Local residents and long-time BRFM customers Ann and Chris Stack recently made a generous donation to our “Kick the Plastic Habit” campaign. Their gift has supplied all of our vendors with the wooden baskets that allow customers to gather their produce for purchase at the Market.
We’d like to express our gratitude for their support and tell you a little bit about the inspiration behind their concern for the environment, particularly regarding plastic pollution.
The Stack family has traveled to Barbuda yearly since 1978. They feel a special connection to the beautiful island and its wonderful people. During that time, they sadly watched the coral reef die and the fish and lobster diminish in numbers and size due to over-fishing, pollution, and other environmental factors.
Then a few years ago, the Waitt Institute chose Barbuda to introduce the Blue Halo Initiative. Because of its small size and 1,500 inhabitants, it was an ideal candidate. With local leadership and involvement, there are now new laws in place and sanctuaries established around parts of the island which protect the coral and allow the fish and lobster populations to recover.
Currently, the challenge for the local fishermen is to stop people from other island countries from leaving their own over-fished areas to poach the recovering waters of Barbuda. And the success in Barbuda has led Blue Halo to be expanded to include the islands of Montserrat and Curacao.
A big part of the problem with ocean life population loss is attributed to plastic pollution.
- In the ocean, plastics break down into small particles that can outnumber plankton six to one.
- These pieces collect toxins like PCBs and DDT at levels up to 1,000,000 times the levels found in plastic-free seawater.
- Marine wildlife often mistake plastic bags for food, especially sea turtles hunting jellyfish.
- High amounts of plastic material, especially plastic bags, have been found blocking the breathing passages and stomachs of many marine species.
For more information about the Blue Halo Initiative, click here.