A Bahamian has been using the platform of Youtube to give viewers around the world a glimpse of the rich and diverse ecological features of The Bahamas.
Bradley Rutherford, who hosts a nature show on the YouTube channel, “Brad’s Bahama Eco Trip!” has a passion for sharing his knowledge about the local environment.
“Over the years as I was gaining the knowledge that I have, I just felt an inclination to share it because it just felt like a calling, a vocation, to spread the knowledge.”
Established in early December 2018, the channel features full episodes of Rutherford discussing aspects of a particular ecosystem as he explores it with viewers. The channel also contains video clips of particular plant and animal species found in the country, preview videos of what viewers can expect next, and a special summer segment.
The channel is designed to demonstrate that there is more to The Bahamas than beautiful beaches. Its videos feature expeditions through ecosystems such as the pine forest, the mangrove creek, and the whiteland coppice, among others. Rutherford is particularly keen on the educational component of the virtual tour.
“My vision for the Youtube channel is to reach as many people as it can and create an interest in The Bahamas, not just as far as tourism is concerned, but also as an ecology hub,” he says.
“Hopefully it will reach universities and other institutions of higher learning, and allow there to be synergy between ecologists and nature lovers here and across the world. We want to unite everyone in the overall effort to preserve our environment.”
Rutherford, a former nature tour guide, feels that the channel will play multiple roles.
“It’s a platform for The Bahamas to show that we are more than just beaches,” he says.
“It’s also an opportunity for people to understand ecology – simple vegetation and their medicinal applications – on a more intimate scale. It’s also to create an awareness of the importance of these different facets of the environment.”
Of a channel that combines education and exploration, Rutherford adds simply: “It’s also supposed to be fun.
“I want to spread the message that what we have down here is not just information, but it’s also something that you can pick up as a hobby. Finding out the different species and learning about their scientific names can also be a creative hobby.”
While “Brad’s Bahama Eco Trip!” is meant to educate and entertain, Rutherford wants to ensure that the overarching message of environmental stewardship is not lost on those who stop by while channel-surfing.
“The most important message I want people to take away from the videos is that we have a responsibility,” said Rutherford. “God has given us a responsibility to take care of this environment that we were blessed with.”