Berhampur Island, Chilika Lake

June 2015

Conservation benefit: Planting of 10,000 mangrove and other trees, protecting 20 acres of Chilika lagoon, and conducting environmental education for 10 years

Community benefit: Construction of a solar-powered multipurpose community center

Chilika Lake, on India’s east coast, is the largest brackish lagoon in India. It covers almost 400 square miles, and has a narrow opening to the Bay of Bengal. The lake’s astounding biodiversity includes a rich fishery and the largest wintering ground for migratory waterfowl on the subcontinent. It is home to many rare and endangered species, including the Irrawaddy dolphin, green sea turtle, spoon-billed sandpiper, fishing cat, limbless skink, and khainga (milk fish).

More than 150,000 people make their livelihoods from the rich fishing grounds. But overfishing, irresponsible fishing practices, commercial shrimp farming, erosion, and pollution threaten the lake, its wildlife, and its people. The well-established local NGO Jeevan Rekha Parishad (JRP), is launching a “Save Chilika Lake” movement, addressing a variety of problems facing the communities. As part of this effort, Seacology is funding a community center for the fishing community on Berhampur Island. It will be managed by the local women’s self-help group, assisted by the village head. The community will undertake environmental education, alternative livelihood training, and tree-planting, including mangroves.

Full or partial funding for this project provided by
Project Updates
May 2017
The women’s self-help groups in charge of this project have brought it to a successful close. The biotoilets have been installed, and a wall and gate built around the community center....
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January 2017
The multipurpose building which will be used in the women's groups’ candlemaking, cashew-packing, beekeeping, and other businesses, is finished. Environmental education efforts have included...
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April 2016
The brick multipurpose building is more than halfway complete; the ground floor is nearly done, and stairs to the upper floor are built. India field representative Vineeta Hoon and Program Manager...
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November 2015
After receiving the first installment of Seacology funding, this well-organized community quickly bought building materials and began construction of the community center. They have also planted...
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