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WFCRC-St. Maarten MPA Alliance

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St. Maarten N.A.
12.25.12

It seems that there was some discrepancy about the Mayan end of the world thing, oh well back to the real world.

My trip to St. Maarten was a very successful one. The weather was warm, rum punch was cold and the food was delightful and sailing with my one of my warmest friends Diane Smith of Random Wind Charters was so relaxing. The Random Wind Operation is one of concern for the environment and has complied with local marine protected area requirements when other operators have not. Diane runs a tight ship and uses no disposable items in its operation. This is the type of operation that should be patronized by concerned citizens. She is a real treasure to be associated with.
I spent two days discussing WFCRC’s strategic alliance with The St. Maarten Marine Park Management and howto develop our alliance. We related on a technical level as well as on an environmental level. We agreed that it is essential that an effective management strategy should be developed sooner than later. It is well known that you can’t legislate logic and to wait on governmental support is somewhat counterproductive; stakeholder involvement is an essential factor to successful conservation.
We discussed:
Pollution, Alerts and tracking oil spills, chemical releases, and clean up action plans.
The development of a plant material to be used as an absorbent agent used in booms. All of which utilizes locally grown material and personnel. As well as the possibilityof exportation of this material to other areas of concern.
The lack of coastal zone management, coral reef conservation, monitoring, identification and enforcement.
The development and change of land use, and identification of illegal construction.
Sediment transport and land based threats to sensitive marina ecosystems.
Socioeconomic challenges and the role that poverty plays with buy in and sensitizing the public with Public Service Announcements (PSA’s).
Tracking and identification of illegal signage.
Helping fire and police improve response time by tracking location and repeated calls.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) data and image gathering programs.
How WFCRC and a Geographic Information System (GIS) can deliver support for these issues.

I looked at several venues for our fund-raiser on Earth Day April 22, 2013, and found the ideal location in the mountains with great out door facilities, very creative kitchen as well  as a large open green field with a great stage. The Loterie Farm is a very unique and beautiful location and will work well for our fund raiser.
Loterie Farm is a secret hideaway nestled in the hillside of Pic Paradis on French Saint Martin where you can wine, dine, climb, hike and glide over the treetop canopy. It is truly an eco-tourism and gastronomical experience you’re not likely to forget or find elsewhere.
The sign at the entrance of Loterie Farm says “established in 1721”. We have significant records suggesting the first owner of Loterie Farm was an Englishman by the name of Richard Bailey who won the rights to establish a sugar plantation at this location in a land lottery, and thus the name. Among a good number of travel writers and gourmet magazines, Bon Appétit Magazine featured this tree-house like eatery in its February 2005 issue. The Hidden Forest Café’s setting and ambiance are as eco as the dishes are culinary using the freshest ingredients found on island,Mangoes, Bananas, Sour Sop, Coconuts, Papaya… with over 1000 species growing on there serve, the Hidden Forest Café is notorious for serving succulent dishes garnished with fruits and vegetables grown on the reserve itself. Those same natural products find their way to the Tree Lounge where tropical cocktails are concocted, namely Loterie’s signature drink Sex in the Tree, and served in a relaxing social setting.

We are currently negotiating with The Loterie Farm, celebrity chefs, and entertainment groups to make our fundraiser as enjoyable an event for all who join. Details are being developed, but we will be sure to keep you updated.

 

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