Endeavour Initiative Cleans Up Nonsuch Island

April 22, 2023

In celebration of Earth Day 2023, Endeavour partnered with JP Rouja and Jeremy Madeiros to organize a clean-up at Nonsuch Island yesterday [April 21].

A spokesperson said, “Endeavour is a registered charity and non-profit that engages Bermuda’s youth in experiential learning through sailing that builds their self-confidence and life skills.

“Endeavour is committed to fostering environmentally sustainable practices on and off the water, actively reducing its environmental footprint and working together to create cleaner and greener communities where we live, work and play.

Photos courtesy of JP Rouja of Nonsuch Expeditions

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“Since 2015, Endeavour has engaged over 6,500 young people across its programmes. Every young person who participates in Endeavour’s educational programmes learns about the importance of taking care of our island’s natural and marine environments through interactive environmental education lessons.

“Endeavour’s programmes also focus on encouraging and promoting inclusiveness in the sport of sailing and more widely in the maritime industry by exposing youth of all backgrounds, skills and abilities to the joys of sailing and fostering an appreciation for learning about STEAM education, ocean conservation and maritime careers.

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“Endeavour champions sustainability by inspiring Bermuda’s youth to protect and conserve Bermuda’s natural and marine environments for future generations. This is exemplified through the following:

  • “Endeavour’s programmes educate, inspire and mobilise Bermuda’s youth to become environmental stewards and healthy ocean ambassadors, learning how to protect marine habitats. Students from schools island-wide participate in environmental education and beach clean ups, collecting thousands of pieces of plastic and debris that is recorded using an online marine debris tracker.
  • “Endeavour aims to reduce single-use plastic usage by gifting over 800 reusable water bottles EVERY year to youth engaging in its programmes, and team members utilise reusable containers and utensils for food and drinks. Team members also seek to reduce their carbon footprint by commuting via carpools, cycles, electric bikes or cars, boats, and public transport, and actively participate in Keep Bermuda Beautiful clean ups, both during and outside of working hours.
  • “Endeavour’s conservation efforts include: the use of solar energy in the Endeavour West Fort in Dockyard, with support from AES – Bermuda; conserving water usage, including for needs to rinse off marine fleet and equipment; avoiding water pollution and discarding debris whenever it is found; and generally seeking to reuse and recycle wherever possible in the course of its operations.”

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Endeavour’s Executive Director, Jennifer Pitcher, said, “We are proud of the difference we are making in our community by raising awareness amongst diverse youth across Bermuda with inquiry-led discussions about the impact of marine debris on our environment and encouraging positive, sustainable actions toward a better future for all.

“These actions can be simple changes but can have a long-lasting impact in our local and global community. Through our collective efforts we can raise awareness and inspire others to become more environmentally-conscious and work towards improving the health of our natural and marine environments.”

The spokesperson said, “International Earth Day provides an opportunity to raise global public awareness of the challenges to the well-being of the planet and all the life it supports. Earth Day also recognises a collective responsibility, as called for in the 1992 Rio Declaration, to promote harmony with nature and the Earth, to achieve a just balance among the economic, social, and environmental needs of the present and future generations of humanity. More information here.

“In celebration of Earth Day 2023, Endeavour has partnered with JP Rouja, founder of Nonsuch Expeditions and Jeremy Madeiros, Chief Terrestrial Officer for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for an experience of a lifetime for students and teachers from The Berkeley Institute and Dellwood Middle School, as part of the BF&M No Limits Sailing Programme, which engages students on the autism spectrum in hands-on STEAM activities and sailing as recreational therapy.

“Endeavour partners with the following six public schools: Paget Primary, Prospect Primary, West Pembroke Primary, Dellwood Middle School, The Berkeley Institute, and Dame Marjorie Bean Hope Academy.

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“As part of this experience, five students and five teachers joined Endeavour team members to take part in a marine debris beach clean up at Nonsuch Island, on Friday, April 21st as part of the Nonsuch Expeditions Message in a Bottle Ocean Plastics Project. Jeremy Madeiros also provided a special educational experience for the students to learn about and interact with Bermuda’s national bird the Cahow, a pelagic seabird which means it spends most of its life out on the open ocean, which the group were given the special opportunity to name and chose “Captain”.

“Nonsuch island is a 14-acre world renowned wildlife sanctuary, and access to the public is strictly limited. The restoration or “re-wilding” of the once barren island into a ‘Living Museum of pre-colonial Bermuda’ is the lifetime work of now retired Bermudian ornithologist and conservationist David B. Wingate and now his predecessor Chief Terrestrial Conservation Officer Jeremy Madeiros, and part of their efforts is to bring back from near-extinction the once plentiful, endemic nocturnal seabird, and national emblem of Bermuda, the Cahow.”

Ashleigh Lowe, ASD Teacher, The Berkeley Institute, said, “The students were thrilled to participate in an excursion on Nonsuch Island. Upon arrival, the students’ faces lit up when they saw the shipwreck with numerous fish swimming at the dock.

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“Mr. Madeiros is a passionate storyteller who brought the island’s history to life and highlighted the significance of the island’s ecosystem. The students were highly engaged throughout the walking tour. Watching the students connect STEAM lessons from Endeavour to the activities on Nonsuch Island was incredible. Students could make connections and apply their knowledge in this new environment. Additionally, students were captivated by their rare close encounter with a Cahow chick.

“They learned about how Mr. Madeiros measures and takes care of their growth.

“So many sensory elements from the ecosystem enabled students to become fully immersed in the Nonsuch Island expedition. It is a living classroom that provides high-quality experiential learning opportunities for students on the autism spectrum. It’s a tremendous opportunity for young people to learn about the importance of our ecosystem and how we need to take care of the environment to protect Bermuda’s local species.

“Endeavour provides valuable experiential learning opportunities for Berkeley ASD students. The ASD Team at Berkeley is highly grateful for the BF&M No Limits Sailing Programme in partnership with Endeavour and its positive impact on our students.”

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JP Rouja, founder and team leader for Nonsuch Expeditions, said, “It was a pleasure to host the students, teachers and Endeavour Team for a Nonsuch tour, and we are looking forward to working with them more in the future.”

Ms. Pitcher said, “We are grateful to have formed a new partnership with JP Rouja and Nonsuch Expeditions along with Jeremy Medeiros and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

“This memorable day enabled our BF&M No Limits sailors and their teachers to have a unique educational experience, while contributing to our efforts to build awareness for autism acceptance and the importance of taking care of our Island’s natural resources.

“Endeavour’ work with Bermuda’s youth would not be possible without the incredible support from valued donors, partners, and supporters enabling us to create a positive impact in diverse young lives across Bermuda. Special thanks to BF&M Limited and Endeavour’s founding lead sponsor, Orbis Investments, for their unwavering commitment and support of our work with Bermuda’s youth.”

The spokesperson said, “Visit www.endeavour.bm to learn more about Endeavour’s experiential learning programmes.”

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