A NESTON woman is embarking on a three month conservation expedition in the Bahamas.
Clare Knight has signed up as a volunteer to explore the marine life around Andros Island.
She will be working for Greenforce, a UK based conservation charity, and will be flying to the island in January for 10 weeks.
Andros is the largest island in the Bahamas, and with its barrier reef spanning 140 miles along the east coast, it has the third largest reef in the world.
Clare, 28, said: “Although I don’t hold any qualifications in marine biology, I have always had a passion for marine life, in particular sharks.
“Volunteering to work for Greenforce is a perfect chance to become actively involved in conservation and really make a difference.”
Clare said that an estimated 25% of the world’s coral reefs have already disappeared with the remainder facing a variety of threats from over fishing, pollution, unplanned tourism and climate change.
She added: “Andros island is home to the third largest coral reef in the world and the main aim of the expedition is to assess its biodiversity.
“Red Lionfish have become invasive in the Bahamas and we will be taught about the impact invasive species have on an eco system.
“The information collected will be used by the Bahamas National Trust to tackle the threats facing reefs today, and help create management plans to develop the island in an environmentally sustainable way.
“A key aspect of the Greenforce expedition is education, and using a community outreach program I will work with children in schools on island to raise awareness for conservation issues.”
Clare, who works in a retail warehouse in Ellesmere Port, is raising the £4,700 needed to go on the trip. £3,000 covers the Greenforce contribution with the rest for flights, accommodation, diving equipment and diving qualifications.
She is organising fundraisers and appealing for support. Email ClareKnight83@hotmail.co.uk