Island News

Caribbean Gems Trash Run Yields 3,144 Pounds

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Engage Foundation had a mission to clean St. Maarten one run at a time.  That mission was completed on Sunday 23rd morning during the First Annual Engage Caribbean Gems Trash run during which six teams collected 3,144 pounds of trash.  Manu Budhrani of Caribbean Gems reminded participants “It is our island and with initiative such as this we show just how much garbage the island has, but it should not be like this.  There should be some other way that people handle and treat their garbage.”

Engage Foundation organized an amazing event, a challenging event that combined positively contribution to our community on one hand and promoting team spirit on the other hand.  The winning Pain Cave Tribe Team received US $1000 towards their charities of choice Animal Defenders and Safe Haven.  Sentinel Guardians placed second with $500 which goes towards Youth Extravaganza Foundation.   The Foundation thanked Caribbean Gems sponsors and all the volunteers for making the Trash Run a success. 


News courtesy of Caribbean Gems.

'Adopt a Shark' Programme Continues Due to 'Success'.

adopt a shark

Nature Foundation has extended its “Adopt a Shark” programme to yearend, thanks to continued demand.  The programme was launched during Shark Week in June.  “It is important that we work together to ensure the survival of our shark population; with the ‘Adopt a Shark’ programme we are trying to engage the community in our efforts to protect sharks and give them the opportunity to be involved in a large scale scientific research project on St. Maarten,” stated Foundation Project Officer Melanie Meijer zu Schlochtern.   Different tags are being applied on adopted sharks, such as PIT tags, FLOY tags and even high-tech acoustic tags have been deployed on certain sharks.  An acoustic tag sends out acoustic signals which are detected with acoustic receivers, thereby giving information on how much the shark spends around a certain location, providing us valuable information about their movement patterns. 


News courtesy of Caribbean Gems.

Chamber to Break Ground to Construct Economic Service Center by Year End

coci1newlogosmThe St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry (COCI) is expected to break ground for the construction of its Economics Service Center (ESC) on Walter Nisbeth Road near the former Air Lekkerbek restaurant by the end of this year.  Plans for the ESC are currently being finalized.  Once completed, it will be an eco-friendly and state-of-the-art facility with 18 lease-to-own units that small business will be able to lease or purchase outright to expand their business and increase their customers reach.  The facility will have more than 97 parking spaces with full service office from which COCI will offer improved customer service.


News courtesy of Caribbean Gems.

Divi Little Bay Offers 'Two for One' Special


Divi Little Bay Beach Resort in St. Maarten is back in action and celebrating its grand reopening by breaking out its best offer yet, according to a company statement. 

From now until October 31, 2018 guests who book one night will get one free.  This offer includes travel in both 2018 and 2019, with dates available during the Caribbean’s popular January to April travel season. 

“We’re thrilled with the response we’ve seen on the return of visitors to Divi Little Bay Beach Resort and we want to celebrate with this remarkable offer, giving vacationers the opportunity to travel to the Caribbean during the winter and spring season, and throughout 2019. 

The island has bounced back quicker than anyone expected, and the beaches are just as beautiful as ever,” said Divi Reorts President and Chief Operating Office Marco Galaverna.  


News Caribbean Gems

Nature Foundation to Launch Online Marine Park Tag System

naturefoundationTo overcome issues with over the counter diver’s tag payment and to profit from new trends in how tourists use the Internet to plan their vacations, St. Maarten Nature Foundation has been working with the Reef Support B.V. to develop an online payment system.  Nature Foundation, together with other islands of the Dutch Caribbean since 1997, has been the worldwide example for charging an environmental user fee to users of the National Marine Parks. 

The current dive tag system has issues keeping up with demand. Production cost, administration, risk management, and logistics were becoming more and more costly and time consuming.  “The online system will allow visiting divers and other Marie Park users to prepay their tags before arrival to their dive shop.  With his system we hope to reduce the efforts of making over-the-counter sales of our Marine Park diver tags.


News Courtesy of Caribbean Gems

SCDF Making Coloring Book for Carnival Icons

stjohndevelopmentfoundationSt. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) will produce a children’s colouring book for Carnival 2019 as one of the many projects to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Carnival.  SCDF said last week that it is actively trying to revive the youth participation and interest in cultural aspects of Carnival and has chosen to do so starting with the children in elementary levels. 

SCDF President Alston Lourens said that the coloring book will feature about 15 pages of Carnival icons and things typical to Carnival.  Well-known Carnival artistes and other stake-holders will be depicted as well as Carnival trucks, something representative of the pageants and more. All drawings are being done by local tattoo artist Chris Forde. Lourens said the books will be distributed to children free of charge “The coloring book will not just be pictures in color. We will also include basic information about each person and thing included in the coloring book. 


News Courtesy of Caribbean Gems

Port De Plaisance Yacht Club Prepared for Yachting Season

Yacht Club Port de Plaisance

Port de Plaisance Yacht Club General Manager Jesse Peterson said last week that the facility will be fully operational for the upcoming yachting season. After the devastation of Hurricane Irma, it has been the management team’s number one priority to repair, rebuild and upgrade the marina to welcome back their customers. 

“I am extremely pleased to announce that with the help of our management team and staff members, Yacht Club Port de Plaisance is making great progress with the rebuilding and refurbishment of the facility and we are on track to be fully ready for the season that is quickly approaching,” said Yacht Club Manager Jesse Peterson.


News Courtesy of Caribbean Gems