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Gaining insight into the coastal cultural values of the Turks and Caicos Islands

Oshin Whyte

Masters student, Oshin Whyte, has completed the data collection portion of her DPLUS094 funded research project on the coastal cultural values of the Turks and Caicos Islands, through the University of Kent in the UK. Oshin has interviewed Turks and Caicos Islands residents from Providenciales, North Caicos, Middle Caicos, Grand Turk, South Caicos and Salt Cay over the past few months, collecting their thoughts on the coastal cultural values of their islands. 

This research project will provide insight of how the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands view and value their coastal landscapes. For Turks islanders the coast is the very fabric onto which their stories, memories and rich history are woven. From coastal practices such as fishing, diving, salt raking to bird egg collecting and basket weaving, the coast has been an interface for the creation of lifestyle, heritage, attachment, wellbeing, spiritual, and aesthetic values. The data that Oshin is collecting will contribute to the Marine Spatial Planning project in the Turks and Caicos Island, by mapping the distribution of the coastal cultural values around the islands, and serve as a baseline for future research which will help in making informed decisions on the management of the marine environment.