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Aurum Fund Management Donates To BZS

Press Release - Bernews
Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Aurum Fund Management Donation.jpg

Aurum Fund Management Limited has donated $12,500 to the Bermuda Zoological Society [BZS] to aid in the creation of a saltwater pond to support the growth of Black Mangroves on Trunk Island.

A spokesperson said, “The Bermuda Zoological Society is happy to announce that Aurum Fund Management Limited have donated $12,500 to the creation of a saltwater pond to support the growth of Black Mangroves on Trunk Island – the BZS ‘Living Classroom.’ An anonymous donor also assisted with funds for the project.

“The Black Mangrove [Avicennia germinans] are native to Bermuda, the Southern United States, and the West Indies. Bermuda is the northern-most place in the Atlantic Ocean where this species is found. Black Mangroves were listed as a Protected Species in 2011, as they are disappearing in Bermuda due to storm damage and coastal development.

“Their seeds do not grow in the water, and they do not germinate until deposited in a suitable location, so the Trunk Island saltwater pond will be developed just inland to create a safe environment for them to grow. The entire habitat will mimic Lover’s Lake in Ferry Reach and will be adjacent to a coastal Red Mangrove habitat so students can learn about and understand these vital ecosystems together and how they interact.”

Adam Hopkin, Director of Aurum Fund Management Ltd. said, “Aurum is immensely proud to continue our support of BZS with a donation to this fantastic project. It aligns so well with our support of other global environmental and species protection initiatives and it’s particularly special to be able to do this in Bermuda.

“Mangroves are often overlooked ecosystems, which are particularly rich in biodiversity and can sequester up to 10 times as much carbon as a terrestrial forest. The BZS educational programme will ensure their importance is shared generations of Bermudians to come.”

The spokesperson said, “Black Mangroves provide essential ecosystem services in Bermuda’s wetlands: they form dense coastal or pond-edge thickets and groves which work together to stabilize the shoreline, provide buffers for storm surges, trap debris and flotsam brought in by tides, and provide feeding, breeding and nursery areas for many species of fish, crabs, shellfish, birds and other wildlife.

“Additionally, these ecosystems sequester carbon from the atmosphere and deposit it mainly around their aquatic root structures. Also known as Blue Carbon, this carbon capture aids in the reduction of green-house gases in our efforts to combat climate change.

“Mangroves remain relatively inaccessible and thus underappreciated for their unique characteristics and value. The development of the Black Mangrove habitat will help all visitors to Trunk Island understand why mangroves are complex and vital ecosystems; it will encourage younger generations to take an active interest in their local natural environment.

“The walkthrough exhibit will allow visitors to experience the Black Mangroves and signage will communicate the associated conservation message, thus inspiring an appreciation for the significance of this critically endangered habitat.”

Colin Brown, BZS President, said, “Thanks to the generous donation from Aurum Fund Management Ltd., the BZS has an opportunity to create a saltwater pond that will provide a safe habitat on Trunk Island for Black Mangroves to grow.

“The habitat will give our education team the opportunity to teach thousands of students the importance of the Black Mangroves to Bermuda’s wetlands as they move through our education programmes.”

The spokesperson said, “The shared mission of BZS and BAMZ is to inspire appreciation and care of island environments, and as the support charity for BAMZ, the BZS is an example of a highly successful non-profit/public partnership. Each year the BZS provide more than 8,000 free educational experiences through our Stempel Foundation BZS Schools Programme in addition to popular community programmes for all ages, development of BAMZ exhibits, and conservation and research programmes.

“Each year, BZS volunteers contribute over 10,000 hours of valuable husbandry support to the Aquarium and Zoo with all programmes being accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.”