Our organization, Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC) has been conducting environmental education, habitat restoration, and scientific research on the island of St. Maarten since 2000. Unfortunately, Hurricane Irma has destroyed our headquarters. However, we are committed to the long-term restoration and environmental health of the island and will rebuild. We need resources to get back on our feet and begin work as soon as possible, including replanting denuded areas.
Our organization's office and staff housing in St. Maarten were destroyed, with half the roof missing, walls caved in, and all office equipment and furniture a total loss. However, we still have vital work to do, including habitat restoration, tree planting, and environmental education. In addition, we operate a sewage pumpout boat to reduce wastewater pollution. Additional funding is needed to help us continue restoration efforts and our environmental education work.
Your donation will help us to continue planting trees in habitats destroyed by hurricane Irma, reducing erosion into sensitive coastal reef and seagrass habitats. We will also be able to continue educating our youth about the importance of protecting habitat, empowering them to make an impact in improving their island by planting trees and cleaning up litter. Our citizen science program integrates classrooms into restoration work by involving them in measuring plant and biodiversity growth.
We are committed to continuing our 17 years of service in Sint Maarten. Over the long-term, planted trees will provide vital habitat, much of which has been decimated, helping wildlife while reducing erosion and helping to sequester carbon from the atmosphere. We will continue to build future environmental leaders for the Caribbean through our educational program, which annually reaches approximately 2,000 students and trains teachers.