Category Archives: Plastics

CEI Research Team conducts beach plastic surveys

With every researcher at CEI always on the go, managing their own research projects, they hardly have time to get a feel for other projects going on at the institute.  Luckily this is changing, as once a month all researchers will come together and take part in a different research project. The goal is for each CEI researcher to have a good understanding of all of the great research being done at CEI.

This past week the team assisted fellow researcher Kristal Ambrose with her beach plastic project. The team managed to survey two beaches for the long term project; Kristal aims to determine how plastic moves over time in between beaches here in South Eleuthera. The CEI team helped contribute to Kristal’s growing dataset, learning new survey methods, and getting firsthand exposure to the plastic pollution that threatens the beauty and health of the island. A good time was had by all. Stay tuned for the research team’s next adventure!


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Time flies when you are turtling!

DSCN1321Our Gap Year crew has been very busy in their first month here at CEI with marine research, road trips, classes and community service. We’ve studied human ecology, coral reefs, mangroves and more.  We analyzed sustainable aspects of our Island School/CEI community here and compared them to our home communities with the ultimate goal of designing a solution to an issue of sustainability at home.

Outside of our classes, we’ve helped out with many on-site research projects studying everything from green sea turtles to Caribbean sharks to a local favorite, queen conch. We’ve also conducted plastic surveys and helped out in our permaculture garden. Last week we explored outside our immediate community and volunteered at the Tarpum Bay Arts & Cultural center doing a landscaping project ( There we met the lovely director, Audrey Carey, who regaled us with stories about what life was like when she grew up in the Bahamas (very sustainable!) and showed us the local students’ and artists’ work.  Continue reading

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More beach plastic surveys around Cape Eleuthera

IS students beach plastic surveyThe plastic pioneers of CEI have struck again!  Recently the Cape Eleuthera Institute embarked on a historical project studying macro and micro  plastic pollution on beaches in South Eleuthera. This unique project is the first of its kind here in The Bahamas and is led by Bahamian researcher Kristal Ambrose.


IMIs students beach plastic surveyThe project which is aided solely by the help of educational programs visiting CEI and students of the Island School and Deep Creek Middle School, has welcomed nearly 150 volunteers to this research project. So far the plastic team has surveyed 14 beaches on the island, with 4 remaining for assessment. Continue reading

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Lyford Cay at CEI

Lyfor Cay Grade 8Lyford Cay grade 8 had a busy 3 days here at CEI diving into the plastics curriculum as well as some of the fun yet educational activities typical of our Island School programs: Sandbar geology, Lionfish lesson/dissection, and reef ecology lesson & snorkel.
Weather was a tad windy for snorkeling at 4th hole but they did have a chance to check out the reef balls. Successful plastics research was conducted on 4th hole beach with Miss Kristal Ocean herself and the results will be used in their science class back at Lyford.

Lyford Cay Grade 8

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St. Andrews visits CEI

Lead educator Tiff Gray with students from St. Andrews
Lead educator Tiff Gray with students from St. Andrews

Last week, Educational Programs at CEI had their hands full with two classes hailing from St. Andrew’s School in Nassau, home of the Hurricanes. The first class, a group of 17 students, had a blast helping the plastics, lionfish, and bonefish research teams. Students arrived from Nassau and executed their first day nicely with lots of energy and enthusiasm! The first item on the agenda was a sustainable systems scavenger hunt, exploring the grounds and learning important facts about sustainability initiatives around campus. That afternoon, they spoke with Kristal Ambrose, Patch Reef Researcher & plastic enthusiast, on her plastics research project at CEI. Although the rain put a damper on data collection, they were able to conduct beach plastic surveys the next afternoon and utilize this data for their Math class back at

St. Andrews' students enjoying a beach bonfire on their last night.
St. Andrews’ students enjoying a beach bonfire on their last night.

St. Andrew’s. The second day they headed down island to explore the caves of Rock Sound, journal at the Banyon Tree, and swim in Ocean Hole. That afternoon they took a stroll down the beach at Paige Creek to learn about the Flats ecosystem and chat with Liane Nowell about her exciting master’s project on Bonefish. The day ended with a bonfire and s’mores on the beach! Their last day started with a joyful school reunion when the second class from St. Andrew’s arrived. Continue reading

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Plastic Pollution Project starts at CEI

On Thursday of last week, the Marine Plastic Pollution Team at CEI embarked on their first full day of plastic research. The team, which was led by Kristal Ambrose and consisted of several CEI staff members and IS students, set out to analyze macro- and micro-plastic concentrations on beaches in South Eleuthera. Using precise survey protocols designed by NOAA, the team managed to successfully survey three beaches on the Atlantic side of the island, including North Side Beach and Winding Bay


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