Irma Recovery for St. Maarten Environmental Org

by Environmental Protection in the Caribbean
Irma Recovery for St. Maarten Environmental Org
Irma Recovery for St. Maarten Environmental Org
Irma Recovery for St. Maarten Environmental Org
Irma Recovery for St. Maarten Environmental Org
Irma Recovery for St. Maarten Environmental Org
Irma Recovery for St. Maarten Environmental Org
Irma Recovery for St. Maarten Environmental Org
Irma Recovery for St. Maarten Environmental Org
Irma Recovery for St. Maarten Environmental Org
Irma Recovery for St. Maarten Environmental Org
The EPIC office once again has a roof.
The EPIC office once again has a roof.

Thank you for helping Environmental Protection in the Caribbbean (EPIC) to reach our goal!

I am excited to report that our St. Maarten headquarters is fully restored and functional. It was a lot of work....new windows, roof, floors, furniture, and more. But where once there was a rain-soaked shell with heaps of soggy debris, there is now a functioning office and staff housing. And you made it possible through your generosity! 

With "hurricane-proof" glass windows and super reinforced roofing, we feel much more secure going into the 2018 hurricane season. As climate change scientists have predicted, it appears that hurricanes will be increasingly destructive in the coming years so we are working to become more resilient. 

Planting trees is another aspect of building resiliency. This year we have planted nearly 1,000 trees, including coastal mangroves, and continue educating the public about the importance of protecting our environment. To learn more, you can follow us on Facebook or check out our website.

This Spring your gift has bloomed into a renewed sense of hope for EPIC's future and our conservation work. We sincerely appreciate your support at such a difficult time.

Broken windows were replaced with sturdy glass.
Broken windows were replaced with sturdy glass.

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Dedicated volunteers clear hurricane debris
Dedicated volunteers clear hurricane debris

Like many of us, Sandra wanted to help St. Maarten recover from the devastation of her homeland after Hurricane Irma tore through the island as a category 5 hurricane. When asked why she volunteers her free time helping with our forest restoration project she replied “It’s a good way to help nature recover from what happened here, to work on the future of beautiful nature.”

We couldn’t agree more...even as we continue rebuilding our damaged headquarters thanks to your contributions, EPIC is working hard to ensure nature recovers as well. Irma changed the landscape, ripping out trees and tearing off branches and leaves, leaving the land brown and dried-out. Precious pockets of undeveloped land are valuable habitat for plants and wildlife, including the reptile Anolis pogus found nowhere else in the world except on St. Maarten. Removing invasive plants and replacing them with native species of trees is creating the future that volunteers like Sandra want to see.

You don’t have to go all the way to St. Maarten to help though! GlobalGiving has created an incredible donation opportunity, matching all donations at 100% while funds last this #Giving Tuesday, November 28th for their Rebuild Together Matching Campaign to help hurricane recovery efforts. This Tuesday the matching magic happens for just 24 hours starting at midnight Eastern Standard Time. To make sure your donation is doubled, donate early to be part of the $200,000 available in matching funds (up to $1,000 per donor)!

Your contribution will help us to purchase trees, supply our volunteers with rides, food, and drinks, and pay our staff for the time needed to clear out invasive species and prepare sites for planting. Now that schools are back in session after the hurricane, we are also bringing students out on field trips to share with them our message of hope and renewal for their homeland, much needed after the trauma of Irma’s destruction.

Thank you for your generosity at this difficult time. You are part of a team of people across the world who together are creating a force stronger than any hurricane: the power of a brighter, greener future!

“Nature takes care of us so we have to take care of nature.”  - Richie, volunteer

Caring for native plants until sites are cleared
Caring for native plants until sites are cleared
Anolis pogus, only found on St. Maarten (Yokoyama)
Anolis pogus, only found on St. Maarten (Yokoyama)

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Braving mosquitoes, pollution, and wrecked boats
Braving mosquitoes, pollution, and wrecked boats

Your support for EPIC has been critical as we recover from the devasating impacts of Hurricane Irma. You stepped up to help in a time of need, letting us know that we are not alone and that we will rebuild. I want to be sure you know how your vital contribution is being put to work right away.

As I write, building materials to repair the roof of EPIC headquarters are on a ship sailing for St. Maarten. The ship's journey was delayed due to the passage of Hurricane Maria but it will arrive by next week. Once the roof is repaired, we can begin the process of re-establishing our office and staff living quarters.

Approximately 90% of the island's mangrove forests have been impacted by the storm. Therefore, EPIC Project Manager Kippy and volunteer Anna have already begun collecting mangrove propagules, or seeds, to plant once hurricane season is over in November.

Despite the opportunity to evacuate, these brave women have stayed to help restore St. Maarten. As they face the daily uncertainty of securing food, water, electricity, and fuel, they also continue to work towards a vision for a better future. As they pass the rubble and brown, bare trees of this once-green island, they are growing hope, one tree at a time. 

I applaud them and you, our supporters, for making sure that this important work can continue at such a crucial moment. It will be a long road but together we will rebuild and restore!

In Gratitude,

Natalia Collier

President

Humble beginnings for future mangrove forests
Humble beginnings for future mangrove forests

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Organization Information

Environmental Protection in the Caribbean

Location: Green Cove Springs, FL - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @EPICislands
Project Leader:
Natalia Collier
Maho, Sint Maarten

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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