Turks and Caicos, April 24, 2017 – Providenciales – A new national record was set when TeamTCI hit the track in Nassau, Bahamas at the BTC IAAF World Relays over the weekend. With an eighth place finish in their final, it was consolation for the team and leaders that the group clocked the fastest time giving their best performance ever in the high profile event. The 4x200m event is unique to the BTC IAAF World Relays and competing for TCI were Ifeanyi Otuonye, Courtney Missick, Angelo Garland, Devonte Gardiner and Frantzley Benjamin .
President of the TCAAA and team leader, Edith Skippings last night said, Turks and Caicos placed 12th of the 15 teams competing at the Games and set a new national record of 1:26:22 in the event. Nassau was also the host city for the Carifta Swim Games, we spoke to Alex McClaren who competed for the Turks and Caicos in several events to walk away with personal best times in the Easter Break competition. “This year we weren’t expecting to be placed or get into a final but we’re all really happy with our personal best and better times and we’re hoping to go for back next year to see if we can do even better.”
Sanadia Forbes also gave us comment after her competition as a part of TeamTCI at the Flow Carifta Games athletics meet in Curacao. Forbes was a part of the relay team which placed third and earned a first Carifta medal for TCI women. Forbes said there were only three teams on the track but their record breaking time felt good. “honored, because we are the first females to ever medal for he Turks and Caicos Islands, so to stand up there and to see everybody in the stands see us get a medal, it was very, very…it’s a moment can’t forget, i’ll never forget that moment.”
Delano Williams also performed over the weekend on Team Great Britain in the 4x400m, running a brilliant second leg to qualify the team which in the final, completed sixth. Williams and Team GB qualify automatically for the IAAF world Championships in London in August.
Overall, Team USA was awarded the Golden Baton for a third straight overall win at the relatively new sports meet, 21 points ahead of second place Jamaica at the IAAF World Relays.
Cruising should slow down says PAHO
By Dana Malcolm
‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.
“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.
Cayman gets its second ‘Sir’; former Premier Alden McLaughlin knighted on Jan 1
By Dana Malcolm
#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.
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.
Understanding Sargassum with help from the TCI’s Department of Environment & Coastal Resources
By Sherrica Thompson
#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – Sargassum, also known as seaweed, is a natural brown macroalga that lives in temperate and tropical oceans of the world. The floating micro eco-system is important to many species, including baby turtles, little crabs, and tiny fish. All these animals use the floating rafts of the sargassum for protection, shelter, and food.
Over the years, sargassum has been increasing its quantity in the Caribbean due to climate change. As water temperatures increase, sargassum blooms, and as this continues, it occurs in large amounts. This can be dangerous for some marine life because when seaweed washes up on the shore, some species become trapped in the sargassum mat.
“In the Turks and Caicos Islands, we have not seen the full severity of sargassum blooms. Our neighbours in Bonaire, for example, experience up to six feet of sargassum, and they have found stranded dolphins, sea turtles, and sometimes even birds,” said Amy Avenant.
“When the sargassum washes up on shore, it starts to decompose, and when it decomposes, it emits methane, and that is the stinky sulfuric eggy smell that you can smell when you walk past it on the beach. It is a bad thing for climate change because of the methane, but it is not harmful to your health.”
Turks and Caicos saw this in extreme amounts in October; so severe, resorts were forced to bag and bury the stinky seaweed which for over a week covered the usually sandy white stretch of Grace Bay beach.
Avenant noted that in the TCI, we have a balance between managing the influx of sargassum and impacting the areas where it lands because its influx is correlated to the cycles of the moon.
She also said sargassum can be used as a fertilizer in farming. If you collect it, the advice is to spread it out and ensure you wash the excess salt off before adding to your gardens or farms.
There are also hidden dangers and habitat threats to the piles of sargassum on shorelines.
Avenant informed, when you see sargassum on the beach, ensure you watch out for wildlife that might be stuck and species which might have made a home of the ocean’s deposit which has washed up, this is heightened on rocky shores.
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