COAST’s Program to Educate and Chaitably Transfer Sustainability Measures in Coastal and Island Communities
Although instantaneous comprehensive sustainability is impossible, the opportunity for straightforward cost-effective measures in coastal communities based on cutting-edge scientific and technological breakthroughs are possible.
Together we help communities and governments establish and monitor technologies that protect their coastal resources, while invigorating the economy. When communities need more data, we help them gather it.
COAST will also facilitate the implementation of sustainability measures by providing financial, legal/regulatory, and technical assistance to governments and communities. For example, COAST will provide charitable legal assistance by comparing and contrasting past contracts reached in similar communities to ensure agreements are just and reflect the unique characteristics of the particular community.
The CAPE Eleuthera Institute is a Model for Successfully Implementing Sustainability Measures
In early July 2011, COAST visited the Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI) and its sister adjacent educational campus The Island School and were impressed by the facility’s dedication to sustainability. COAST is excited that the Island School/Cape Eleuthera Institute have become one of COAST Association’s first members. The success of CEI’s sustainability measures demonstrates that this type of stewardship of natural resources is possible in remote island communities. Here are a few examples of what CEI is doing on their campus:
They have installed 252 solar panels, with a capacity of over 50 kilowatts, that are distributed between both the Island School and Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI), providing most of the electricity for both campuses. CEI also has installed a 10KW wind turbine and soon plan to upgrade the facility’s wind generation capacity. The success of CEI’s renewable energy systems has lead to the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC), the Ministry of Energy and Environment, and the Office of the Prime Minister partnering with CEI to create the nation’s first grid intertie. This burgeoning partnership will hopefully act as a model for all of the Bahamas as the country moves towards a future of sustainable energy and development practices. CEI is currently sharing data from the solar array with these Bahamian agencies as a pilot project in hopes of facilitating a more sustainable energy future throughout the Bahamas.
The Island School is also in the process of completing an on-site waste management system that is composed of a functioning wastewater wetland system in the center courtyard of their campus and an anaerobic digester that is currently being built to process the facility’s solid waste. The school’s wastewater is released onto the wetland which not only provides water and essential nutrients for the plants growing in the wetland, but also naturally filters the water to reduce the wastewater’s impact on the fragile reef ecosystem that surrounds the school. Once the anaerobic digester is complete, the Island School and CEI will be one step closer to their goal of being a “zero waste” facility and will even have new a new source of energy (methane gas).
CEI also operates a community scale biodiesel plant that provides over 18,000 gallons a year of ASTM D-6751 quality biodiesel for the facility and to the surrounding community. CEI’s biodiesel facility supplies virtually 100% of CEI and the Island School’s fuel needs with biodiesel, which not only has the benefit of reducing waste cooking oil discharges into the environment, but also avoids the importation of nearly 20,000 gallons of petroleum diesel each year.
CEI also has the capacity for over 100,000 gallons of underground water storage that is fed by seasonal rainfall through a complex cistern system. Efficient appliances such as ultra low flush toilets and waterless urinals allow the facility supply all potable water needs from the cistern system.
To learn more and get involved in spreading sustainable living practices in the Caribbean, please contact COAST’s Executive Director of Outreach John November at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 904-525-3042.