In 2017, Barbuda was destroyed by a massive hurricane. Since that time the island has rebuilt and there has been significant development that threatens the local environment. Tourism is coming to Barbuda and while the island needs the boost to the economy, it is a balancing act with the environment.
My project is to create laminated information brochures that remain in the hotel rooms for all visitors. These brochures will alert the
guests to the protocol during turtle hatching season and explain the turtle tracking program on the island. Guests will be encouraged to be active participants in this program by keeping room lights to a minimum during hatching season and by calling the turtle hotline when they discover a turtle nest hatching. Baby turtles are gathered and counted before being released into the ocean under completely dark conditions. Before these new developments, the beaches were completely dark and the turtles naturally found their way into the ocean, guided by the moonlight. In addition, the flip side of the brochure will highlight the sustainable projects on the island, including the solar plant that is maintained by a not so friendly band of goats that keep the grass short! Barbuda is the first Caribbean Island to go completely solar. In addition to providing these brochures, I will be working at the local primary school helping with a library project that I began in March and working with the head teacher to organize a student run “keep our island clean” program. There is a terrible trash problem in Barbuda and we want to empower the kids to tackle the problem, developing an award program that recognizes their efforts.
-William Rome ‘23