a priority, as a key focus of Save The Bays is engaging the next generation of Bahamians in the effort to preserve the environment.

Attendees both young and old rocked to the live entertainment provided by Green Parrot favorites the Long Island Connection, as well as Bahamian superstar and STB director Kirkland “KB” Bodie.

STB education director Joseph Darville said the funds raised will support ongoing programs such as the Youth Environmental Ambassadors, a conservation and leadership program for students. Another beneficiary will be Waterkeepers Bahamas, a groundbreaking effort to monitor water quality and safety around the country, in collaboration with the global Waterkeeper Alliance.

“More than 200 Waterkeepers are working daily to ensure that there are swimmable, drinkable, fishable waterways worldwide. Thanks to STB, The Bahamas is now part of that network, but this effort will require continued funding going forward,” Darville said.

Some of the funding will also go towards new initiatives, in particular an Oil Pollution Prevention Campaign that STB expects to launch in the coming months, according to STB’s CEO.

“Few challenges to our natural resources, and therefore our way of life, are as grave as the threat posed by oil pollution. Existing spills have already caused untold damage to marine ecosystems and groundwater reserves,” Haley-Benjamin said.

“With the prospect of offshore oil exploration now looming large, our organization feels Bahamians must do all they can to ensure that the proper safeguards, regulations and remediation protocols are in place.”

She added that the event was just the first in a series of awareness raising efforts, the next being a beach cleanup in partnership with RBC, Bahamas Waste and Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas.

“Corporate and community partnerships are the way forward for environmental organizations such as STB, which is seeking to engage the entire nation in the effort to preserve our natural heritage for the benefit of future generations,” Haley-Benjamin said.

“While collaboration can be a mechanism to raise funds, even more importantly, new relationships can increase access to knowledge resources and improve the effectiveness and relevance of our programs.”

“That is why we encourage all Bahamians who are concerned about protecting the environment to get involved. Follow us on Facebook, sign our petition and volunteer or become an official partner of Save The Bays.”

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Health

Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.

A Ministry of Health press release informed that the individual who was in quarantine in Grand Turk and requested emergency aid on Tuesday; response came from the public health team in Grand Turk.

The person, who we are told is a special needs young woman – was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.

The death rate in the Turks and Caicos of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons has climbed alarmingly this year.  In the 21-month period from March 2020 when the country recorded its first case to December 2021, there were 26 deaths recorded in the TCI.

In the 19 days since the start of 2022 that number has increased to 32; which means six deaths already in January.

 

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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Caribbean News

Cayman gets its second ‘Sir’; former Premier Alden McLaughlin knighted on Jan 1

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#Cayman, January 20, 2022 – Former Premier of Cayman Alden McLaughlin was knighted at the start of 2022; named in the Queen’s New Year Honors List. He is only the second Caymanian to have ever received a knighthood from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Sir Vassel Johnson, received the honour in 1994; he was Cayman’s first Financial Secretary; he died in November 2008 at the age of 86.

Current Governor, Martyn Roper extended congratulations saying, “This is an outstanding personal achievement for former Premier McLaughlin, one of the most important and impactful political leaders in Cayman over the last 21 years. It is a significant moment for our islands. This historic award is only the second ever Knighthood to a Caymanian since the first in the 1990s. It is a strong signal of the respect in which Cayman is held and a visible demonstration of the progress Cayman has made as a vibrant democracy with strong good governance foundations.”

Sir McLaughlin, who is also now a QC attorney, served two terms as premier and had a career in politics that spanned 21 years. McLaughlin is known for his role in modernizing Cayman’s constitution.

Current premier G. Wayne Panton described the occasion as a unifying moment for the country saying, This is a day of celebration and great pride for all Caymanians as a son of our soil has been bestowed one of the highest honour.  Today marks a new and most unique storyline in the history of the Cayman Islands.  In considering the rarity and magnitude of this occasion, this is certainly a unifying moment for our community.”

Sir Alden McLaughlin, 60, was appointed as a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George on January 1, 2022.

 

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