All-Inclusive resort increase its philanthropic efforts during COVID-19 Pandemic
#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos –May 29, 2020 – Beaches Resort, the leading All-Inclusive resort in Providenciales, may be closed but the hotel’s philanthropic reach and contribution to the Turks & Caicos community during the COVID-19 pandemic is still very active.
This week, the resort and its employees took to the streets to host a much-needed clean-up. Over 34 Team Members donated their exercise hour on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, to collect nearly 140 bags of garbage between Lower Bight, Royal Avenue and the public beach access road as well as the picnic area adjacent to the Key West Village.
Beaches Resort is no stranger to The Bight community clean-up initiative, and its Green Team has been active through the years in keeping that neighborhood clean, while sensitizing its members on the importance of a clean environment to the tourism product.
Beaches General Manager, Jamie McAnally, who joined the group in the early morning clean-up, said that he is incredibly proud of the team, especially during this challenging time and he applauded their commitment to not only the resort and its mandate, but also to The Bight community.
“I am very proud of the team and the contribution they have made to this clean-up, it’s good to know that even during this challenging time they still have the heart and the spirit to do something good for the community.”
McAnally continued, “The condition of the public beach access road and picnic area was quite disheartening, and in dire need of care, the amount of garbage collected in that small area was immense. As a community, we have to do better to protect this beautiful island. So, I encourage beachgoers to ‘pack out what you pack in’ and leave the area clean for others to enjoy.”
Beaches Resort has been increasing its philanthropic reach since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and has assisted its 1,800 plus team members with food and financial support to soften the economic downfall that has affected so many people in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Additionally, the resort has been an active contributor several locally run charitable organizations. Over 15 thousand pounds of food items have been donated to charities such as The Salvation Army, TCI Red Cross, The Soroptimist Club, The Provo Children’s Home and The Catholic Mission. These organizations assisted with distributing the donated items to the families that are most affected on Providenciales as well as the sister islands.
“The community clean-up and the meaningful donations show that the resort is keen on playing its part to taking care of and improving the community. We have been working closely with the local charities, who know the grounds and can identify the families that are most affected by the economic downturn of this pandemic,” McAnally continued, “We are excited to say that we have donated over 15 thousand pounds of food items to their pantries and we have seen our donations going to areas where they are needed the most. I am glad that we are able to make a difference through those organizations.”
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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