The Mangrove Education Project (MEP) continued its research program in the Central Mangroves earlier this month when it revisited its research plot on the National Trust land deep in the wetlands together with year 12 students from St Ignatius and trust scientific experts.
Science teacher Jennifer Artuch together with four students - Nazili Clarke, Emma Collins, Kai Hulse and Ethan Whittaker - were joined by the Trust’s Environmental Programs Manager, Catherine Childs, and Environmental Policy and Development Officer, “AJ” Andrew McGovern, together with MEP Executive Director, Martin Keeley.
The previous expedition with students from Cayman International School in 2021 established a research plot in the densely packed mangroves some 50 yards east of the eastern end of the most northern dyke trails.
“The first expedition in 2021 was held earlier in the year, March, when the conditions were somewhat drier,” describes Martin Keeley. “This time we encountered an accumulation of the extensive rains we’ve been experiencing over the past few months. It was wet, very, very wet!”
Following the clearly defined plot lines the team carried out a series of observations and measurements whilst wading through water which was knee deep in places. Peat depth varied between 4 and 5 feet close to the previous trip’s depth of 9 ft 3 ins. Eleven species of birds were spotted, and an unusual six-spotted Fishing Spider, also a Cuban Blue Anole mating with a Cayman Brown Anole. Remaining data can be found in attached document.