Hello from the Andros Conservancy and Trust, better known as Ancat

Ancat is an Androsian NGO working here in Fresh Creek, Andros, Bahamas to protect, preserve, enhance and restore the natural resources of Andros Island and its marine environment through education, conservation and management for future generations.

Ancat was formed by a group of concerned citizens in 1998 and led the effort to establish the vast 330,000 acre Central Andros National Park in 2002. Ancat has been bringing the environmental message to the island residents since its inception, teaching about the value of our natural resources, promoting sustainable livelihoods and healthy living here on the island.

Ancat is pursuing multiple goals, presently we are spearheading the ongoing effort to restore the creeks of Andros, our main focus for the Spring of 2010 is Fresh Creek. In December 2009 we were able, through assistance from Project Aware, to remove over 20 tons of trash from two stretches of waterfront in the harbour. We plan to continue with this effort until our banner will honestly read: ‘Fresh Creek a gem to behold’. We still have a long way to go and are planning to achieve our goals through the active involvement of our local residents and the generosity of our guests.

Another programme that Ancat is actively pursuing is the Recycle Andros project, presently every piece of garbage that we make is dumped onto the land and often garbage is discarded without thought along our highways, byways and waterways. Ancat knows that recycling could help to alleviate this unsightly problem and we are seeking support to instigate firstly an aluminum soda can recycling project, and when this is successfully launched we plan to move onto glass and other waste. We hope to convert our waste into cash with which we will be able to employ local people and further enhance our natural environment with the establishment of trails through the National Parks which offer our residents and visitors alike a slice of life in the Andros wilderness.

Our sustainable livelihoods programme is offering to the local residents the opportunity to learn about their surroundings with the objective of assisting them to embrace the livelihoods which will further enhance the visitor experience, for example fishing, bird watching and tour guides.

This is just a taste of the Ancat agenda and we would love to share more with all of you Andros lovers, please visit our website at www.ancat.net for further information about Ancat and the island or contact us here in Fresh Creek at 1 242 368 2882 or email us at ancatoffice@gmail.com and we will get right back to you.

Please consider becoming a member of Ancat and making a donation to support the above mentioned programmes. US citizens may make a tax deductible contribution through Eco Ed Foundation Inc., Co/ June Jager Norman, 3780 N 169th St., Brookfield, WI 53005, USA. Federal Tax ID# Eco Ed Foundation; 40-0001542

We know that we have a lot to achieve but the prize is enormous, Andros is one of the last great places on the earth. Working together we will be able to protect, preserve, enhance and restore the island we all love.

16 Comments:

  1. Al,

    Sounds like a great endevour to under to take. Good for you! Having just recently returned from Costa Rica, I was amazed at their level to which they recycle, thus employing locals and helping to keep their beautiful country cleaner. But as you know, just look around and see how much more can be done. It has to start somewhere though. Once again, good for you on the effort!

    My question, how is this effort been excepted by the local folks? It seemed in Costa Rica that if the local benefited, they excepted the change but if not, exceptance was very minimal. By teaching them that tourism might increase seemed about 50-50 in acceptance also. Just curious questions after my recent experience.

    Jeff

  2. Too bad no one feels the same way back home.

  3. I never know what I’m going to get coming to Al’s blog and it always seems I learn something new about the island. I think I’ve googled just about everything Andros and neve came across that website before.

    In the six years I’ve been going to Andros, every time I exit the country I answer the tourism survey about the garbage problems. It’s great that such an organization has started to address the situation. Hopefully the governement will take action and follow suit.

    And I think what Jeff said above is true concerning the locals acceptance. I often wonder if they put a return fee on the bottles and cans like they do in some states, that the locals would then benefit income wise by picking up the trash. In turn it makes the island cleaner and more appealing for tourism, which then comes back to benefit them yet again. With a country that benefits so much from tourism you have to wonder why it hasn’t been done already.

  4. Having made yearly trips to Andros to fish Fresh Creek those of us in the group look forward to the day when we no longer cast to the elusive bottle fish. When the sun is just right, waves breaking at the right time, we have made all too many casts to the bottles. In all seriousness, having just spent the last hour on the ancat website reading the most recent newsletter it was nice to see the local involvement undertaken to clean up sections of the Fresh Creek area as well as the “adoption” of sections. I noticed there was a list of “things needed” that included crayons, camera etc…. Is this list still up to date? I can imagine that the 4 of us coming in March can make room in our lugage to bring some items along.

