P Newsletter 2/2006
Training of Waste Watchers on the Windward Islands
STENAPA, The Nature Founda-
tion St Maarten and the Saba
Conservation Foundation started
their second environmental edu-
cational programme, entitled
'The Waste Watchers'. Littering is
a growing problem on our is-
lands, and due to our throw
away society our landfills are
filling up rapidly. It's important to
educate youth, advise them to
change their habits and to start
thinking about their contribution
to the waste problem. Since
January 2006, 42 classes from 9
primary and 2 secondary schools
on all three islands are participat-
ing in this intensive project. The 4
primary schools on Statia have
each been visited 6 times.
Students are challenged to start
thinking about the daily impact
of their garbage on the environ-
ment. They have a choice with
every decision they take to pro-
duce garbage or not and if they
do create garbage, they must
choose whether to litter or not.
Since recycling facilities are lim-
ited on our islands, the lessons
focus on the importance of not
making garbage at all (refuse
Teacher Mariette Schrivers of Sr.
Regina School on St. Maarten
already observed some positive
outcome from the lessons. "Since
the lessons started I noticed a lot
of changes in my students' be-
havior," she explains. "They are
more aware of their contribution
to the waste problem and truly
try to make efforts not to pro-
duce more than necessary. Be-
cause the materials and examples
used are very close to the stu-
dents' reality, they have become
very involved. The third grade
students clean the schools
playground every day and
last week they only found 2
pieces of garbage. I asked
them how they thought this
could happen and after some
thought they said: they had
stopped making a lot of gar-
bage! This shows the impact
of the information received
and the willingness of stu-
dents to make a change in
favour of the environment!"
The lesson involving 'Stan the
Litter man' is especially popu-
lar, in which Stan makes
many 'wrong choices' such as
using plastic bags for his gro-
ceries, which he throws away
5 minutes later. The students
admitted they sometimes
made the same mistakes as
Stan and until now had never
really considered an alterna-
Brigitte van der Waals, Ele-
mentary Coordinator from
Learning Unlimited SM, is also
excited about the changes in
her students. "Although they
have always been quite con-
scious of their environment,
they now seem more con-
scious of the choices they
make. They have been mak-
ing an effort to have their
moms pack their lunches dif-
ferently, reducing the gar-
bage they create over a day.
They are quite aware of pollu-
tion and seem concerned
about the lack of a recycling
facility on the island. They are
definitely turning into little
Waste Watcher superhe-
Dominique Vissenberg, who
designed this project and
carries out school visits, is
very content with the results
so far. "It is a difficult topic to
teach and it needed a lot of
creative thinking and some
evaluation after try-out les-
sons to fit the message in a
way that students would
enjoy. Although you think
they notice the amount of
garbage and littering on our
islands, most students don't
automatically connect it to
their own actions. Capri
suns, Chubbies, plastic plates
and foil all end up in the bin.
In one lesson we measured
and sorted the lunch gar-
bage, which added up to
over a hundred items per
class a day, weighing 4 kilos!
We calculated that in a year
they throw away more than
20,000 items. Students had
to think about what they
could do differently: Instead
of throwing objects away,
can they reuse it, or use
something else that you
don't have to throw away?
Using a lunch box and a
drinking cup reduced their
big pile to almost no gar-
bage. Schools should moti-
vate students to use lunch
boxes and drinking cups. If
all primary school students
on Statia did this, some 50
kilos of garbage per day can
be saved. Students and their
parents need to be con-
vinced of the importance of
using such a lunch kit and
making the little bit of extra
effort that it takes to keep it
and clean it after use.
Inside this Publication
The Waste Watchers I
Interview with 2
STENAPA's new visitor 3
Artificial reef update 4
Corallita Country 4
Special points of
Turtles Contact the office if you
want to see a turtle nesting!
Ouill Guided Hikes with
Rangers: Available for groups
Botanical Garden. Open from
sunrise to sunset. Great for
family picnics and BBQs
- St Esius:NaionlanMainears and Botanica Gwwardes
Interview with departing volunteers after 2 months on Statia
0: Why did you decide to volunteer
Evan: To get away from the USA!
