Mangrove committee offering tours to East Coast site

The Mangrove Action Committee will offer complimentary tours to parents and children during the August holidays which include a visit to its new visitor centre.

The programme will consist of a formal education session on mangrove conservation and management at the centre, in addition to a guided tour of the mangrove reserve behind the facility.

The committee said in a press release last week that the tour is informative as students will learn about the importance of drainage and irrigation to the low-lying coastal plain during a walk on a seaside trail, and will also pass a Dutch koker.

Students will also visit a wooden hut, going back to pre-emancipation times, where the slaves went to collect their weekly pay. Information would also be provided about the four different species of mangroves found in the thriving mangrove forest at East Coast Demerara.

The committee said local guides will also identify the many species of local medicinal plants which are used for a variety of ailments, and the tour will end at the freshwater wetland filled with tilapia, hassa and patwa, and surrounded by many species of birds in the area.

According to the release, the mangrove visitor centre serves as the focal point for mangrove education and awareness efforts aimed at primary and secondary school students across the coast. Previously, the Ministry of Education through NCERD had organized several formal school trips and the committee noted that the feedback has been encouraging.

The former estate house at Cove and John which houses the Women Leadership Institute is also home to the country’s first mangrove visitor centre as of May 2011.

Parents who accompany their children on the tours will also have an opportunity to purchase local products from villagers who will have their products available for sale at the centre, the committee said.

Independent tours can also be arranged by contacting community tour guides on telephone numbers 617-0131; 617-0219 and 673-1128, the release added.

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