If you have been following along for awhile, you probably know I am becoming more and more of a geography nerd. I believe everything happens somewhere and somewhen. My dissertation even included loads of old maps.
As a scientist, we can observe the location and time of different phenomena and use that information to extrapolate on what may happen in another time and place. Simplistic but it works.
Today, I am pulling myself up from the copious amounts of papers I am reading on maritime law, petroleum law, oil pollution and oil drilling best practices and historical tragedies. (I’m reading all this because BPC is drilling for oil in the waters of the Bahamas despite everything.)
I am pulling myself up out of it because I found an absolute gem. Today, I found out where the Bahamas is, literally based on the Law of the Sea and international agreements. The Archipelagic Waters and maritime Jurisdiction Act Chapter 282 actually lays out the edges of the Bahamas. It is a minimum area polygon that connects the outermost land areas of the Bahamas without encroaching on the territories of any other state. How cool is that? See it for yourself.
Documents like these are essential if we want to establish further laws regarding where our exclusive economic zone is for fisheries or if we want to restrict the passage of certain types of ships through our waters or charge a fee for the passage of ships or institute fines for dumping within our territorial waters.
- Art teachers: use the map to discuss pulygons, and lines. have the students place the shapes of the islands and connect the edges with straight lines. color can be used to show the different depths in water and habitat on land. use Google Earth for inspiration.
- Biology Teachers: Use the map along with the guides from the Bahamas National Trust and the Wildlife posters Rolling Harbour to discuss the habitat needs of important marine and terrestrial species in the Bahamas.
- Chemistry teachers: this is the opportunity to discuss the effect of a warming climate and ocean Acidification. Partly fill shallow clear baking dishes with water and calcium carbonate (chalk). Oooh that looks like the Bahamas. now have your students add your favorite acid and see what happens. What if you raise the temperature? Ask your students what they would do if 20% of the Bahamas was lost to climate change?
- Geography Teachers: this is your thing, but you can have the students determine the difference between this area and the 100 nautical mile exclusive economic zone.
- Social Studies Teachers: How do these laws affect your students? Which industries do their parents work in? Border protection with the RBDF? Fishing? Tourism? Government? The Environmental Sector? How did this affect the transatlantic slave trade and immigration, the Eleutheran adventurers, native pre-columbian settlers, Hurricane Dorian refugees, Haitian refugees?
Remember to team up with your other teachers to make the content more relatable for your students. You can reach out to me if you want to arrange a presentation or activity, formal, informal digital or in person.