Thu | Apr 18, 2019

Rotaract Club highlights importance of ecological issues

Published:Wednesday | October 3, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
President of Rotaract New Kingston Vanessa Williams reaches for mangrove saplings to be planted while being instructed by staff of the UWI Marine Lab.

The Rotaract Club of New Kingston's response to combating the ecological effects of climate change on Jamaica's coastline is to plant mangroves along the Palisadoes strip in Kingston, which is also expected to aid in restoring damaged coral reef.

The club's president, Vanessa Williams, said that it is important for Government, civil society, service clubs, and the general population to place some focus on ecological issues.

"The destruction of our coral reef and the high levels of water pollution in Jamaica are reasons for all of us to be concerned," she said.

"As a result, our club planted 50 mangrove plants, representing 50 years of Rotaract, and will be planting 50 more at a later date to show our resolve in making sure the environment is taken care of, because 50 years from now our children and grandchildren will benefit from our efforts," said Williams.

The initiative is a part of a broader Rotaract project called 'The Chain of Change', which will see Rotaractors in Jamaica and across nine other Caribbean countries that form Rotaract District 7020 finding unique ways to protect the environment.


Protect the reef


Members from the club also took time to educate residents in neighbouring Harbour View about the importance of protecting the coral reef.

The project was successfully completed with support from the University of the West Indies Marine Lab, Port Royal, which donated mangrove saplings, chose the designated planting site and educated club members on the proper technique in planting the saplings.

Rotaract's International Service Director Shanice Salmon said that replanting of the mangroves would impact the ecology and environment in a positive way.

She said that by planting the mangroves, the club is hoping to create a sustainable environment on the Palisadoes strip by reducing the number of pollutants that get into Kingston Harbour.

"In addition to beautifying the coast, it will also help in stabilising the coastline and provide habitat for many species within the ecosystem," stated Salmon.