Lawrence: I needed a break and want a
career change. I also wanted to give
Graham: I have volunteered before
which provided me with a valuable per-
sonal experience. It is also nice to help
Cathy: I'd been looking for a volunteer
project for more than a year in the Carib-
bean region. I came across this one in
February and it encompassed everything
I wanted to do.
Rosie: I wanted to see something other
than the States and be in a different cul-
ture. I also wanted to help out an NGO.
Ben: I'm having a career change and
wanted to do something worthwhile in
0: Why did you choose Stenapa?
Evan: For the Caribbean location and the
Lawrence/Graham: It was the cheapest
and had the best location.
Cathy: It offered camping, trails, hiking
and gardening, all of which are of inter-
est to me.
Rosie: It had a good mixture of activities
and was located in a place I'd never been
Ben: It seemed the most interesting on
the website and was for the right period
of time for me.
0: Have you volunteered before?
Graham: Yes, in Malawi in 2005. I spent 8
weeks there helping to build a school.
Cathy: Yes, I've raised funds for commu-
nity organizations like the American Can-
cer Society, the Red Cross etc.
Rosie: I have helped out at Big Brothers
and Sisters, tutored at Schools for Life
and raised funds for the American Can-
0: What is your impression of Statia and
Evan: The people are nice but don't do
enough for this awesome island.
Lawrence: Statia is a beautiful island with
friendly people. It has unspoilt beauty.
Graham: It's a great island, untouched by
tourism. The people are nice and are not
fazed by foreigners who have little im-
pact on the island.
Cathy: Statia is beautiful. The people are
friendly but more could be done to im-
prove tourism. The roads need to be im-
Ben: Statia is quiet and unspoilt with friendly
people. The food and clothing seem quite
American, and it's a shame there's no local
food for sale.
0: What was your most memorable experi-
Evan: Zeus (the bull) and looking for plant
species for the garden.
Lawrence/Ben/Graham: Being stuck on a
boat coming back from Saba.
Rosie: Birthday parties. Each one gets better
as we all get along in the group.
0: What was your favourite experience?
Evan: Hiking Mazinga.
Graham: Relocating a green turtle's nest on
Cathy/Rosie/Lawrence: The leatherback
turtle her size was unbelievable.
Ben: Hiking up the Quill and into the crater.
0: What was your least favourite experi-
Evan: Turtle patrol.
Lawrence: Toilet duty.
Cathy: Being sick on the boat from Saba and
having to go to hospital.
Ben: Being stung by bees.
0: Do you have any advice for future volun-
Evan: Bring a fan. Be yourself with respect to
Lawrence/Cathy: Bring a big tent and com-
fortable air mattress.
Graham: Read the list of things to bring and
Rosie: Bring a 4-person tent that doesn't
leak, enough underwear for one week, a
swimsuit, more money than you think you'll
need and your own shower bag. Be pre-
pared to taste dirty water.
Rosie: The people here are friendlier than
in the USA and are interesting to get to -" .
know. .. .
Ben: Come with an open mind. Read the
brief and be prepared for changes. Don't
come with any preconceived ideas.
0: Do you have any feedback for
Evan: I think their main priority should be
to educate the local people. Some positive
reinforcement should also be given to the
volunteers in what they are doing. Keep
up the good work!
Lawrence: Communication between the
office and botanical garden could be im-
proved, either through a cellphone or car
Cathy: I hope Stenapa continues to find
ways to move forward efficiently and will
continue to grow.
Rosie: They have some great ideas which
sometimes take a long time to be exe-
cuted. Hopefully this will improve with
Ben: Timetables could be planned more in
advance. Stenapa needs to improve its
image within the community, otherwise
0: Would you like to come back to Statia
Cathy: Hopefully I will wave to you from
my future home in St Kitts.
Ben: Definitely to the Caribbean region
and to Statia for a day.
0: Any other comments/feedback?
Evan: I like it here so much I'm staying on
as the botanical garden intern until De-
Cathy: I enjoyed this experience and
learned a lot, also about myself, my capa-
bilities and areas of improvement.
