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Students given insights into Bermuda’s ‘blue backyard’

Important work: the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (File photograph)

More than 100 middle and senior students from across the island were given an insight into life beneath the ocean at a virtual seminar organised by the Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Programme.

Experts from Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences presented a series of short talks under the theme “Exploring Bermuda’s Blue Backyard”, which connected students with areas beneath the ocean’s surface that are being proposed for protection under the Draft Blue Prosperity Plan.

Topics included marine plankton and their role in Earth’s climate system, the importance of reef habitat to marine ecosystems and Bermuda’s deep-sea fish biodiversity.

Bios scientists have been involved with BOPP since its inception, serving on both the steering committee and science committee, and providing data and feedback to help guide the development of the Draft Blue Prosperity Plan.

Kaitlin Noyes, the director of education and community engagement at Bios, said: “We are delighted for Bios’s Ocean Academy to partner with BOPP to share some of the important research being undertaken by Bios scientists, from the study of microscopic animals to six gill sharks.”

Destiny Matthie, a first-year student at Plymouth University in England, set the stage for the event, drawing on her passion for the ocean to help inspire appreciation for Bermuda’s marine environment. Ms Matthie, a graduate of Bios’s Ocean Academy, also introduced the speakers.

Ms Matthie said: “It was a great opportunity for Bios researchers to reach the island’s young community and spread awareness of the vitality of Bermuda’s ocean and the Draft Blue Prosperity Plan.

“Each scientist, with their own personality and perspective, offered so much valuable information.

“It was a wonderful experience to come together to talk about the ways that different parts of Bermuda’s ecosystem are linked, and how protecting one facet reinforces and supports all the others.”

The lecture can be viewed in its entirety on the BOPP website here.

The Draft Blue Prosperity Plan is open to public comment until December 31. The plan has two components — the blue economy strategy examining ocean-related industries, and the marine spatial plan, which provides a framework for implementing sustainable ocean development, protection and management.

The public can provide feedback on the plan on the Government Citizens Forum website here.

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Published December 20, 2022 at 7:35 am (Updated December 20, 2022 at 7:35 am)

Students given insights into Bermuda’s ‘blue backyard’

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