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March 2017 e-Newsletter
In This Issue: Seacology awarded Global Resilience grant to support Sri Lanka projectNew water-treatment project launched in HondurasVideo tour of Seacology projectsVote to support marine conservation in ChileTravel: PeruCharity Navigator awards Seacology four starsThanks to International Ocean Film Fest

Sri Lanka project wins international funding competition

The Sri Lanka Mangrove Conservation Project has been named a winner of this year’s Global Resilience Challenge, enabling a major expansion of Seacology’s landmark nationwide project! The competition, hosted by the international Global Resilience Partnership, selected a number of organizations working to bolster communities against climate change and natural disasters in Africa and Asia.

The nearly $1 million grant will let Seacology expand the initiative’s reach and deepen its impact in the country’s northern and eastern regions. As the scientific consensus builds about the importance of mangroves in sequestering carbon, protecting coastal communities from storms, and supporting fisheries, Sri Lanka will be in an even better position to demonstrate these important benefits.

“This project makes Sri Lanka the first nation in the world to protect all of its mangrove forests. This is very important as mangroves sequester more carbon than other forests and thus play a vital role in the battle against global warming,” said Duane Silverstein, Seacology’s executive director. “Funding from GRP allows us to expand this program in the northern and eastern portions of Sri Lanka which were disproportionately impacted by the 26-year civil war.”

The new funding will also let us expand the microfinance and job-training components of the project. Seacology and our Sri Lankan partner organization, Sudeesa, will open a new job-training center and increase the value of each microloan offered under the program from $45 to $100. This increase may seem small by Western standards, but it can be life-changing in Sri Lanka, where monthly incomes are often as low as $70. A small amount of financial assistance can offer a path out of poverty for some of the country's most vulnerable inhabitants, who are essential partners in our effort to protect the country's remaining mangrove forests.

We're very excited by the possibilities this award represents, for Seacology, for the nation of Sri Lanka, and for the broader cause of mangrove conservation.

New Honduras project will combat reef-killing runoff

The waters off Roatán, the largest of Honduras' Bay Islands, boast some of the healthiest coral reefs in the Americas. Thanks in part to smart resource management and a culture of sustainability among the island's inhabitants—in particular its thriving diving community—Roatán stands out as a reason for optimism amid an ongoing global decline in reef health.

The success of the island as a tourist destination brings its own challenges, though. Roatán has experienced rapid growth over recent decades, and its infrastructure has struggled to keep up. Untreated wastewater presents one of the biggest local challenges to reefs, damaging the delicate polyps that make up coral formations and fueling the growth of harmful algae, not to mention the health risks it can pose to humans in the water.

Seacology has approved a new project to support a water-treatment facility in West End, the island's main tourist destination. Our grant funds two new pumps that will prevent 19 million gallons of untreated sewage from entering the shallow coastal ecosystem each year.

With three projects on Roatán in as many years, Seacology is proud to be a part of the network of conservationists working to ensure that future generations of locals and visitors alike will be able to enjoy Roatán's underwater wonderland.

Virtual tour of Seacology projects around the world

It would be extraordinarily difficult to visit many of our project sites in person—here's the next best thing: a short video tour of the highlights of some of our active and recently completed projects.

Join us for an exclusive look inside 13 projects, from Kenya to Micronesia to the Philippines and more, now available on our YouTube or Vimeo channels.

Vote to support Seacology's Koldita Island, Chile project

Seacology is a finalist in a grant competition of the European Outdoor Conservation Association! The grant would support our project at Koldita Island, Chile. Through March 23, EOCA is conducting a public poll to determine which project will receive funding.

The Chiloé Archipelago of southern Chile has always fascinated biologists—Darwin visited and wrote about Chiloé island—and is home to endangered marine otters and blue whales, as well as species that exist nowhere else on earth. The Seacology project there will help Koldita Island’s indigenous communities protect their marine resources. They have obtained provisional management rights to the marine areas surrounding the island, but must produce a professional management plan to keep legal recognition. If the community does not submit a plan to the Chilean government within a year and get it approved, the area’s protected status will be lost. Seacology is funding development of the plan and providing equipment to help with the reserve's management; in return, the communities have agreed to protect the 12,630-acre marine protected area in perpetuity.

We hope you'll consider casting a vote for our project and help us spread the word about the contest to your friends and social networks.

Thanks to Patagonia for nominating us and for their ongoing support of many great conservation efforts.

Seacology Travel: Peru

August 5-15, 2017
This summer, Seacology will lead our first-ever trip to Peru! We invite you to explore key sites of the Inca Empire with us, including Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, and more. We’ll also visit Foca Island, the location of our first project in Peru.

Learn more about the expedition in our brochure. Reservations are going fast for this trip, so don't hesitate if you're interested in joining us for this unforgettable excursion.

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Charity Navigator awards Seacology top score

Popular nonprofit-watchdog service Charity Navigator has given Seacology four stars, its highest rating for transparency and financial efficiency! As an organization that has always made careful stewardship of our donors' money a top priority, we're thrilled to be recognized by one of the most trusted authorities on the subject.

For more information on how Seacology uses your donation dollars, we invite you to review our annual reports (the 2016 one will be published in the next few weeks.)

A night at the movies

Thanks again to the International Ocean Film Festival for having us on Saturday! We were honored to take part in the event, meet many wonderful conservation advocates, and see a few moving and important films about the challenges we face in protecting our oceans.

We'd encourage our supporters to check out any of the films shown last weekend if you get the chance.
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