Stories in The Bahamas

Our People: Protecting our Home

Our staff is led by locals who tirelessly work for a better future for The Bahamas.

fish swimming in a reef.
Underwater Color A school of fish among colorful coral in The Bahamas © SHANE GROSS
formal headshot of lovely black woman
Marcia Musgrove Northern Caribbean Program Director © Marcia Musgrove

Marcia D. Musgrove, Northern Caribbean Program Director

Since I was a child I’ve always loved the outdoors.  I was intrigued by the energy, colors, vastness and mystery of the sea. I also enjoyed trekking through our native pine and coppice forests with my family to gather ‘bush’ to make teas and medicine. Fast forward to the College of The Bahamas, where I took an elective class in Marine Biology. I was both excited and upset by what I learned – excited to understand how important our marine resources are to our culture and economy; upset that I was not taught any of this during my K-12 school years. From that day forward, I made a commitment to learn more, educate others and work to ensure these valuable resources would be here for the benefit of future generations.  

a handsome black man looking away in profile
Frederick Arnett Coral Specialist, Caribbean Assistant Diving & Boating Safety Officer © Fredrick Arnett

Frederick Arnett, Coral Specialist, Caribbean Assistant Diving & Boating Safety Officer

I fell in love with the ocean during my early childhood. Enchanted by the sea, I spent many summer days swimming, fishing and free diving with my little brother and father. Over time, my love for the ocean grew and I pursued studies in marine science, policy and management. I have almost two decades of experience working in conservation on sustainable fisheries, marine protected areas design and effective management, coral reef conservation and restoration, and conservation finance. My passion for ocean conservation and sustainability has taken me across the globe from North & South America to Europe, Africa, Asia and throughout the Caribbean.  

a pretty black woman smiling in a headshot
Michelle Butler Communications Specialist © Michelle Butler

Michelle Butler, Communications Specialist

Michelle Butler has worked in the media and communications field for a number of years, specializing in story-telling and media production. She has worked with various media and news outlets, and has offered support to the development of conservation campaigns within The Bahamas.

In 2022, Michelle joined The Nature Conservancy’s Northern Caribbean Program as the Communications Specialist. In this capacity, her main responsibilities include leading communications and media initiatives, cultivating local story opportunities, drafting strategic communications for special projects and coordinating media relations with stakeholders and partners.

a handsome black man looking toward the camera
Solomon Gibson Conservation Practitioner © Solomon Gibson

Solomon Gibson, Coral Specialist, Conservation Practitioner 

My passion for conservation in The Bahamas was ignited by witnessing the breathtaking beauty of our countries  natural wonders, from pristine beaches to coral reefs,  and feeling a deep desire to protect and preserve these ecosystems for future generations. Additionally, my love for country and fascination with wildlife pushed me to continue learning about the fragile balance of our environment and the critical role conservation plays in safeguarding biodiversity can inspire individuals to dedicate their lives to this noble cause. Moreover, the sense of accomplishment that comes from actively contributing to the restoration and sustainable management of these environments can kindle a lasting passion for conservation work.

a beautiful black woman in a formal photo
Jewel Beneby Conservation Practitioner © Jewel Beneby

Jewel Beneby, Conservation Practitioner 

Exploring our ocean and coastal landscapes holds a special place in my heart, reminiscent of cherished moments from my childhood. Under the nurturing guidance of my parents, I cultivated a deep curiosity for the natural world that would go on to ignite a fervent drive for education, conservation, and a profound connection with the very places that brought me joy. As my understanding of the intricate and delicate nature of these ecosystems deepened, my passion evolved. Along my journey, I hope to inspire communities to connect with this beautiful place we call home through conservation.

a white woman smiling in a headshot
Natalie Miaoulis – Maillis Fisheries Specialist © Natalie Mialous-Mailis

Natalie Miaoulis – Maillis, Fisheries Specialist

Coming from a family with a farming and fishing background I have an innate understanding of the connection dependency and respect for communities that depend on natural resources for a way of life. I wanted to be a bridge maker between communities, science, and policy to ensure that local communities have a voice in the decision-making process. This led me to a degree in international resource economics and the position I hold today with The Nature Conservancy in The Bahamas.

a beautiful black woman in a formal photo
Jonisha Cartwright Conservation Practitioner © Jonisha Cartwright

Jonisha Cartwright, Conservation Practitioner 

I absolutely love the ocean and consider myself a true saltwater enthusiast. I grew up in family of boat captains and fishermen, which sparked my passion for the environment. Yet, what truly drives my work is my deep care for people and my desire to connect them with the beauty of nature. The ocean has always felt like home to me, and I wish everyone could experience that same incredible feeling in their favorite natural settings. That is why I decided to pursue a career in conservation, and after 10 years I still think it is the best decision I’ve ever made.

a black woman with a hat holding a queen conch outside
Trueranda Cox Conservation Practitioner © Trueranda Cox

Trueranda Cox, Conservation Practitioner 

My passion for the marine environment began by being the ultimate “daddy’s girl”. This meant that everywhere daddy went; I wanted to go too, including all of the fishing trips. This ignited my curiosity, which was nurtured by some amazing teachers and mentors along the way. As soon as I realized that this could be a career, “I was sold, hook line and sinker”! It warms my heart to know that my father’s legacy lives on in the work I do to support and protect the marine environment.  Moreover, it is my hope that the next generation of fathers & daughters and communities will create lasting memories that enhance a deeper connection to self and the ocean spaces we protect.

Other Valued Staff 
  • Desiree Sawyer; Operations Administrator
  • Natasha Turnquest; Policy Advisor