|Reef Fund enjoys success in first fiscal year|
|Friday, 13 January 2012 09:02|
The Turks and Caicos Reef Fund is off to a strong start in its efforts to raise money to support marine environmental programs throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Founded in 2010, TCRF is an all volunteer-run organization that provides funding for education, research and conservation programs to individuals, organizations and agencies that help to preserve and protect the marine environment in the TCI.
In its first full fiscal year ending July 31, 2011, TCRF raised nearly $24,000, including a $10,000 donation earmarked for improving dive boat moorings throughout the islands. The funds were raised through the sale of merchandise, such as tags for scuba divers and silicon wristbands, as well as from donations from a variety of different sources.
“We are very pleased with the results from our first fiscal year,” said TCRF Chairman Don Stark. “We were able to keep operating expenses just over 15 percent of total income, and we expect this performance to be even better in the 2012 fiscal year.
“Our successful first full year of fund raising has allowed us to undertake several projects already, and our strong balance will allow us to continue to undertake new projects in the current fiscal year. We also want to thank the great support we have received from the dive operators across all of the islands as well as many of the other water sport operators.”
Deputy Chairman David Stone said TCRF has completed its first two projects.
“Working with the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources, we were successful in gaining re-certification of all three Blue Flag beaches in the TCI, including the one at the Cruise Center Beach on Grand Turk, which is the only cruise terminal beach in the world that has received the Blue Flag certification.
“In addition, we recently completed the restoration of the White House Reef snorkel trail at Coral Gardens, and we have begun a major project working with the dive operators on Salt Cay and Grand Turk to reinstall missing and damaged boat moorings on existing dive sites around those two islands.”
For fiscal year 2012, TCRF expects to continue its work on various marine environmental projects and is currently seeking donations to support a restoration and improvement of the existing snorkel trail on Smith’s Reef off the north shore of Providenciales and to install a new snorkel trail near the new Visitor’s Center on Grand Turk.
In addition, the TCRF has started a pilot program in cooperation with the Caicos Pride Products fish processing plant on South Caicos to help jump start an active fish market for the invasive lionfish which have quickly spread across most of the reefs all around the islands. TCRF also will be continuing its mooring buoy project throughout the islands, thanks to the major donation earmarked for that activity.
Scuba divers visiting the islands are encouraged to make a $10 donation through the purchase of a dive tag that can be attached to their dive gear to show their support. Snorkelers visiting the islands can show their support through the $5 purchase of a pink or blue silicone wristband.
For a complete list of outlets for the TCRF merchandise and to donate or assist in any, way visit www.TCReef.org.
|Last Updated on Friday, 13 January 2012 09:15|
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