Born in Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera, Casuarina was thrown into the ocean when she was just 5-days old, and “I’ve had a hard time getting out,” she joked at our studio.
But she isn’t kidding.
“I think people must have thought my mother was crazy, putting this tiny newborn baby in the sea, saying ‘this is what Casuarina is going to be’.”
Her mother wasn’t wrong.
Casuarina practically grew up under the sea, swimming, diving and fishing. “I have probably spent more time underwater than on land,” she said. She has gained a deep respect for the marine environment, along with an understanding that it needs to be nurtured and a passion for protecting it.
Protecting the environment and fisheries today means sustaining our resources and food supply for tomorrow and for future generations. Her background is in science, she graduated with honors from Duke University with a degree in Environmental Science & Policy, and Marine Biology. And she is adamant about passing her knowledge on.
“I think kids really get engaged when they understand the reasons WHY… like why you have a fisheries regulation. It’s not because I don’t want you to have dinner, it’s because I want your children to have dinner.”
“If any country can protect their reefs and fisheries resources it’s The Bahamas because we have such a small population compared to the size of our country, as opposed to a place like Jamaica that has a very small area in relation to the number of people. Education is the key.”
In 2002 Casuarina McKinney-Lambert became the first Executive Director of the Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF) a non-profit organization focused on educating Bahamians about their marine resources.
Through BREEF Casuarina strives to influence environmental policy in The Bahamas to protect and sustain our marine environment so that we will not lose what we have.
“It’s much easier to protect what you have rather than wait until it becomes too late and then try to get it back.”