Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) is executing a long-term research initiative at London Creek in North Andros. The new project will look at the flow of water through the London Creek ecosystem which was interrupted by the construction of the road connecting North Andros to Central Andros. The construction of bridges to span creeks or the use of culverts under the roads are often utilized to maintain the ecology of such sensitive estuarine systems, but in this specific instance no such remediation efforts were taken when the road was built. Construction of a bridge to ameliorate this circumstance is now underway and is expected to be concluded by May 2020. Dr Raveenia Roberts-Hanna, Executive Director of BAMSI said the Institute’s specific goal as related to this project is “to assess the long-term impact of the opening of the waterway on marine life and surrounding areas.”
The project provides an exciting opportunity for students to gain research experience as they bridge the information gap between building an infrastructure to drive an economy and the resulting environmental impact on the nation’s ecosystems. The objective of the research is twofold; to document the changes to the current water chemistry of creek ecosystem due to the re-establishment of tidal flows throughout the creek when the bridge is complete and to document the biodiversity changes in the flora and fauna of the creek that will occur due to the re-opening of the waterway.
The project is also seen as a multidisciplinary commitment from researchers and students of the Institute to build their research capacity and expand their community outreach. “BAMSI students are actively involved in creating sustainable solutions for current issues within the sector. This project bodes well for the development of scientific acumen of the students as they are engaged in all aspects of research, data collection, critical analysis and discussions. Thus, equipping them with the much- needed scientific tools and resources to mold them into the next generation of leaders in this country and beyond.”
According to Dr Hanna, this commitment serves to contribute to BAMSI’s mission and vision to promote academic excellence through encouraging research and innovation, and ensuring integrity and ethics in all actions. “We aim to continue facilitating community engagement, partnership and outreach efforts whilst supporting environmental sustainability and stewardship within The Bahamas.”