Waitt Institute makes customized donations toward recovery from Hurricane Matthew in the Caribbean
SAN DIEGO, WILLEMSTAD - The passage of Hurricane Matthew through the Caribbean has delivered a major blow to several island nations in the region. Human lives have been lost and wide- spread structural damage was reported especially in the coastal environments on several of these islands. The Waitt Institute, known for its work focused on sustainable ocean ecosystems and communities, has added to the growing list of donors providing support to the people and causes in the Caribbean region as it works to recover from Hurricane Matthew.
“Our Caribbean Blue Halo initiatives in Barbuda, Montserrat and Curaçao escaped major impacts from Hurricane Matthew" said Dr. Kathryn Mengerink, the Waitt Institute’s Executive Director. “But by pooling funds from our existing projects, we are doing what we can to assist our sites as well as other islands in their recovery from the storm."
The Blue Halo Curaçao site, for example, suffered minor material impact from the storm but there was considerable damage to the sea turtle nesting sites along the coast. Here, the Waitt Institute has teamed up with the Sea Turtle Conservation Curaçao through a donation to assist with the restoration and clean- up of these nesting sites. Curaçao is cosignatory to the International Sea Turtle Convention and the monitoring activities are essential to compliance with the convention.
The island of Haiti, on the other hand, has suffered major devastation on account of the storm. Even though not a Blue Halo site, a sizable donation was made to the Panamerican Development Foundation to assist in getting supplies and aid to the people in the hardest hit communities in the southwest region of that island. This donation comes in response to a humanitarian call for assistance in the region.
"With this donation the Waitt Institute stands in solidarity with the large Haitian community living in Curaçao which has been making a great effort to collect resources to assist their families back home" said Gisette Seferina, site manager of the Blue Halo Initiative Curaçao.