Protecting the unique habitats
and cultures of islands worldwide
View this email in your browser
Subscribe to this newsletter | Previous editions
Forward this email
May 2016 e-Newsletter
In This Issue: A year of protecting Sri Lanka's mangrovesOur first project in Costa RicaIndia project updatesJoin Seacology and Hip Hop For Change in OaklandAnnual report

A year of historic conservation for Sri Lanka's mangroves

It's hard to believe it's already been a year, but today marks the first anniversary of the largest and most ambitious project in Seacology's history. On May 12, 2015, Executive Director Duane Silverstein, and leaders in Sri Lanka's government and local NGO Sudeesa signed the agreement that established the island nation's place in history as the first country to protect all of its mangrove forests. In the year since, major progress toward this goal has been made. Over the past couple of months, three of our staff have visited Sri Lanka to assess the progress and reported that:
  • The Sri Lankan government has fulfilled its commitment to demarcate the nation's intact mangrove habitats. In surveys conducted over the first few months of the project, the total area of healthy forest was determined to be a whopping 21,782 acres, which are now legally protected.
  • Three large mangrove nurseries have been established to raise seedlings for the reforestation effort. Thousands have already been planted along the island's coastline by project participants, volunteers, and members of the Sri Lankan navy.
  • Hundreds of women have received training in sustainable skills and loans to start new businesses through our expansion of Sudeesa's microfinance program.
  • We're nearing completion of the Seacology-Sudeesa Mangrove Museum, the first facility of its kind in the world.
  • Through our amazing community of Seacology Fellows, Board Members and other supporters, we've raised $3.4 million toward the effort, the project's original budget. In a setback we can hardly complain about, the mangrove museum at Pambala has attracted more interest from school groups than we expected, and we've decided to expand the facility to accommodate them.
We are now only about $60,000 from our funding goal for the entire multimillion-dollar program, and have launched a special campaign to finish the work on the museum. You can easily make a contribution via our website or by calling 510-559-3505. All donors who contribute $500 or more by June 30 will be honored on a plaque to be unveiled at the opening ceremony for the museum on July 26, International Mangrove Day.

We invite you to look back on a year of progress in this historic effort at

Seacology launches first project in Costa Rica

Last month, Seacology approved our first-ever project in the nation of Costa Rica. The Islas Catalinas are three small islands off the west coast of the small Central American country, a key habitat for many fish species, including giant manta rays. While hunting rays is illegal, fishing nets, long lines, propellers, and other accidental hazards have led to a decline in their populations throughout the Pacific.

Our project is helping the establishment of a new MPA around the Islas Catalinas, which will aid greatly in the local manta-conservation effort. Working with Seacology, local NGO Misión Tiburón is conducting educational campaign for students, fishers, tourism workers, and others who will play a role in the success of this new reserve, the terms of which are being negotiated with the Costa Rican government. Learn more.

India projects roundup

In March, Seacology's Program Manager Mary Randolph inspected several project sites in India and Bangladesh (you can read about the Bangladesh project in last month's e-News). Here are some of the highlights from the India projects she visited.

Berhampur Island, Chilika Lake: Our newest project in India has made significant progress since it was launched last summer. The community (photo above) is exceptionally well-organized and motivated, with its roughly 100 women taking the lead in the project's implementation. The Seacology-funded community center is more than halfway built and more than 20,000 mangroves and other trees have been planted.
Sundarbans: This project, which renovated an old boat (photo above) to serve as a mobile education center for isolated Sunderbans delta communities, continues to be a success two years after it was completed. Mary joined our project partners and a group of local students aboard the vessel for a day-long field trip in the Sundarbans National Tiger Reserve.

Minicoy Island: While Mary wasn't able to see this project firsthand—it’s thousands of miles from the sites she visited—the project leader traveled to Chennai to provide an update. The museum is complete with the exception of some electrical work. Enforcement of the MPA continues to pose a challenge as people from other islands often come to the area to fish for reef species that the local villagers on Minicoy have agreed to leave unharmed.

You can read more about these and all of the other projects in Seacology's long partnership with India's island communities at our website.

Find Us On

Follow us on Twitter 

Music and Movements

We're excited to join Hip Hop For Change, a fellow nonprofit organization in our neighboring city of Oakland, for the Environmental Equity Summit on Saturday, May 21. We'll be tabling at the free event, which seeks to explore and celebrate the nexus between the social justice and environmental movements and strengthen the role of communities of color in achieving greater sustainability. The daytime gathering at downtown Oakland's popular New Parish will feature performances by Dead Prez, Bambu, and Khafre Jay, leaders in socially conscious hip-hop, as well as panel discussions with environmental and community leaders. All ages are welcome!

Year in Review

In case you missed it, Seacology published our 2015 Annual Report last month. In it you can find some highlights from our favorite projects of this historic year for our organization, details on how we spent our donors' money, and much more.
Like us on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter | Visit | Forward this email
Copyright © 2016 Seacology, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences