2013 Seacology Prize Winner, plus: updates from projects in Kenya & India
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Seacology Updates - August 2013

Seacology Prize Winner: Marie Saleem

2013 Seacology Prize winner Marie Saleem

Each year we award the Seacology Prize to an islander who has shown exceptional achievement in preserving the environment and culture of his or her home island. We're pleased to announce that the winner of the 2013 Seacology Prize is Marie Saleem of the Maldives!

Saleem is a leading environmental conservation advocate whose research and activism have helped protect marine species in the Maldives. Her study of shark populations led to a nation-wide ban on shark fishing and the trade of shark products. Most recently, she helped gain special protection measures for several shark and manta species under the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES). She regularly conducts environment awareness classes for children, works with several island communities on waste management, and participates in coral mitigation programs. She and her husband founded an environmental consultancy through which they run “marine discovery centers” for Four Seasons resorts in the Maldives.

“I am honored and overwhelmed to be recognized for the humbling work I have done with the communities and the environment,” Saleem says. “The Maldives, being a small island state, is dependent on the pristine nature of its natural environment and I believe that it is only with the holistic intertwining of the peoples’ lives with nature that we can help the environment.”

We'll be honoring Saleem at a ceremony at the David Brower Center in downtown Berkeley, California on Thursday, October 3rd. This is a free event, but seats are limited, so RSVP for our Seacology Prize Ceremony with Eventbrite!


Protecting their shores

Kenyan islanders unite to protect sea turtle habitats while getting something in return: a new freshwater well

A government fisheries officer discusses the project in a speech at the official launch event.
A government fisheries officer discusses the project in a speech at the official launch event.

Kiwayu Island kicked off a major marine conservation effort in July to protect more than 600 acres of a coral reef ecosystem and to keep Kiwayu’s beaches safe for nesting sea turtles.

To help, we’re providing funds to build an office for locals to coordinate conservation activities, and to dig a freshwater well. Right now the island has just one, shared by 4,000 people.

Lamu, Kiwayu Island, Kenya
The town of Lamu on Kiwayu Island.

Conservation is needed in this area, known for its beautiful beaches and marine life, as its ecosystems are under threat from overfishing and expanding tourism activities, and sea turtles are threatened by illegal egg poaching.

Sea turtles
Kiwayu beaches offer nesting sites for green, hawskbill, and olive ridley sea turtles

Read more about the project and see more pics from the launch event on the Kiwayu Island project page.


Newsletter is out!

Seacology Newsletter Vol. 4, No. 1

Our Spring/Summer newsletter is out, and it's in color! (Thanks to advancements in printing technology -- and the kindness of our printers -- we were able to get color newsletters at no extra charge.) Get all the major Seacology-related news over the past few months, including in-depth updates on our projects in Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Fiji, and many others.


Seacology Travel

Balloons over Bagan
October 31 - November 12, 2013
Travel through Myanmar to experience its fascinating past and intriguing present. Journey into the mangrove forests of India's Sundarbans region. View the trip brochure (pdf) for more information.  




Workers began restoration on a boat that will be used as a mobile resource and environmental educational center to help spread the word to rural communities in the Sundarbans about the importance of conserving the mangrove forests of this massive delta. Why a boat? It’s just the easiest way to get around: the Sundarbans is comprised of countless islands, and the force of the rivers and tides continuously shift the soils so that maps of the Sundarbans are never completely accurate.

In exchange for the boat, the Association for Conservation & Tourism will organize mangrove planting totaling 50 acres (123 acres) and carry out environmental education and awareness programs around the Sundarbans.
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