Empowering local villages to plant + protect mangrove ecosystems
This project restores 100 hectares of degraded mangrove forest within the Malindi Watamu National Marine Park and Reserve - a UNESCO Designated Biosphere Area.
In partnership with local non-profit COBEC (Community Based Environmental Conservation), approximately 1 million mangrove trees will be planted throughout the Mida Creek Region from January 2021 - March 2022.
SeaTrees is funding the development of nurseries, planting of four local mangrove species, education, monitoring, and long-term protection of the Mida Creek wetlands.
Mida Creek, located within the Malindi Watamu National Marine Park and Reserve, is approximately 90 miles (140 km) north of Mombasa, Kenya's second-largest city. The Mida Creek tidal inlet covers an area of 32 square km. One of the most productive mangrove ecosystems in the world, Mida Creek is a recognized International Bird Area and together with Arabuko-Sokoke Forest forms a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Mangroves have been illegally harvested for building lumber and charcoal production.
Working with local communities, the impacted areas are regenerated by planting and protecting native mangroves species.
SeaTrees has partnered COBEC (Community Based Environmental Conservation), a community-based organization founded in 2005 in Kenya – focused on local "grass-roots" ocean conservation efforts.
Their main programs implemented with the support of the local communities and government stakeholders have focused on mangrove forest restoration + Sea Turtle conservation.
Mida Creek is an important feeding and development area for juvenile green and hawksbill sea turtles. Coral heads and the rich seagrass beds provide food in a sheltered area away from large predators.
COBEC works with local villages to strategically replant mangroves in deforested areas.
More than 200 people are being employed to restore the mangrove forests.
These communities are educated on the environmental and economic importance of these ecosystems, and employed to grow seedlings, collect mangrove propagules, plant mangroves, and monitor the growth of the trees.
In addition to the local communities around Mida Creek, COBEC has partnerships with a range of other important local stakeholders to improve the longer-term success of the project and the survival of the trees being planted. This includes: Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Fisheries Service, Kenya Forestry Research Institute, and Watamu Marine Association.