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USAID Supports Ashton Lagoon Restoration
US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Joaquin Monserrate(standing fifth left) and other partners celebrate the restoration of the Ashton Lagoon.
USAID/The Nature Conservancy

For Immediate Release

Friday, May 31, 2019


On May 31, representatives from the United States Embassy to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS today joined environmental leaders, officials of the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and other donor partners on Union Island to celebrate their contribution to the restoration of the Ashton Lagoon.

Ashton Lagoon is the largest natural bay in the Grenadines. It is surrounded by extensive mangroves that represent one of the last remaining mangrove forests in the country.

The goal of the restoration project was to restore the area’s ecosystem health and biodiversity, promote ecotourism opportunities, and foster tangible improvements in human and community well-being towards a sustainable future where nature and people can thrive.

The U.S. Government’s contribution to the restoration effort came under the Caribbean Marine Biodiversity Program a $12 million five-year project (2014-2019), funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and The Nature Conservancy. USAID supported the planting of over 3000 red mangroves to restore areas where they had died, installed 40 hives and trained fisherfolk and community members in apiculture and honey production. These efforts complemented infrastructural work supported by other civil society and donor partners.

U.S. Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission, Joaquin Monserrate, attended and addressed the Restoration Launch Event which was held in Jerome Village, Union Island. He told the gathering: “The conservation of our natural assets, such as Ashton Lagoon, must be seen as part of all of our efforts to build the region’s resilience. Working together with local communities and partners such as SusGren and The Nature Conservancy, we can achieve our goals to conserve and restore the beautiful Caribbean for generations to come.”