# Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Wednesday, February 19, 2020 – #FortisTCI President and CEO and Chairman of the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC) Eddinton Powell was a guest speaker and panelist at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network in Puerto Rico on Wednesday, February 19.
His one on one talk with Pegasus Capital Advisors Chief Strategy Officer David Crane highlighted FortisTCI’s focus on renewable energy and how the Caribbean is working to make a transition to more sustainable and green energy options.
The guest panel discussed the topic, ‘Leading the Energy Transition: Small Business Growth, Innovation and Entrepreneurship’, and included representatives from various roles within the sector who shared their experience being at the forefront of the energy transition.
The group also explained the importance of building strong cross-sectional partnerships with policymakers, investors, and innovative companies to create clean energy ecosystems.
Mr. Powell spoke about the relationships FortisTCI has created through the company’s Utility Owned Renewable Energy (UORE) Program, as well as the work the company continues to do to increase the uptake of renewable energy in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
“FortisTCI is embracing the integration of feasible renewable energy solutions and aims to meet or possible exceed targets as outlined in the country’s Resilient National Energy Transition Strategy (RNETS). The goal of 33% renewable energy generation by 2040 not only increases resilience and sustainability profiles, but will also reduce environmental impact and can offer cost saving to our customers if done right,” Mr. Powell said.
The Clinton Foundation initially launched the CGI program on post-disaster recovery following the devastating 2017 Hurricanes Irma and Maria that severely impacted most of the eastern Caribbean, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The goal of the CGI Action Network is to bring industry leaders together to develop long-term solutions that will create a more resilient and sustainable energy sector throughout the Caribbean region.
Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.
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.
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.
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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