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Minister presented with Blue Halo mosaic

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A group of Bermudian students presented Environment Minister Jeanne Atherden with a mosaic yesterday as thanks for her continued consideration of the Blue Halo project.

The initiative, which proposes turning a large swath of the Island's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) into one of the world's largest marine reserves, is one of several concepts being considered for the marine area surrounding the Island.

The mosaic, which shows a green turtle, is made up of the pictures of more than a thousand of the project's supporters, each holding Blue Halo placards.

Ten-year-old Dalton E Tucker student Amena Lewis told the Minister: “We hope you accept this token of our appreciation for your consideration of protecting Bermuda's ocean even more and joining in on the global fight to protect the world's oceans.

“It is my dream to be a marine biologist, and my hope to say I live in a country that has one of the largest marine reserves in the world.

“More importantly, I won't have to leave home to learn all that I need to learn in my chosen field.”

Activist Chris Flook noted that the Government has announced a second phase of consultation regarding the future of the Island's EEZ, saying: “We want to thank you for continuing the discussion, and we look forward to the second phase.”

Ms Atherden thanked the students for the presentation, saying: “I'm always pleased to see our young people get involved and understand the role that they can play in deliberations.”

The Sustainable Development Department recently released a report on the future of the EEZ following public consultation, finding strong support for further research on all options — including deep sea mining and fishing opportunities — before a final decision is made.

“The decision on the most appropriate way forward for this asset should reflect a solid understanding of the impact on key economic indicators such as the potential for attracting direct foreign investment, enabling local investment and economic stimulus, spawning local entrepreneurship, creating jobs for Bermudians, contributing to our GDP, diversifying our economic base and model, strengthening our international profile and increasing our global competitiveness,” the report stated.

“Notwithstanding the differences in the issues and the varied stakeholder submissions, there is good consensus from the public on the need for a made-in-Bermuda approach to the EEZ and its future.”

Big thank you: left to right, Amena Lewis, Minister Atherden, Rashae Bean, Te-che Minors, Rashaun Bean and Flook. Right, a close-up of the Blue Halo mosaic
Blue Halo Press Conference. (Photo by Akil Simmons)

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Published December 12, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated December 12, 2014 at 1:01 am)

Minister presented with Blue Halo mosaic

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