  5. Having visited Andros once, and seeing the pictures you post of the island, it is great to know that there is an organization such as this helping to conserve and preserve it’s natural beauty and cuture. I will check out the site. You have encouraged so many people to visit Andros, I am sure it is reassuring for you to know that these kinds of efforts are taking place. Thanks for the info.

  6. ANCAT sounds like an excellent program. So glad you shared this information. I am in full support and I’m very interested in perserving and bettering an island I love to visit!!! Will be in touch with this organizing. Sandee Mischkot

  7. It is great to hear about ANCAT after visiting the island in the past. It is a wonderful thing that the island is recognizing the importance of preservation and recycling for now, and for the future generations. I also like that they will be establishing trails. Sometimes it’s nice to have other options and exploration is always an interesting one. This sounds like a great way for the people of Andros, and the tourists to benefit. It’s great to be at an isolated beach and not see trash!

  8. Thank you for your encouraging comments, Ancat knows we have a ways to go as yet, but feel that the benefits we will reap far outweigh the turbulence we encounter on the way there.
    A clean and beautiful Andros will not only enhance the tourism product but also increase the marine population and we Androsians love to eat fish too.
    So far the reception of our programmes has been one of acceptance by the locals across the board, they want a cleaner environment too and many are disheartened by the same sights that upset our visitors, a feeling of ‘I hate what i am seeing but can’t do anything to solve the problem’ has become normal. However, they need leadership to make the difference and we are offering that rare and beautiful comodity. We know that with a concerted effort we can remove the garbage. Please put your support behind Ancat if you would like to see us succeed in these ventures.

  9. Alluding to the EcoEd that the blog mentions, 100% of US donations that are tax deductible go to ANCAT. EcoEd does not get a percentage. That is a nice partnership.

    I like Erik’s idea of the ministry putting a deposit on drink containers. In Oregon they did this in 1970 and it is amazing how well it worked. Some seniors and lots of homeless subsdize their existence picking up the discards.

    Finally, we as guests could pick up trash in a garbage bag every time we go up the creek to fish or walk the beach. We need to walk the walk and not just talk.

    Jim Mischkot

  10. tone the bone

    very interesting and very long overdue. it is very exciting to think that the people of andros are realizing the absolute treasure that they posses and are getting the leadership that they need to make a difference. i; being a guest at fresh creek for many years have never quite understood the litter and lack of pride there was amongst the people of andros. thank god for ancat and the great things they have started and i’m sure will constantly work on in the future. i for one will contribute my dollars to help out and most certainly carry a large garbage bag with me whenever i’m on the water or beach. good job ancat and keep up the great effort. also; thanks big al for introducing us to this great cause. now with that being said. hows the fishing al????

  11. I remember reading someplace once “take out more than you take in, and leave only footsteps” or something along those regards. That has always stuck with me.

    Does the local government have any abilities to enact certain policies independently of the Bahamian government as a whole? For instance could they initiate a tax just for the island of Andros where the monies could be used for such a bottle/can return program like I mentioned? The people who visit Andros for the most part come because of outdoor related activities so I’m sure that would be one tax that would actually be supported by the people who would pay it. Have to start somewhere and that seems like a logical place.

    And like Tone said, HOW’S THE FISHING????????

    .

  12. To piggy back on Erik’s comments, the ability of the local government to institute a local “lodging tax” either as a flat fee or percentage of lodging cost that would be used to build and maintain the recycling/bottle return program. Here in the states, local and city municipalities very frequently do this for tourism promotion, stadium building etc…. Just say’n…

  13. Considering the amount of responses in a relatively short period of time it appears this topic has hit home with alot of people.

    Stories of Al frigging up a cast to a giant bonefish (again) or how he outfishes Hank on the reef (again) never get this many hits!

  14. Hey Bro— Couple of points. One, the Ancat writeup/presentation was done in an outstanding manner..including mission, goals etc…very informative and I support their quest for a beautiful Andros Island now and in the future…Two, you were most gracious to provide your blog site as a forum for Ancat to communicate its message…Very effective based on the comments… attaboy dude…later

  15. Glad to hear about all the good work Ancat is doing on Andros. Its really important to take care of one of our great natural resources. Keep up the good work. Hope to visit Andros again in the future.

  16. Anne & Morten

    Back in Andros for the 2. time we completely agree that something has to be done and appreciate the good initiative. This lovely nature – a rare spot off wildness still on earth – deserves to be preserved.

    We will dig further into the project, when we’re home again – but now we’ll go fishing – hopefully not for bottles alone.
    Best,
    Anne & Morten
    Denmark

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