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Friends of the Environment E-Newsletter
Established in 1988 June  2016
Save the Date

November 17, 2016

Abaco Science Fair 

November 5, 2016
November 24, 2016

Hope Town Turtle Trot

February 4, 2017

Hope Town Reef Ball

February 11, 2017

Marsh Harbour Reef Ball 

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Dear Tylin,
Each day this week, the halls of Friends of the Environment have been filled with the lively chatter of summer campers. They arrive excited to see what the day will bring and return from their field trips even more energized after they have explored yet another part of Abaco’s wondrous environment.
Even though we dedicate ourselves to working towards a sustainable Abaco all year long, summer camp is the time of year that the staff here get truly encouraged. We see the direct impacts of environmental education and changing behaviours, and we gain a renewed hope for the future through the bright eyes and growing minds of the next generation.
Thank you for your support; we couldn’t do it without you! Know that each dollar, and each minute, truly helps.
Olivia Patterson Maura
Program Coordinator 

The Kenyon Centre: 
A New National Partnership
Bahamas Sea Turtle Network
FRIENDS has joined a group of national organizations, researchers, and government departments in supporting the Bahamas Sea Turtle Network. The network was designed as a way to combine and streamline efforts to collect data about The Bahamas’ sea turtle populations.The Bahamas Sea Turtle Network has a Facebook page to share updates on turtle research and outreach, and the page also functions as a way to report turtle nesting, stranding, illegal harvest, and other turtle-related events.
It’s currently turtle nesting season, so please take photos of any nests you observe and record their locations, and send the information to The Bahamas Sea Turtle Network!

Green Turtle Cay Lionfish Derby A Success!   

lionfish derby 2016, Shane Gross Photography, Green Turtle
Photo courtesy of Shane Gross and the “Bolo Boys” derby team.
Last Saturday, the 8th Annual Green Turtle Cay Lionfish Derby was held at the Green Turtle Club Resort and Marina. The sun was shining and the fishermen got an early start on catching lionfish. A total of 1,100 lionfish were removed from Abaco waters as a result of the event!! Participants and onlookers were able to taste lionfish at the awards ceremony and it didn’t take long for the giant plates of fried lionfish and lionfish dip to disappear.
The Results!
Most Lionfish Caught
1st – Spearbender (433)
2nd – Lil Big Fish (366)
3rd – White Roach (206)
Top Foreign Boat
All Play (5 fish)
Biggest Fish
– Spearbender (34cm)
Smallest Fish
– Bolo Boys (4.9cm)
This event would not have been possible without the support and involvement of some key businesses and individuals. Our thanks to: The Green Turtle Club Resort and Marina, Sarah Ann Showell, Brendal’s Dive Center, Bobbie Lindsay, Chris Burdett, The Abaco Tourist Office, The Bahamas Department of Marine Resources, Marsh Harbour Exporters and Importers, Elisabeth Frasch, Ryley Parent, James Boyce, Jim Richard, Shane Gross Photography, Lad Akins and REEF, and all the derby registrants and participants!

June: Education Update – Summer Camps
Summer camp, organic farm, fresh water well

Summer Camps are underway! Here, our junior campers are learning about the importance of fresh water resources at SNK Organic Farms.

There are a few spaces remaining in some of our camps! Call our office at 367-2721 to secure a spot.
July 7-8: IGFA Sustainable Fishing Camp, Green Turtle Cay (ages 10-12)
July 13-14: Plastic Awareness Camp with Bahamas Plastic Movement, ages 12-15)
July 25-29: Nature Detectives (ages 12-15)
August 2-5: Grand Cay Camp
Camps are held at the FRIENDS Education Centre in Marsh Harbour unless stated otherwise. Camp positions are first-come, first-served. Application forms are available at the FRIENDS office or on our website. Campers must pre-register to secure a spot.

Fall Events You Won’t Want to Miss
Kayak Challenge – November 5th, Pete’s Pub, Little Harbour
This event is a partnership between FRIENDS, the Abaco Cancer Society, and event participants to raise funds for the work of both organizations while supporting healthy living and promoting one of Abaco’s newest national parks – The East Abaco Creeks. Individual paddlers seek sponsorships and we will also be looking for local sponsors for the event. The kayak challenge will begin and end at Little Harbour. There will be a fun party at Pete’s Pub including music, food, and cold beverages! Start training now… if you can paddle it, you can enter it! (Kayaks and paddle boards recommended).
Abaco Science Fair – November 17th, New Vision Ministries in Marsh Harbour
This year’s theme is “Challenges and Solutions for Waste Management in The Bahamas”. Interested schools should visit our website for more details and contact our education officer with any questions.
Turtle Trot – November 24th (Thanksgiving Day), Hope Town
The best way to work up an appetite for your Thanksgiving meal! Join us for a 5k fun run/walk through Hope Town and North End all in support of marine environment education and awareness!
Third Annual Hope Town Music Festival 
December 2nd – 5th
Hope Town Harbour Lodge, Harbour’s Edge, Abaco Inn and Hope Town Inn and Marina
The Combustion Music Hope Town Music Festival is a memorable three-day-long celebration of music and giving back to Abaco. “It as my goal to introduce many of my song writer friends to this special island that my family and I have grown to love over the past 12 years, and to introduce this great island and its residents to the incredible musical talent of these writers, and finally and most importantly, to raise a bunch of money for some very worthy local charities,” says Combustion Music founder and President Chris Farren, the one who makes it all happen!
If you would like to sponsor one of our Fall events, please contact our Events Coordinator, Cha Boyce. Your name or logo will be included in promotional materials and you will be recognized on our website and other event communications.

International Bag Free Day (July 3rd) 
FRIENDS joined other national organizations in support of International Bag Free Day. This initiative is being encouraged by Raising Awareness about the Bahamas Landfill to raise awareness of waste management issues in The Bahamas and to encourage positive individual action. Please consider International Bag Free Day as a great time to start a good habit – always carry reusable shopping bags to the store and refuse plastic bags.
international bag free day, plastic

Abaco’s Environment in Photos :
Understanding impacts
lionfish derby
Photo by Cha Boyce
This photo demonstrates exactly why we host the lionfish derby each year.
Invasive lionfish are in our waters, and they prey on native fish.
This lionfish was speared with a grunt already in its mouth!
 Every lionfish removed from Bahamian waters ensures that a few more native fish can live to see another day!