Conservation - Restoration - Collaboration
Established January 2021
How One Person's Passion, Turned Into Action
This venture all started with Deanna Friesen. Deanna has a passion for aquatic life and as she explored Bermuda's waters a passion for seahorses arose. As a citizen scientists, Deanna spent time observing everything around her and began noticing changes in seahorse habitats and seemingly declines in seahorse sightings.
Deanna approached Dr. Mark Outerbridge from the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) when she became concerned about a mated pair of seahorses and their lack of holdfasts in a diminishing area.
This led to a collaboration with Jessica Young at Warwick Academy. The WA Marine Science Facility was discussed as a site that could be used for rescues and interventions if deemed necessary. Our hope was as it is an open system, problems of bacterial infections that are high in closed systems for seahorses would be lowered.
After much collaboration and research, speaking to LeAnn Hinton about the BZS 2000 survey and Jessica Reiderer about the 2016 survey, we determined that, due to seahorses seemingly patchy distribution and master camouflage, we would enact the 5-year short term plan for DENR.
To enact the 5-year short term plan, we gained community participation hosting small informative training workshops to allow for more extensive and long term systematic surveys to gain reliable baseline data. This then led to the Amazing DREAM Team, who tirelessly surveyed sites in their free time.
We also developed a partnership with Bermuda Zoological Society, for which we are thrilled. And earlier this year, we started a seahorse enrichment club at Warwick Academy, where students are trained and actively help in spotting seahorses.
"We have a visceral connection to the ocean in Bermuda and it is important that we start to engage and teach future generations how to appreciate and preserve this natural treasure”
~ Jessica Young