Flagler Perspective—Nikki Cummings
The date is May 19, 2015. At the hotel, we are all getting ready and I decide to walk out on the balcony to see what the weather is like. I am greeted with the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen! I snap a picture of it and notice it is actually a double rainbow! I know it will be a good day 🙂
We hop on the bus and head to BAMZ for a day full of lectures and trips around the island. Dr. Geoffrey Smith talked to us about freshwater and different pieces of legislature in place to protect and conserve the fresh water on the island. The next presenter was Dr. Jamie Bacon. She spoke to us about how pollution affects a variety of organisms on the island. We first started off by going to Cloverdale pond to catch toadlets. We bring them back to BAMZ and observe the malformations in some of the individuals we have caught. Dr. Bacon stated that hydrocarbons from pollution are to blame. We also traveled to the Port Royal golf course ponds and examined the toadlets there. Many more toadlets had malformations than I originally thought we would see. It was quite disheartening to see all these malformations, especially when it is happening in our backyards in America too. If there is anything I took away from today, it is that our actions heavily impact the environment.
Bermuda College Perspective- Joshua Stephens
Today was a long winded, lecture driven day, but it was interesting. For Bermudians, we do not seem to be aware of the beautiful morning weather as explained above, as we are used to it. The morning started off nice and refreshing, and I could wait until the next field trip. Our lecturers Dr. Geoffrey Smith and Dr. Jamie Bacon provided us with much of their research and interesting data points on Freshwater ecosystems that we have in Bermuda. It both fascinated and shocked everyone of us to see the research that Dr. Bacon showed to us about one species in particular, the marine toad. Did you know that over 50% of the the toadlets found in the ponds around Bermuda are deformed, with about 30% of these cases serious?
Neither did we! Almost all of the hydrocarbons produced from roadways and vehicular traffic somehow end up in freshwater ecosystems, worldwide. It is interesting to become a part of this project, and you could see that many students were interested in expanding on this topic during our final essays.
For us Bermudians, it is funny how these research projects are going on in our own backyards, and I will say about 90% of Bermudians do not know what is happening to the environment. If I could take anything away from today, it would be the ability to create awareness of the this environmental disaster for the general public to know about.