Kelly Jackson, Ransom Everglades’ Director of Environmental Sustainability and Will Charouhis '24, a climate activist and member of RE's Environmental Sustainability Committee, exchanged ideas and information with a cohort of mangrove experts from central Africa during winter break as part of a cooperative program on Mangrove Ecosystem Management and Environmental Protection.
During the collaborative event at La Brisa on Dec. 21, Jackson and Charouhis met with biologists and conservation experts from Cameroon Gabon, Nigeria, Principe, and Congo of the Republic-Brazzaville. They gave them a tour of the property's mangrove habitat with special attention to a recent planting of hybrid mangroves undertaken by RE’s Environmental Sustainability Council. The planting, part of Charouhis' "A Million Mangroves" initiative, is designed to test the mangroves' resistance to storms, warming oceans and ocean acidification.
Jackson, who attended the United Nations World Conference on Climate Change in Egypt in November, opened the event by welcoming the guests to Miami and Ransom Everglades. Bertrand Tsoumou, the Country Coordinator of Agroforestry for the Republic of the Congo, expressed amazement that Ransom Everglades backs up to the mangroves, advising that in Western Africa the mangrove swamps are largely restricted lagoon areas isolated from the public. Jackson shared information on the red, black, and white mangroves on the property, as well as the hidden marine ecosystems the mangroves protect. Charouhis explained that he hopes his initiative will lead to improved planting rates, and that it can also be used to scale up mangrove restorations in Africa.
The members of the delegation were guests of the U.S. State Department.
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.