FREEPORT, GRAND BAHAMA— For millennia, all of earth’s living things have depended on water for its survival. Up to 71 percent of the world’s surface is covered in water, it exists in the air, in the soil and even in the human body which is up to 60 per cent water. According to research, however, only three percent of the earth’s water supply is drinkable which makes water conservation all the more important.
Already known across the country for its efforts to protect and improve local water systems, Waterkeepers Bahamas is part of a global organization dedicated to ensuring that the world’s water supply is protected.
As part of its efforts, the group has formed countless partnerships with environmental groups both locally and abroad. Most recently, those partnerships resulted in a multicultural exchange between Bahamian students and their counterparts in China.
Last week, a group of 23 participants of Earth Successor and Qiantang River Waterkeeperfrom Hangzhou in the province of Zhejiang, China was welcomed to Grand Bahama Island by a very enthusiastic group of local Waterkeepers — a meeting which was proposed during a Waterkeeper Alliance Board retreat held back in Marchof 2019.
“The board retreat was an amazing networking opportunity for members of our local Waterkeepers team,” explained Fred Smith, International Region Rep for the Alliance.
“We were able to exchange ideas and swap details about upcoming projects.”
This led the team to visit the Chinese Waterkeepers to participate in a series of sessions that focused on addressing water-related issues, from conservation to protection. Inspired by the enthusiasm of their Bahamian counterparts, the group accepted an invitation to Grand Bahama Island to see how the Bahamian Waterkeepers are working to maintain clean Bahamian water systems.
The group accompanied by Min Zheng, Waterkeeper Alliance Senior Organizer, Asia, Hao Xin, Waterkeeper Alliance South East Asia Regional Representative, as well as Professor Qiangjun Wu, Lead Advisor for the Earth Successor organization; the environmentalists were treated to an action-packed itinerary which included a beach profile field assessment, visits to the Rand Nature Center; Paradise Cove reef balls; the newly opened first land-based coral farm; Coral Vita and island excursions to the Sharklab in Bimini.
“We are so pleased to have facilitated this wonderful cultural exchange” Ingraham noted. “This visit allowed Bahamians – both students and adults – to showcase our beautiful ecosystems. their trip and ours proves that distance is no longer a barrier to learning in the 21st century and that we may be diverse in cultures but we are all working towards preserving our planet earth, and her waters for future generations.”