Guy Harvey Magazine

WIN-SPR 2018

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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Page 34 of 83 | 35 business model. Another question the folks in The Bahamas are asking is if the Exuma Cay Land and Sea Park funding architecture may provide a template for other protected areas to emulate. Early this year, the BNT hired me as the the new park administrator. My wife Nicola was also brought in as a part-time administrative assistant. As you can imagine, it's a dream job for us, even though it comes with tremendous accountability. I am responsible for overall supervision and oversight of all activities that occur in the park. Nicola makes sure everything is well organized and keeps me in check, which is a full-time job in itself. Having worked in the yacht industry for 40 years, I come to the BNT as a committed marine conservationist. A few years ago, Nicola and I founded Ocean Crest Alliance (OCA), a non- profit organization working in marine and land conservation in The Bahamas and Florida. Nicola left the banking industry after 17 years to take over as a director of OCA. It's easy for us to believe deeply in the BNT's mission and the importance of this park as The Bahamas' first Marine No-Take Reserve. In fact, when it was founded in 1958, it was the first park to receive Marine Reserve status in The Bahamas and the wider Caribbean. Now, some 60 years later, one of our key goals is to elevate the ECLSP into a model not just for The Bahamas but for the entire region. We're fortunate that Eric Carey, BNT executive director, and his team are committed to the park system in The Bahamas and that they understand the unique importance of the park. "This is one of our most highly visited parks," Carey said, "and we are in the process of upgrading the park facilities, implementing new technology to help with enforcement and initiating some exciting new projects. We feel that Joe and Nicola bring an exciting new energy and important skills to assist in making this national park in The Bahamas a true model for marine parks across the region." Keeping true to our "sustainable architecture" concept of operations and to help create local jobs, the BNT is working with local architects and builders, as well as international teams, to harness electricity from wind, solar and even wave action. Using advanced technologies in sustainable energy and building standards, we're also establishing national programs around education and enforcement procedure. While the vision is to power all of the parks with renewable energy, these days, we still require backup wattage. The BNT has committed to constructing a new workshop building while installing a new 45kw generator, which are both possible thanks to a generous donation from Teresa and Gregory Pentek (deceased) from Tierra Verde, Florida. Some of those funds are also being used to build a staging platform on Warderick Wells Cay for the complete transformation of that island. We will be replacing older systems and installing new ones to accommodate today's requirements for park operations. Another major issue we face within our national parks is how to monitor and stop illegal fishing over such a vast region. Fortunately, technology can help with that as well. Currently, the BNT is developing a UAS (Unmanned Aerial Surveillance) system to aid in the reduction of Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing and other illegal activities that occur within the park's 176-square-mile boundaries. These actions play a vital role in ensuring the success of this delicate ecosystem. The future of marine parks is firmly planted in technology, sustainability and renewable energy. As we follow that path in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, we're already bringing greater attention to the vital work the BNT is accomplishing in this park as well as all of our 32 national parks and more than two million acres. The BNT's proactive approach is already setting global standards, and Nicola and I are honored to be a part of the movement here at the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. Want to make a film in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park? If you're a filmmaker or a research scientist or just a sailor looking for a far-flung, pristine slice of nature, the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park may be the destination for you. The staff there welcomes you by helping to provide logistical needs, communication and media requirements, lodging, workshop areas, equipment, vessels, storage and whatever support you may need. This includes advanced technologies in equipment and vessel operations, a local workforce, local materials, and most importantly, local knowledge. This proactive push to attract user groups is a key element in the funding mechanism to sustain the park. Therefore, your only requirement, besides showing up and enjoying one of the most stunning places on the planet, is to contribute a tax- deductible gift to the national park fund, which directly supports the park maintenance and operations. These gifts are based on many factors, including services needed and time spent on location. For more information, contact an official at the Bahamas National Trust.

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