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November 2015 e-Newsletter
In This Issue: New Digs in BelizeCelebrate #GivingTuesday By Saving an AcreSouth Pacific UpdatesTravel: NicaraguaTravel: ArgentinaNew Fiji RepresentativeYour Holiday Shopping Can Benefit Islands!Seacology Returns to Sri Lanka Airwaves

New Digs in Belize

At its meeting in June, the Seacology Board of Directors launched our fifth project in Belize, in collaboration with the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE). We're delighted to announce that the project is already complete!

Our investment in additional housing at Big Falls for paying volunteers will help TIDE expand their successful Ridge to Reef Expeditions program. That effort has already deployed volunteers throughout the Mesoamerican Reef region to help build habitat for endangered turtles (below), plant trees, and conduct underwater surveys, among other conservation and research projects. With the extra lodging, TIDE will be able to more than double the number of volunteers they can host. The additional eco-tourists will help TIDE launch more of these important projects.

Celebrate #GivingTuesday By Saving an Acre

For the fourth year, generous donors will open their hearts—and their checkbooks—in support of their favorite charitable organizations on Giving Tuesday. The movement, which began in 2012 as a small hashtag campaign, has grown steadily each year, bringing in more than $45 million in donations to nonprofits in 2014.

We invite you to celebrate Giving Tuesday with us this year by making a contribution to Seacology's popular Save an Acre program. On Tuesday, December 1st, we're lowering the price to protect an acre of rainforest in Indonesia or coral reef in Kenya from $40 to $20. We'll make up the difference. As always, Save an Acre donations can be made in honor of a friend or loved one. We'll send them a card letting them know you were thinking of them when you helped preserve a piece of pristine island habitat.

South Pacific Updates

Last month Seacology's Program Manager Mary Randolph traveled to the South Pacific, visiting several of our project sites in Fiji and Vanuatu. With new field representatives in both countries, it was a great opportunity to get everybody up to speed on existing projects there and explore ideas for future ones. Here are a few of the highlights of the Fiji portion of her trip.

Qumusea: Mary, with Field Representative Harry Powell and his incoming successor Pettine Simpson, toured the kindergarten facility we funded in 2012, finding it well-maintained and colorfully decorated. The community has been very involved in the upkeep of the grounds, and parent volunteers have built a thatched roof over one of the play areas. The conservation side of the agreement is proceeding well: thousands of tree seedlings have been planted with more planned for this month. The villagers also reported a significant decrease in burning of the surrounding forest.

Nanuca: The community hall Seacology funded (photo above) is nearly complete, and is on schedule to be finished by the end of this month. The village leaders are in talks with a nearby resort to host tourists at the new facility, which could provide sustainable income.

Nukubalavu: The school we built in this 2007 project (photo below) is used every day, and with a recent government declaration that three- and four-year-olds should go to school, it will likely require expansion. The marine protected area there is well-enforced, as personally attested to by Pettine—before she was familiar with Seacology and the no-take zone this project established, she and her brother were warned away when their boat got too close!
We were glad to hear of such commitment from our partners in Fiji in making these projects so successful. We're confident that as we pass the torch to our new field representative, we'll continue build on that success.

Stay tuned for December's e-Newsletter, where we'll fill you in on our Vanuatu projects!

Seacology Travel: Nicaragua

January 8-16, 2016
Seacology has just announced our first-ever expedition to Nicaragua! We will visit a Seacology project on one of the largest and most beautiful freshwater lake islands in the world, Isla Ometepe. We will also visit a turtle reserve on the Pacific coast and stay in some of the finest eco-resorts in Nicaragua, which is becoming a popular tourist destination. Read more details about the trip and learn how to book your spot here. At this time, we have two rooms remaining.

Seacology Travel: Argentina

February 14-25, 2016
Join us for Seacology's first trip to Argentina! We will traverse the country, from Iguazu Falls on the Brazilian border to the southern tip at Tierra del Fuego, where guests will visit a Seacology project site that helps protect migratory bird habitat. There is only one room remaining, so reserve it while you can! More details and a complete trip itinerary can be found in our brochure.

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New Fiji Representative

This month, we welcome our newest field representative, Pettine Simpson, who will be overseeing our projects in Fiji. She will be taking over for retiring Fiji reps Harry and Jackie Powell, who have successfully fulfilled the role together for many years.

Your Holiday Shopping Can Benefit Islands!

As we prepare for the holiday season, we'd like to remind you that you can support Seacology at no additional expense by shopping at Amazon Smile. Simply click here to choose us as your preferred charity, then do your Amazon shopping via Amazon will donate a small percentage of the proceeds to our work.

Seacology Returns to Sri Lanka Airwaves

Last month, the Seacology-led Sri Lanka Mangrove Conservation Program (see last month's e-newsletter) was featured for a second time on "Rise And Shine," a popular morning show on Sri Lanka's Channel Eye TV network. You can watch the 20-minute interview with project leaders Karen Peterson and Leela Padmini Batuwitage at our YouTube channel here.
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