daniel planting mangrove seedlings

Sustainability at KSL – Mangrove Planting Initiative

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All over the world, there are mangrove systems that protect young marine life, filter water from pollution and act as a barrier between water and land. Especially because Sri Lanka is an island, mangroves are very important here. More than 50 % of Sri Lanka’s Mangrove forests have been destroyed irrecoverably in the past 30 years through deforestation, abuse and exploitation. This is causing negative impacts on fishery and the protection against catastrophic flooding events.

 

sunset bridge and mangrove seedlings in the lagoon

 

Mangroves are among the most valuable coastal ecosystems. They provide habitats for species of marine fauna and flora and serve as breeding and nesting grounds for fish and other small marine life. Very importantly, they can provide protection from the impacts of climate change, including sea-level rises and coastal erosion caused by storm surges and extreme weather events.

At Kitesurfing Lanka, we recognise the importance of mangroves and as part of our Kite Green Initiative, we plant new mangroves, rehabilitate degraded mangroves and ensure their survival for future forest coverage. So once every few months we organise a big mangrove planting day. Daniel and Romina were here for our last one and made this amazing video to document it. Read on to learn more about Daniel’s experience and our mangrove planting initiative.

 

 

 

Daniel’s experience with our Mangrove planting initiative

 

As a dive instructor, I know how important the ocean and it’s marine life are for the planet. Earth consists of 71% of water and only 29% of land so it’s a big deal to protect our oceans. 

We were told there were a few people coming to the camp to plant some mangroves, but only until the day itself we didn’t really understand the magnitude of this project. We woke up pretty early because everyone was supposed to be here at 7:30.

When we arrived, the project was already running at full speed. There were people joining from all over Sri Lanka. People from the navy, universities, locals and all the staff from KSL came together to plant over a 1000 mangroves. I believe we counted over 130 people and to see everyone work together to achieve this goal was amazing.

The mangroves were brought to Kitesurfing Lanka by truck. The seedlings are being grown in a nursery until they reach about 30cm in length. At that point they’re ready to grow by their own and are planted in our lagoon.

 

planting mangroves at kitesurfing lanka daniel planting mangrove seedlings planting mangrove seedlings sustainability at ksl

 

At the lagoon everyone had their own job:

  • Transporting the mangroves from the camp to the planting site

  • Moving the mangroves across the water

  • Digging holes to put the mangroves in

  • Planting the mangroves

It was amazing to see how many people showed up to help preserve the mangroves surrounding Kalpitiya. For us, it was a great feeling to be amidst all these wonderful people and work to a united goal: to protect marine life, the land and giving back to mother nature.

 

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”

– Robert Swan

 

Why do we plant mangrooves?

Mangroves protect shorelines from damaging storms and hurricane winds, waves, and floods, and also help prevent erosion by stabilizing sediments with their tangled root systems. They maintain water quality and clarity, filtering pollutants and trapping sediments originating from land. Mangroves also help to isolate CO2 and thus mitigate the effects of climate change.

“Our mission is to protect the earth we live in as much as possible and limit the impact our hotel and guests have on the environment,” said Kitesurfing Lanka Co-founders Dilsiri Welikala and Leo Moret. “Initiating things like the mangrove project allows us to protect the surrounding ecosystems and to restore the habitats of sea life that are in danger due to climate change. We truly believe that if we all work together, we can make the world a better place and ensure the survival of our shorelines and natural habitats. We have involved our guests in every aspect of the mangroves, from physically planting them to help funding the programme, and our guests have been delighted to be a part of it.”