Restoring Wetlands and Wildlife within Palmetto Point

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More than 85% of the world’s wetlands have been destroyed in recent years and, until recently, the island of Barbuda followed this same tragic trend. The Barbuda Ocean Club team is extremely proud to work alongside the local community, environmental agencies and consultants, and our partners to seek ongoing solutions that create harmony between people and our natural environment.

While constructing the club's golf course—a course that weaves among the dunes and through wetlands and natural landscape—our collective team of hundreds of local Barbudan team members; renowned environmental and wildlife experts; landscape architects; and development leadership; are rebuilding and restoring the vast ecosystem of Palmetto Point. This comes after decades of destructive sand mining, waste dumping, and more.

Today, we celebrate the over 25 new acres of wetland and native vegetation that have been created and planted in the areas around Palmetto’s peninsula. We have watched these areas quickly become ideal habitats for abundant, diverse bird life, including waterfowl and shorebirds. Of particular note is that the science team and local team members are recording high use of the wetlands by the Magnificent Frigatebird (sometimes in flocks of over 30 birds), which previously was unrecorded at the site.

While there is still much work to be done, we are excited about our progress:

  • To date, 25 new acres of wetland have been created along with native vegetation planted in the wetland areas; invasive species of plants are being removed.
  • Sawgrass and other native species are being propagated by members of the local community (working on the project) and these wetland species are subsequently planted in the newly created wetlands.
  • Development of a longterm plan for the creation of even more mangrove wetlands is well underway to provide new habitat for three native and endangered mangrove species.
  • Bird surveys are being conducted to monitor the progress of the newly restored and created habitats. Abundances and biodiversity of bird life, including waterfowl and shorebirds, has increased. Between July and December 2021, 60 bird species were recorded utilizing the ponds and natural wetland (an increase of 18 species since September 2021). Of these, seven species are protected under the EPMA (2019), and six are on the IUCN Red List as Near Threatened or Vulnerable.

The comprehensive list of species observed and recorded by the science team during their surveys between July-December 2021 are provided below.

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