Mangroves, coral reefs, and seagrass: new projects focus on key island ecosystems
New Seacology projects will support three kinds of ecosystems that are crucial to maintaining and restoring the health of the world’s oceans:
- mangrove forests that protect coastal villages, provide wildlife habitat, and store carbon
- seagrass meadows that feed and shelter manatees, turtles, and many more species
- coral reefs that teem with life when they’re healthy
Thanks to generous funding from the Nu Skin Force For Good Foundation, several of these projects will directly benefit island youth through the construction or improvement of schools, the support of youth sports, environmental education, and more.
Brazil: Enseada da Baleia
This women-led fishing community will protect 135 acres of mangroves, which support a rich ecosystem full of wildlife. The community was forced to relocate their entire village because of rising seas and will use a grant to build a new community cultural center.
Colombia: Tierra Bomba
This project will offer youth environmental education, including mangrove planting, and will create an open-air classroom in the mangroves. Fútbol con Corazón (Soccer with Heart), will use soccer to teach the kids teamwork, problem-solving, respect for the environment, and leadership.
Dominican Republic: El Astillero
This project will conserve and restore a critical and threatened one-acre remnant of mangroves within a 77-acre mangrove area and offer mangrove-themed activities for kids. In addition to the creation of a mangrove park and “coastal classroom,” there will be a song contest, mural-painting with a professional, and coastal clean-ups.
Federated States of Micronesia: Riken Village, Yap
This community has declared a new 151-acre no-take marine zone, containing coral reef that provides refuge and food for reef fish, manta rays, and marine turtles. The village will use a grant to add bathrooms and showers to its meeting house.
Fiji: Wailevu Village, Vanua Levu
This remote coastal village will protect 2,258 acres of rainforest and 937 marine acres on the Natewa Peninsula, one of the most ecologically important areas in Fiji. A new village hall will do triple duty, serving as a kindergarten, community center, and storm shelter.
Guatemala: Rio Dulce National Park
This project will add boat patrols to enforce rules against destructive overfishing around four small uninhabited islands. An environmental education program focusing on manatees will encourage conservation, as will renovation of the visitors center near one of the islands.
Honduras: El Berrinche, Roatán
The community of El Berrinche is declaring a 20-acre no-take zone just offshore, to protect coral reefs damaged by overfishing. A new environmental education hub will bring environmental education and computer literacy to students here.
Indonesia: Kuri Caddi, Sulawesi
This traditional community on Sulawesi Island, where most people make a living harvesting fish and crabs, is dedicated to protecting 86 acres of mangroves. It will use a Seacology grant to build a center for mangrove ecotourism, environmental education, and sustainable livelihood training.
Indonesia: Resye and Womom Villages, Papua
Near these villages is the world’s most important nesting beach for the critically endangered West Pacific leatherback turtle. This project will protect 2,000 turtle nests there every year. A Seacology grant will bring environmental education and computer skills to local students.
Indonesia: Tawabi Village, North Maluku
The subsistence fishers of Tawabi Island will protect 500 acres of mangroves for 20 years. To pass on their traditional knowledge and pride, they will build a mangrove education “mini-park” with a solar-powered education center, nursery, and mangrove walkway.
Mexico: Espíritu Santo Archipelago
This ambitious campaign will reach out to fishermen, food markets, students, restaurants, tourist businesses, and others to promote support for a ban on taking parrotfish, which are crucial to healthy coral reefs.
Philippines: Liminangcong Village
With a new floating watchtower, signs, equipment, and training to protect mangrove and marine areas, community members will enforce fishing restrictions in 2,933-acre marine area that is home to endangered dugongs, green and hawksbill sea turtles, and the critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphin.
Thailand: Haad Sai Dam Island
This project will protect 400 acres of forest, full of valuable trees and threatened animal species, and 400 productive marine acres. The community will build an environmental education center and nature trail to pass conservation knowledge—and commitment—to the next generation.
United States: Westcott Bay, San Juan Island
Eelgrass, the predominant species of seagrass in the Pacific Northwest, is the foundation of marine ecosystems in Puget Sound. It disappeared from Westcott Bay; this project is bringing it back with innovative methods of dispersing seeds and seedlings.