Message from our first President
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Message from our first President


I first came to Tobago in 1945. The people were all fishing and farming. The
island steamers went to every village, dropping off and collecting goods,
people and tons of food for sale in Trinidad. Tobago fed its big sister.

In the early 1960's it was still like this, rural, untouched, beautiful.
Plenty of fish--just put on a diving suit and look under the crystal clear
water-- you would see all sizes of groupers and snappers and you could pick
your lobsters according to the size you needed. The crabs were enormous with
backs so big and hard they were called iron-backs. At night you could walk
up any stream and collect a bag full of big crayfish. Agouti and deer were
seen crossing the road. At Petit Trou, Lowlands, the deer came out to graze
with the cattle. Tobago--pastoral and pristine.

Today, some thirty years later, all this has changed. Just when Tobago is
trying to build a viable tourism industry its environment is under severe
stress. We see indiscriminate dumping, polluted rivers and seas,
disappearing wildlife, over-fishing and development without a care for
nature. "Environment TOBAGO" has been founded to study the causes behind the
environmental degradation that is taking place on our island and develop
strategies to halt and reverse it.

We will need your help. We can't allow Tobago to go the way of so many
other Caribbean islands--destroying our environment as we seek short term
economic relief. We must embrace conservation and sustainable development--
today's actions dictate tomorrow's legacy. Together, we can ensure that our
children will inherit an environmentally rich and diverse island home.

DAVID ROOKS
President 1996-1999 - Environment TOBAGO
Naturalist & Tour Guide
March 1, 1996
 
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