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Save the Lanka Mangrove Museum

April 22, 2023

The pandemic and an unprecedented economic collapse in Sri Lanka shuttered this first-of-its-kind museum, built as part of our nationwide conservation project from 2015-19. Beginning this Earth Day, you can help us reopen this unique museum and support the dedicated volunteers who have maintained it through extraordinarily difficult times.

A green legacy in Sri Lanka

For five years, Seacology worked with conservation leaders and coastal communities across Sri Lanka to protect and restore the island nation’s mangroves. Opened in 2016 in a celebration attended by then-president Maithripala Sirisena and other dignitaries, the Lanka Mangrove Museum serves as a repository of knowledge about the country’s threatened coastal wetlands, and is a top destination in the world for anyone who wants to learn about them.

Nestled alongside a lagoon and surrounded by mangroves, the large facility is home to engaging displays about the 23 species of mangrove trees found in Sri Lanka and the incredible array of wildlife they support. Leading scientists visit the facility, and in past years it was one of the most popular destinations for school groups from across the country. It was even recognized by the national postal service with a commemorative stamp.

Hope in hard times

Unfortunately, the years since have been extremely difficult in Sri Lanka. Without the resources to pay its staff, the museum has mostly remained closed since the pandemic shut its doors in 2020. Local interest remains high, with hundreds of students recently visiting the museum in this limited capacity in recent months.

A grand reopening

Now, you can help Seacology give the first-of-its kind museum a new lease on life. This year’s crowdfunding campaign aims to raise enough money to keep the museum fully open to the public for the next two years and ride out the worst of the economic crisis. Your gift will help fund:

  • Two years of operating expenses;
  • Minor repairs to museum facilities damaged by the elements in Sri Lanka’s hot, humid climate;
  • Updated interpretive materials;
  • Promotion of the museum and its official reopening on July 26—World Mangrove Day;
  • And more

Seacology’s leadership is committed to the success of this campaign. Members of our board of directors have secured generous matching funds from the Nu Skin Force For Good Foundation and philanthropists Denis and Diane Lyman. This means that every dollar that you donate will be matched, giving Seacology the singular opportunity to fund all museum operations for a period of two years for US$70,000. Because of the generous matching funds we only need to raise $20,000 to achieve our goal.

We hope you’ll contribute to and share our campaign to help us reach our goal. Every gift, large or small, will help ensure a bright future for the museum—and for Sri Lanka’s beautiful mangrove forests and the Sri Lankan people. 

Why mangroves?

Mangroves are one of the world’s most important ecosystems. Though they cover just a tiny fraction of the earth’s surface, these trees that grow in warm, shallow water along coastlines are essential to the health of our planet. They provide a habitat for marine life, supporting fisheries and keeping ocean ecosystems healthy. Their strong roots dissipate waves, protecting coastal communities from storms. And acre-for-acre they capture more carbon than any terrestrial forest.