Nature Foundation Junior Rangers working with the new coral polyp models.
PHILIPSBURG--St. Maarten Nature Foundation recently received coral polyp models and created a poster about the island’s coral reefs. These are new educational materials to be used in the foundation’s “Save St. Maarten Corals” project.
The new materials were used in an “Introduction to Corals” class for Nature Foundation’s Junior Rangers, who recently completed their Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Junior Open Water Diving Certification with Ocean Explorers Dive Center.
The Junior Rangers, who were selected earlier this year, will be given several courses about the island’s natural environment and what they can do to protect it.
The coral polyp models were three-dimensionally printed by Dean Legg of Virtual Concepts International, which is located in Cole Bay. They were sponsored jointly by Virtual Concepts and Dutch Caribbean National Alliance (DCNA).
“Being able to handle the models and see, in detail, how coral polyps live and survive is a unique opportunity for St. Maarten’s students,” said Nature Foundation Educational Outreach Officer Leslie Hickerson. “The students were able to learn about the corals they had seen first-hand on their certification dives with our polyp models.”
The poster was sponsored by American University of the Caribbean (AUC) School of Medicine. It shows the country’s marine protected area and the threats coral reefs face, which include climate change, hurricanes, coral disease, wastewater contamination, toxic sunscreens, and pollution.
If one’s school or organisation is interested in receiving a presentation about St. Maarten’s coral reefs, persons can contact the foundation by sending an e-mail to