Using Fishponds to Grow Seagrass
In the lead up the Youth Climate Summit my blog posts explored the connection between cultural and environmental conservation. Now that the summit has ended, it’s time to move towards discussing how we can connect the two in practice rather than in theory.
As I popped in on the YCS student brainstorming sessions, one frequent issue that kept coming up was the depletion of Bermuda’s seagrass. This was also the focus of one of the videos produced by CITV that was presented to the students. Bermuda’s seagrass is in danger of depletion, and as it is both the “lungs of the sea” and an important nursery habitat for small invertebrates and fish, this is an issue that needs to be tackled. Efforts are already being made by the Department of Environment & Natural Resources, but there is more that can be done, like propagating seagrass beds.
Growing new seagrass would require a location with saltwater shallow enough for sunlight to penetrate, that is also protected from strong waves and currents. This is where cultural heritage can come in handy. One of my previous posts introduced the fishponds that once surrounded our island. It would not be too difficult to revitalize these structures and turn them into enclosed habitats for seagrass propagation. Through teaching students the methods that were used to repair and maintain these ponds in the past, we would not only be tackling a key environmental issue, but we would also be preserving a key part of Bermuda’s culture heritage.
In the coming months, I hope to be able to use my knowledge in the field of cultural heritage to inform projects like these, thus helping our future environmentalists understand that history also has a part to play in protecting our environment.