St. Maarten Nature Foundation

The St. Maarten Nature Foundation is a non-governmental / non-profit organization, working to promote conservation of St. Maarten’s environment.

The Foundation was established in January 1997 as an Island Government initiative and is guided by the laws of the Netherlands Antilles. Nature Foundation is fully registered on St. Maarten at the Chamber of Commerce in Philipsburg (registration number 80439).

The Executive Council of St. Maarten recognizes the Foundation as the organization to assist the Island Government in all issues related to the management of the environment and its preservation.

Nature Foundation is also part of the umbrella group Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA), a non-profit and non-governmental organization that places special emphasis on fundraising and strengthening the management of the protected areas within Dutch Caribbean.

Mission Statement

Our primary concern is to preserve and enhance nature while in the process strengthening the economical and educational value and potential of our natural resources. The mission statement of Nature Foundation is thus as follows:


“To preserve and enhance the natural environment of St. Maarten through proper management, education, public awareness, law enforcement, scientific research and monitoring relating to all aspects of the terrestrial, wetland and marine surroundings.”

Our People

The St. Maarten Nature Foundation has four permanent staff members. Our boardmembers jointly oversee the activities of our organization. Our team is strengthened by skilled researchers, enthusiastic interns and a large community of volunteers.


Nature Foundation Staff

Our staff members all live on St. Maarten and share a passion for nature conservation. Combined, the Nature Foundation staff have a wide range of qualifications, ranging from boat handling and maintenance to dive qualifications as well as backgrounds in ecology, park law and police powers.

Position Name Special Skills
Director Tadzio Bervoets Marine ecologist, environmental economist, commercial diving
Office Manager Marisa Dyer-Brandy Human resource management, financial administration
Chief Ranger Etienne Lake Technician, law enforcement expert
Project Officer, Marine Park Ranger Melanie Meijer Zu Schlochtern Marine ecologist, commercial diving


Nature Foundation Boardmembers

The St. Maarten Nature Foundation has a permanent Board of seven Directors, who oversee the organization’s activities and direct overall policy and strategy. Elected Board members have additional responsibilities in accordance with respective positions. Board meetings are called monthly, with minutes being circulated to the Board. Meetings between the manager and Board representatives take place as necessary.


Position Name Representing
Board Chairman Jan Beaujon Financial sector and council of advice
Board Secretary Frank Boekhout Education and biologist
Board Treasurer Marie-Louise Carty-Vialenc Media sector
Regular Member Cornelis ‘Binkie’ Van Es Private sector
Regular Member Rikke Bachman- Speetjens Marine biologist
Regular Member Jesse Peterson Yachting industry
Regular Member, Legal Council Lucas Berman Lawyer and dive industry


Many local volunteers contribute to the Nature Foundation by assisting with Reef Checks, lionfish removal, patrolling, coral transplanting and sea turtle research. Whether in the office, in the field, or in front of your computer, there’s a way for you to volunteer. Visit our activities section to learn more.


Interns working with the Nature Foundation have a variety of important responsibilities, and depending on the season, you may do any or all of the following: Sea turtle monitoring, Lionfish monitoring or various research projects. If you are interested to become a Nature Foundation intern you can contact us now.

Partners and Supporters

Conservation work requires both human and financial resourses. Over the years all of our projects were funded by grants from international agencies. But we were also recipients of subsidies and gifts from local companies.

Partnership with other conservation organizations is another aspect of environmental work because of the opportunities for networking, knowledge sharing and capacity-building. At Nature Foundation we are proud to be linked to our local sister environmental organizations as well as be associated with international conservation organizations. Nature Foundation is grateful for the support from the private and government sector and many funding organizations of past and existing projects.

Main Funding

Regional Supporters

Local Supporters