St. Martin’s Island

June 2013

Conservation benefit: Protecting 1,480 acres of coral habitat for 10 years

Community benefit: New primary school, guardhouses, and buoys

St. Martin’s Island, 12 kilometers from mainland Bangladesh, is home to the only coral habitat in the country, with 66 known species. The island is approximately eight square kilometers in area and is home to 8,000 permanent residents. During the past decade, tourism spread over the north zone of the island. In the winter months, mass tourism contributes to plastic pollutants and sedimentation in the water, hampering coral growth.

Local NGO MarineLife Alliance has taken the initiative to conserve the marine biodiversity of Bangladesh’s southeastern coast, including St. Martin’s Island. It is working with the local community to help conserve its marine resources and ameliorate the damage caused by unsustainable tourism activities and other destructive practices.

The community is in need of a primary school for the island’s south zone. Because the closest primary school is four kilometers to the north, many young children do not attend school. Seacology is funding the construction of a school in the southern part of the island. The grant will also pay for buoys, guard sheds, signage, a center for marine activities, and other conservation-related items. In exchange, the community will establish a six-square-kilometer (1,480-acre) marine protected area for 10 years.

Full or partial funding for this project provided by
Project Updates
November 2017
This project is now complete. Guard huts and turtle conservation signs are on the island’s beaches, and six demarcation and mooring buoys have been installed. The marine protected area is being...
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May 2017
For 2017, 137 children have been admitted to the school—and there may be more. The marine protected area is being respected, and six demarcation and mooring buoys have been built and installed.
January 2017
The school building, which has one big classroom and an office, has been completed and a teacher employed. Thirty-five children have completed nursery school, and 41 have been granted admission...
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May 2016
Zahirul Islam, head of our project partner MarineLife Alliance, reports that the three turtle guard huts have been finished and installed. MarineLife has also bought binoculars and more classroom...
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April 2016
The new primary school is already being used, and finishing touches to the building will be made soon. Seacology's India and Bangladesh field representative Vineeta Hoon and Program Manager Mary...
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November 2015
All materials for the school have been obtained, and construction is underway. The guard shed is almost finished. In addition to the six signs already posted on the beaches, 20 more 3-foot x...
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May 2015
India Field Representative Vineeta Hoon reports that land for the school has been acquired, and the building’s frame is under construction. Corrugated tin, wooden panels, plastic windows, and...
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January 2015
India Field Representative Vineeta Hoon visited this island to conduct a training workshop with the MarineLife Alliance (MLA), Seacology's partner on this project. She reports that the MLA is...
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