Marine Management Area (MMA) and Habitat Monitoring Officer, St. Kitts and Nevis Department of Marine Resources
From her job title, it will likely come as no surprise that marine conservation is major part of Tricia’s life. Tricia’s fascination with marine animals and appreciation for the environment started at an early age, and only grew stronger as she got older. A desire to protect marine habitats led Tricia to pursue a career path in marine biology and later to her current role at the St. Kitts and Nevis Department of Marine Resources. As the department’s Marine Management Area and Habitat Monitoring Officer, Tricia is actively involved in marine resource management and helped get St. Kitts’ first Marine Managed Area declared in August 2016.
History aficionado, teacher, tour guide, and author
A man of many talents, Leonard Stapleton wears numerous hats in his day-to-day life – from educator and historian, to accountant and tour guide. While it may be hard to predict what he will be doing from one day to the next, odds are that it will be related to one of his main passions – learning about and sharing the natural, cultural, and historic heritage of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Founder and Director of St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network
Crouching down on the beach in the dark of night, waiting for a mother sea turtle to emerge from the waves to lay her eggs, this is just another day “at the office” for Dr. Kimberly Stewart, the Founder and Director of St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network.
When we think of tourism, we often think of hotels, airlines, restaurants, attractions, and tour guides. But the industry is far more complex than this and includes many more stakeholders beyond what we see on the surface. For instance, how do the roads you travel on get built? What happens to your trash after you dispose of it? And who maintains the parks and beaches you visit? In addition to the more obvious participants, tourism also involves government departments and agencies, local and global NGOs, and host communities.
Most of us have seen the photos and videos filling up our news feeds, but for countless people across the Caribbean, the devastation from Hurricane Irma is not just something they’ve seen from afar. It hit home and it hit home hard. People watched as their houses, schools, and hospitals were reduced to rubble and their homeland transformed into a landscape of uprooted trees and debris. Too many families lost nearly everything and have been forced to leave their lives behind, not knowing when they will be able to return.
From protecting the nesting habitats of endangered sea turtles to preserving cherished cultural heritage sites, travel philanthropy funds such as the Heart of St. Kitts Foundation have the power to create real, tangible impact at the local level. But this progress doesn’t just happen on its own or because of the isolated efforts of a few people. The potential of travel philanthropy funds to make a difference instead relies on the support and participation of the local community as a whole. It doesn’t matter whether a person is a hotel owner, tour guide, environmental specialist, government official, school student, or artist – each and every destination resident can play a role in growing this collective impact.