2013 Migratory Bird Festival:
This year marked the first Migratory Bird Festival in Sint Maarten, specifically in Cul-de-Sac. The festival, an initiative of the newly created association "Les Fruits de Mer" backed by "The Incomplete Wildlife of Saint Martin" was a resounding success, as you can see in these photos. These two projects, created by Mark Yokoyama, aim to raise awareness about the unique natural heritage of our island of Saint Martin. The target of developers and corrupt local officials condoning the destruction of their island, Sint Maarten has too often turned its back on its natural wealth: a haven for migratory birds. With over a dozen ponds across St Maarten, the island is a key stop for migratory birds during their journey to South America, and an overwintering area for dozens of species. These areas are protected by the Natural Reserve of Saint Martin and provide food and rest for these birds as they travel thousands of miles each year.
Today, thanks to Mark's passion and the team Les Fruits de Mer (of which I am a proud member), people come to (re)discover the natural wealth of their small Caribbean island. Birds, and also marine life are the two creeds of our friend Mark. Although there is a long way to go in raising awareness about local nature, the Migratory Bird Festival in 2013 was a big first step in the right direction, and the crowd was very interested in seeing these birds! Hopefully, those curious and passionate about nature will continue to experience these magic moments and become even more aware of the island's living nature, Sint Maarten's true treasure.
See you next year!!
All pictures courtesy of Olivia Roudon