Aspen volunteers help restore mangroves on Trunk Island
Volunteers helped to plant mangroves when they took part in a project on an island nature reserve at the weekend.
Trunk Island, in Harrington Sound, became the new home for 14 young red mangrove trees with the help of 17 volunteers from Aspen, which is the major sponsor of the mangrove project.
The mangroves were planted on Sunday as part of the company’s pledge to support a mangrove planting project on Trunk Island with a donation of $125,000 over five years.
They were also planted on the day that the company celebrated its 20th anniversary.
Chris Coleman, the chief financial officer of Aspen, said: “It was an amazing experience to be out here on Trunk Island with my co-workers and to be a part of such an important project for Trunk Island’s habitat restoration.
“I can’t wait to see what all of our hard work will look like in ten years.”
Trunk Island was reserved as a “living classroom” in a project spearheaded by the Bermuda Zoological Society, which acts as a support charity for the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo.
Captain Trevor Rawson, the Trunk Island Project co-ordinator, led the team of volunteers in piling burlap sacks filled with soil, which will act as an erosion-resistant barrier and help the mangroves grow.
Mark Pickering, the chief executive officer of Aspen, said: “We were very proud to participate in the BZS mangrove forestation project by successfully preparing the grounds and planting the mangroves to promote marine life.
“Trevor and the team were instrumental in having the materials readily available and providing guidance throughout the day as our colleagues experienced an excellent team building event on Trunk Island.”
The roots of red mangroves play an essential part in strengthening coastlines against erosion.
They also serve as a nursery for juvenile reef fish and feeding areas at high tide.
Many mangroves in Bermuda have been lost to coastal infrastructure and property development, while rising sea levels threaten the remaining population.
Aspen pledged last year to donate $25,000 every year for five years to the Trunk Island Project.