During Spring break, I started a project in Barbuda, working at the Primary School and learning about the conservation eﬀorts on the Island. I connected with an environmental program that oversees the turtle tracking program and was excited to see how the environmental restoration projects have increased not only the number of nesting turtles, but also leatherbacks have started nesting on the island in addition to the Hawksbill turtles.
I originally hoped to spend most of August in Barbuda, but an injury sidelined my plans and shortened my time spent on Island. However, I was able to connect remotely and helped summarize data that will be included in the annual report. In addition, I have created a flyer highlighting all the ways tourists can become involved in the environmental eﬀorts on the island. When complete, these flyers will be laminated and left in the guest lodgings. As the Ocean Club development is still not fully open, we are waiting to complete these flyers so that we can include the latest telephone numbers.
I completed my library project at the Primary School and the library now has new shelves. When I return in November it should be painted and full of books. I worked with the primary and secondary school teachers to develop a “keep our island clean” program. We concluded that secondary school students would run the program and the primary school students will work on afternoon clean up projects run under the supervision of the older children. Because the schools were not in session I promised to return during Thanksgiving break and help launch the program, bringing a large supply of reusable trash bags and permanent markers for the kids to individualize.
I have secured an internship with the Environmental group working on the conservation eﬀorts (a group out of Ireland) for next summer and I will work on their turtle project in both Barbuda and Barbados. I intend to take a Gap year and would like to teach Scuba in Barbuda while working on the various projects. It’s a special island if you ever get a chance to visit.
-Wills Rome ’23