The MaRINE Project offers guests the opportunity to participate in field work to study as well as conserve threatened and endangered marine life such as sea turtles, pink dolphins, dugongs, mangroves, and the myriad of other vertebrate and invertebrate species that make up the marine environment. There will be exciting excursions out to sea to observe whales and dolphins to collect spatial, temporal, population, behavioral and ranging data.
The guests will work on activities that are varied and will cover a range of research and conservation focused field activities. Following is an example of activities the volunteers to the MaRINE Project will potentially have the opportunity to participate.
– Pink dolphin conservation. Patrol the Puttalam Lagoon by boat following coordinates of 5 square kilometer grids searching for pink dolphins. When the dolphins are found observe and collect data on their behavior, ranging, and feeding. To be un-intrusive and cause the least amount of disturbance the observations will be conducted from a distance using high powered spotting scopes and drones.
– Sea turtle nesting survey. Conduct beach patrols from 6 pm to 6 am during the nesting season and record all nesting encounters including taking GPS points, identifying the species of nesting females, collecting physical measurements, tagging females and installing nest protection devices and markers.
– Go on beach patrols to monitor and protect identified nests.
· When nestlings are about to hatch monitor these nests frequently until the nestlings emerge. Count nestlings, sex them, record data and provide safe passage to the sea.
– Visit fish landing beaches to collect species data from the morning fish catches.
– Collect information on fish species that are discarded as by-catch. If any of these fish is a live help collect them and release them back to the sea.
– Collect data on migratory birds that visit Kalptiya.
– Assist with the captive breeding program of reef fishes and other lagoon species that are threatened by over-harvesting such as the mud crab (Scylla serrata) and the barramundi (Lates sp.)
– Work with local communities on awareness building, education programs, beach cleanups, and mangrove planting.
– Help conduct marine environment education programs at local schools.
· Help maintain the salt water and brackish aquariums that will be part of the conservation and education programs
– Help set up and maintain a brackish water aquatic system to monitor species colonization.
Guests will support as well as assist the SLWCS to achieve its research and conservation objectives of the MaRINE Project for the conservation of the endangered and threatened marine diversity of Sri Lanka. Through direct and indirect field observations guests will help to gather information on various species of whales, dolphins, dugongs, sea turtles, fish, birds, and coastal fauna and flora. Guests will visit villages to understand what the villagers’ livelihoods are and how these livelihoods impact on the marine environment and its biodiversity. During these visits, guests will conduct surveys and discuss with villagers their livelihood issues and concerns and how the MaRINE Project could help to make their marine-based livelihoods sustainable. The Marine Environment Stewardship (MES) Program will be one of the most impactful awareness programs conducted under the MaRINE Project. The MES Program will be recruiting batches of students to gain practical and hands-on experience in marine conservation. A unique component of the MES is that students will train the next batch of incoming students which will help to reinforce knowledge and the experience these students have received from the MES Program.
This is a link to show the location and facilities at our field house: https://madmimi.com/s/
The sites are easily accessible by car and mini coach.
A digital file of our brochure is also attached for your information.
The fees depend on the duration of the programs.
The fees include the following:
– Project transportation in the field
– All meals and refreshments
– Full accommodation
– Orientation and briefings
– Guidance and training
– Field Programs