4 September 2018, Providenciales, TCI – The Turks & Caicos Reef Fund (TCRF), the leading environmental non-governmental organization in the Turks & Caicos Islands, proudly reported today on its fiscal year 2018 accomplishments and financial results.
“Fiscal Year 2018 was a year of many important milestones for the TCRF,” said Don Stark, Chairman of the non-profit. “We were pleased to be able to help with hurricane recovery efforts by raising funds for the TCI Red Cross and assisted a fellow researcher secure a substantial grant to help with the Dominica hurricane relief effort. We also moved forward with numerous research projects.”
Highlights of the fiscal year, which ended on 31 July 2018 include:
Helped to raise $54,500 in hurricane relief funds for the Turks & Caicos hurricane recovery effort.
Completed a project funded by the Cornell University Sustainable Asset Management Program (STAMP) which focused on identifying eco-tourism business opportunities for South Caicos residents and helped five individuals prepare preliminary business plans for new eco-tourism businesses on South Caicos.
Completed a comprehensive underwater survey of the pristine coral reefs of the coast of East Caicos to help the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR) develop a management plan for the area.
·Continued our EU funded coral nursery project with a total of 10 nursery structures installed (6 off the NW Coast of Provo and 4 off the coast of Grant Turk).
Renewed our Memorandum of Understanding with DECR to extend our management of the dive, snorkel and yacht moorings throughout the TCI.
Facilitated the participation of the US Fish and Wildlife Service in the annual Piping Plover Migratory Bird Census.
Continued our educational outreach programs with Clement Howell High School and British West Indies Collegiate.
Secured funding to initiate a coral reef health monitoring effort in the Princess Alexandra National Park and surrounding waters.
Secured a financial commitment to revitalize and improve the Smith’s Reef Snorkel Trail.
“After 8 years of effort, the TCRF is becoming recognized as a lead research, advocacy and education provider related to the TCI environment,” said Chairman Stark. “We are pleased that securing grant funding for various projects has been successful, but we still need the support of local residents and businesses in order to keep up our efforts.”
From a financial perspective, the TCRF had a good year. Total income was just over $372,000 of which $309,000 was in funds restricted to specific projects. Total project expense was $272,500 or 73% of income. Total expenses were $307,000, so project expenses as a share of total expenses was 89%. TCRF ended the fiscal year with a cash balance of just over $111,000, $71,500 of which are funds restricted for specific projects.
“Our goal from day one was to invest at least 85% of every dollar raised into the projects we undertake,” said Chairman Stark. “Every year since we started, we have met or exceeded that goal with 89% of total expenses invested into specific projects this year. We keep our overhead low by relying heavily on volunteers to help us complete all of our projects and we are greatly indebted to all those volunteers.”
Founded in 2010, the Turks & Caicos Reef Fund is the only active environmental advocacy organization in the TCI. It is an all volunteer-run organization that provides funding for education, research and conservation programs to individuals, organizations and agencies that help to preserve and protect the environment of the Turks & Caicos Islands. Our goal is to have at least 85% of all funds raised through voluntary contributions from divers and snorkelers visiting the Turks & Caicos Islands directed to the Fund’s programs.
Anyone wishing to donate or assist the TCRF in any way can contact them through their website, www.TCReef.org. Scuba divers visiting the islands are encouraged to make a $10 donation through the purchase of a dive tag that can be attached to their dive gear to show their support. Snorkelers visiting the islands can show their support through the $5 purchase of a pink or blue silicone wristband.