Mangroves and seagrass are remarkable plants, which provide outsized benefit to their surrounding environment. They provide shelter and food for marine life and shield coastlines from storms. Perhaps most important, they sequester far more atmospheric carbon than any type of terrestrial foliage. And a recently completed Seacology project protects both of these valuable ecosystems.

Manamoc is a small, horseshoe-shaped island lying at the center of the Philippines’ north Sulu Sea. Most of the island’s southern half surrounds Caseledan Lagoon, a highly biodiverse wetland lined by dense mangroves and seagrass.

Seacology has partnered with the island’s community of about 2,600 people for over a decade. In 2008, we funded a solar system for the community, in support of a locally managed marine protected area around the island. Our project partners have diligently protected and monitored the reef ever since.

Last year, we launched our second project there, focusing on the lagoon. The village made a 25-year commitment to protect the entire lagoon, and Seacology made a grant, which the community has used to build a new community center. The center opened recently and will serve as a base of operations for the community’s conservation efforts, as well as a shelter against cyclones and other tropical storms, common in the area.

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