Artist Statement"Mangroves dance between the land and sea. They are, without a doubt, some of the most unique plant life to exist. They are a connector, a home, a source of protection for their environment, and an abundance of wildlife. It is almost the perfect representation of the Bahamas, with an abundance of expression and life, with a strong relationship to land and sea. The environment and wildlife in the Bahamas are connected to what makes it unique and special to the people who live there, and mangroves especially play an essential role in the ecological livelihood of both people and wildlife.
I decided to represent this relationship in celebration by depicting a Bahamian Junkanoo dancer wearing a headdress, with hair that becomes mangroves, growing and forming the connection between land, sea, and people. There is a fantastic spirit of community within Bimini, it all feels connected, from the sea, to the people and everything in between and I hope this artwork adds to that community and connection.
Bimini is home to the most substantial Mangrove habitat within the Bahamas, but each passing year it shrinks and leaves both the land and sea it protects at greater risk. It is a living home that is disappearing and it is important to keep it alive for all."
The FocusMangroves are flowering trees that live in saltwater or brackish water in mudflats near shorelines. Red Mangroves are the most distinctive, with their complex ariel prop roots. These root systems, when submerged, support a diverse community of sponges, ascidians, algae, corals, and crabs.
They provide crucial habitat for juvenile reef and pelagic fish as well as lobsters. The roots also trap sediment and associated pollutants to improve offshore water quality and slowly build more land. The trees also provide roosts, nesting habitat, and feeding areas for many bird species.
Mangrove forests store up to 10 times more carbon than tropical forests, making mangroves a critical solution in the fight against climate change.
For as small as the islands of Bimini are, their ecological importance to the Bahamas, and beyond, is huge. Uniting the unique wildlife above and below the waters of North, South, & East Bimini is an assortment of trees that create the foundation of Bimini's ecological diversity.
The seasonal migrations of birds that pass through Bimini, the rare endemic reptiles that scurry around the landscape, and the abundance of marine life that has made Bimini legendary all rely on the same foundation. That foundation is the mangroves of Bimini.