[slideshow]The following is the Cacique Updated for the 7th of July, written by your water-conscious caciques, Mackenzie and Tiffani. Water. We all need it, yet some people have to walk an average of four miles each day just to get this for their families. This fact was brought to The Island School students’ attention this morning during exercise. As a group, we had to carry a five-gallon bottle of water around a four-mile loop.

Water was definitely an important topic of discussion today, especially during human ecology. Students learned about where the freshwater we use on campus comes from (rain), and we were encouraged to think about where we get our water at home. Also, the Marina, usually popular for its air conditioning and expensive junk food, was explored in a new way as students spoke with the reverse osmosis operations manager, Dan, about how freshwater is provided for the resort.

We also had the chance to speak to our Sustainability and Systems Director, Geoff.  He explained to eager students the complexities of how the school uses energy on campus. Our solar panels and wind generator supply the main sources of energy. Excess energy can be sold to residents of Eleuthera as an alternative to diesel based electricity that is common on the island.

After lunch, students refocused on the water during their respective research. The excited sharks team went back to work as they visited a new environment. Beginning the day’s research at Poison Flats, the team trod cautiously on what we like to call “death rock.” Remaining true to its name, the eroded limestone shore created a brittle and jagged surface that made carrying equipment a dangerous activity. Our efforts were rewarded as we successfully caught a healthy juvenile lemon shark.

The lionfish research group, toting bricks and SCUBA tanks, headed out to patch reef CEI 83 to set out clod cards. These devices are vital for measuring current speeds around the reef. Three people tied the plaster clod cards securely to the bricks. Teams of divers lugged the bricks out to the patch reef and arranged the clods at predetermined locations to measure the current most effectively. Our hard work was rewarded by a relaxing dive spent surveying CEI 83 for lionfish; eight were spotted floating calmly above the coral.

Research groups returned to campus just in time to sign out and explore the Island. Some students biked out to High Rock to snorkel around the caves and others enjoyed a nice jog around the Loop. Those content with the day’s work spent the afternoon relaxing in the common room or catching up on homework.

As an end to the productive day, students were treated to chocolate cake, courtesy of Molly’s parents. Thanks for giving us energy for tomorrow’s possibilities!