June 28, 2023

Reef Check St. Kitts & Nevis Partner Secures Funding for Programs

Submitted by CARE SKN (Coralreef Assistance Restoration and Education in St. Kitts & Nevis)

NASC (Nevis Aquatic and Sailing Center) and CARE SKN (Coralreef Assistance Restoration and Education in St. Kitts & Nevis) work in partnership with a passionately held core mission: to engage with the Nevis Community and promote the teaching of marine health and activities.

A key immediate task is to form a steering committee of local representatives with a primary objective to reach out to and attract a broader base of young Nevisians to the Center’s programs.

CARE SKN submitted an application to the GEF Small Grants Programme that was successfully accepted for funding support under the program’s focal area of Biodiversity Conservation. NASC was able to provide the necessary co-financing through fundraising events and generous donations that were specifically ring-fenced for the development of the Aquatic Community Center’s facilities. Sincere thanks to all our valued supporters and volunteers!

This amazing project attracted US$80,000 GEF SGP funding to finance:

● A significant coral nursery of 40 trees in Majors Bay

● Reef Check EcoDiver certification training

● Coral nursery husbandry training

● Marine biology classes for the community

● Public awareness

● Construction of bathroom and changing facility

● Construction of educational center and classroom

All of the above will improve the success, quality, safety and hygiene of the programs offered by NASC and CARE SKN.

NASC’s programs all take place in Nevis’ marine backyard. As a non-profit dedicated to improving the skills and fitness of the participating swimmers and sailors, the conservation and health of the ocean’s habitats is of critical importance. The CARE SKN interactive classes in marine biology are conducted for NASC’s camp participants during the school holidays and the young students learn how to respect and protect marine life.

NASC and CARE SKN are stronger together, sharing the Center’s stunning oceanfront location, the onsite facilities, boats, equipment and educational aids. Swim and Sail Program participants and volunteers are encouraged to support CARE SKN, physically working to restore coral reefs and planting the coral nurseries on land and at sea.

CARE SKN’s focus is coral. As a non-profit NGO, the organization is dedicated to restoring the reefs in St. Kitts & Nevis and spreading awareness. The education and training are key components for a successful and supportive restoration plan. This includes marine biology classes, Reef Check EcoDiver certification courses, science projects and consultations. The next Reef Check EcoDiver course, scheduled for July 2023, will teach participants how to survey and analyze coral reef health. Registrations are welcome!

CARE SKN successfully completed a pilot project installing a small coral nursery in the summer of 2022. A larger 40 coral-tree nursery is set to be built in early 2024 with the ultimate goal of 215 trees to build an efficient reef restoration program to conserve a high biodiversity on the reefs in St. Kitts & Nevis.

This exciting development could not have been realized without the advice, encouragement and support of Ilis Watts and the GEF SGP National Steering Committee.