Marine Conservation Projects in South Coast
Supporting coastal communities by educating and practising conservation not only protects these vulnerable communities and their livelihoods but also protects our oceans and all the creatures within. We're going to highlight some incredible organisations today, that are working with great determination to protect our reefs, marine life and waters from various issues.
1. REEFolution Foundation
Based in Shimoni and Diani, the Foundation focuses on creating artificial coral nurseries to promote the revitalisation of the Reef and scientific research.
The Shimoni site has been operational since 2013, where they have trained 15 REEF Rangers and restored 3 hectares of coral reefs. Over 1500 artificial reef structures have been placed and their coral nurseries produce more than 10,000 young coral fragments per year.
The Diani site is also working hard and their work has impacted Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) to reserve 21km² of coral reef and 6km² of seagrass for protection from unsustainable practices for the very first time. They are currently seeking funding to fulfil their mission.
The Foundation focuses on local community awareness, job creation and resource management, all backed with science, to show how important the health of our oceans is to the planet.
Find out more here: https://reefolution.org/our-work/
2. Diani’s Marine Conservation Education Centre
Based within The Sands at Nomads Hotel property, this Centre encompasses a variety of conservationists including Diani Turtle Watch, REEFolution Foundation and various other sustainable teams. They are working with schools and teachers in Kwale to bring marine conservation content to students, to begin involving the community from its grassroots, while approaching various other community members through education and job creation. Various colourful projects dot the Centre, making it a joy to travel through, as well as an enriching educational experience. The Centre also works closely with the hotel- developing and implementing sustainable changes that create lasting impact.
Diani Turtle Watch is also open and fully functional. They offer various excursions and visitors can now attend an echo tour any day between 9.00 am to 4 p.m. to learn more about their work, turtles in general and Marine life. (DTW hotline is 0758961322)
3. The Flipflopi Project
Astounded by the number of discarded slippers (flip flops) that were found on the beach, Ben Morison decided to look into how to deal with this plastic pollution problem while working together with Swahili culture and heritage. Creating a traditional dhow, for the first time, using 30,000 discarded flip flops- they have set sail.
Their main aims are to educate, innovate, influence and go on expeditions to raise awareness about the dangers of single-use plastic and how to re-purpose everyday items into treasure.
Find out more here: https://www.theflipflopi.com/about-the-boat
Watch here: https://youtu.be/r97dCMm0M4A
4. Watamu Marine Association
Focusing on eco-tourism, dolphin conservation and community involvement this is a great movement for Watamu which has developed an international reputation for its pristine white-sand beaches and reef-protected lagoons.
The Watamu National Marine Park and Reserves, are some of the oldest in East Africa and cover over 229 km2. These protected marine areas are also internationally recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which means that the area is designated as a site of natural excellence, and should demonstrate how local people and the environment can co-exist through careful management of natural marine resources and human assets.
Find out more here: http://www.watamu.biz/watamu-community.php?cid=112
5. Lamu Marine Conservation Trust
Considering that Kenyan waters are home to five threatened species of sea turtles (Green, Hawksbill, Olive Ridley, Leatherback and Loggerhead), conserving them should be of utmost importance. Unfortunately, despite being a protected species, 85% of the decline in turtle population is due to human activities. Lamu Marine Conservation Trust (LAMCOT) has focused on turtles, while expanding connections between the local community and Marine conservation.
Find out more here: https://www.tusk.org/get-involved/
What do you want to get involved with this year?