Funzi Island is located off the Kenyan South Coast and has a population of about 1,500. The island hosts an array of ecosystems, including undisturbed coastal wetlands, mangrove forests, palms, sandy beaches, creeks, estuaries, and undisturbed lowland coastal mixed forests. Five sea turtle species – leatherback, loggerhead, green, hawksbill, and olive ridley – forage or nest on and around the island. Poaching, habitat degradation, soil erosion, destructive fishing practices, incidental capture, and development are threats to these sea turtles.
Working with the Kenya Sea Turtle Conservation Committee, Seacology will fund construction of a facility that will serve multiple purposes. It will be an office for the Funzi Turtle Club, which conducts sea turtle monitoring, nest protection and translocation, adoption of tagged nesting turtles, and turtle release programs. Turtle souvenirs – earrings, doormats, and turtle models – from flip-flop sandals that wash ashore will be made and sold there. Conservation activities will take place in 15,073 acres of land and sea that are important feeding and nesting sites for turtles.