Shaquille Lewis, then a technician at the mangrove nursery at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, stands on the Roger Downing Mangrove Boardwalk in Paraquita Bay last year. The boardwalk was damaged in hurricanes Irma and Maria, but it is to be repaired soon. (File photo: FREEMAN ROGERS)

The Roger Downing Mangrove Boardwalk in Paraquita Bay was only partially completed when it was badly damaged by hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.

But soon it will be restored and completed thanks to a partnership between the Rotary Club of Tortola and Unite BVI, the club announced last week.

The restoration works, which should take a few weeks, will be completed by No Limit Construction, according to club.

“This is the first step in a major push by the RCT to complete the plans that we have had for quite a while for the Roger Downing Mangrove Boardwalk. This includes an observation tower and a complete loop emerging at an interpretation centre,” said club Vice President Abigail O’Neal, who is co-chairing the project. “There will be educational place cards along the path as well as benches that organisations may sponsor.”

Rotarians said they plan to complete the project no later than June 2025 — if not much sooner.

Dr. Sauda Smith, executive director of Unite BVI, said the organisation is proud to partner on the project.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to assist in the preservation of our mangrove forests,” she added.

Mr. Downing’s son, Thor Downing, thanked the organisations for their work on the project.

“On behalf of our late father, Roger Downing, we are incredi- bly pleased and excited to see that movement is being made to restore this incredible structure, and we are greatly looking forward to the future,” he said.