Rosie: I would like to come back and see
the people as they are so easy to get
STENAPA wishes to
thank all volunteers for
S. their enthusiasm and
commitment over the
o past 2 months.
-, Photo (from top left):
Graham, Ben, Evan, Pe-
-. ..- ter, Lawrence, Hannah,
..- :- Rosie, Oxana, Cathy, and
., of course Foxy the dog
STENAPA's new visitor facilities
After approximately five months of noise,
dirt, concrete dust and paint fumes,
STENAPA's new visitor centre is almost
complete! The expanded main building
houses two offices for management and
administration, a meeting room, Internet
facilities for visitors, an information centre
and an area for souvenir sales.
The garden area on the south side of the
current facility has been changed to incor-
porate a public area with picnic tables and .-
facilities for small gatherings and activities,
such as the Snorkel Club and Junior
A new building has been constructed with
bathroom facilities, including two toilets --
and two showers for public use. There will
be a small charge to cover water usage. A
new building to the north side of the
property provides facilities for a workshop
and equipment storage. A covered area
provides shade for maintenance of the
Marine Park patrol boat and other vehi-
All construction works and improvements
were funded by a three-year grant from
Stichting Doen in the Netherlands. The
garden area was improved with the help
of STENAPA staff and volunteers, and
many of the plants were kindly donated
by board member Ronnie Courtar.
STENAPA would like to thank everybody
involved in the construction of the new
facilities for their hard work and dedica-
tion over the past few months. Marion
Murray and his team have done a great
Below: Before and after
St Eustatius: National and Marine
Parks and Botanical Gardens
IS rf X
. I . . ..
National Parks Office
St. Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles
Artificial Reef update
In STENAPA's February 2004 newsletter
we announced the creation of an artifi-
cial reef, following a request at a meeting
with fishermen on 10 February 2004.
During the meeting it was decided that
an artificial reef would be located at 75
feet depth West of the Southern Reserve.
After some equipment delays, the reef
was completed in February 2006 with
the sinking of a pipe, concrete mix barrel
and the tugboat 'Miss Cathy'. STENAPA
wishes to extend its gratitude to Statia
Terminal for their assistance in making
this project possible.
A recent survey of the fish population
(after 6 months) found that both diversity
and density offish had increased in com-
parison to a survey conducted before the
artificial reef was created. Diversity in-
STENAPA is an environmental not-for-profit foundation on St Eustatius
and was established in 1988. The objectives of STENAPA are to upkeep
the natural environment, to preserve and protect endangered or
endemic species (flora and fauna) and to educate the community about
the importance of the protection of the natural environment.
Areas of responsibility include management of the marine park, the
national parks and the Miriam C Schmidt Botanical Gardens. STENAPA
is legally delegated by the Island Council to manage these protected
President: Irving Brown
Vice President: Ronnie Courtar
Treasurer: Jana Mason
Secretary: Jessica Berkel
Next edition of STENAPA Update available from September
Our Annual Report was published in May and is available for download
creased from 14 to 18 species. There
were large numbers of new species
drawn by the artificial reef, in particular
shoals of 50 Bar Jack, 25 Blue Tang, 30
Striped Grunt and some Horse-eye Jack.
It was agreed that this site would be des-
ignated for fishing and that no diving
mooring would be attached. The site is
marked with a small brown buoy for
identification by fishermen.
Don'tyou see that
you're in trouble?
Don'tyou see her
ways are double?
Can't you see?
You owe you and
A pretty pink flower
Is conquering your
Her sweet smelling
Will come to no end
And all she entangles
In her magic vines
Will wither and perish
Silently strangled in
Don'tyou see that
you're in trouble?
Her beauty leaves but
All will be over-
Your free roaming
Sing their songs of
While they feast on
what's growing by
day and by nigt...
Hardly one of them
dares touching this
fine fragile queen
So within the near
She'll be all to be
Try to stay away from
Can'tyou see her
ways are double?
Can't you tell?
You might still break
Song text by Mieke &
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