Mangrove awareness field trips and education for schools

The purpose is to attract more volunteers in mangrove restoration and marine conservation in Palk Bay by creating awareness among youths particularly school students. We approach local schools and explain teachers about the purpose. Then, our staff team conducts class education on local marine ecosystems with special reference to mangroves and seagrass beds of Palk Bay (the project area). After this class, we invite about 70 students from each school to our Field environmental education centre called as “OMCAR Palk Bay Environmental Education Centre” and a field trip to mangroves. After this field trip the interested students join as a volunteer with our organization, who are involved in various field conservation activities such as village mangrove surveys, dugong conservation interviews , organizing community events and participatory GIS mapping of mangroves and land use patterns.

The students should be organized only through systematic set ups such as school with the support of local government. As students will pass on to higher classes there should be need to continue awareness events to new batches every year. Middle school students are very suitable for inspiring them in marine conservation (14 – 16 age group). Field trips should be arranged with high safety priorities in coastal and marine areas. In addition to this school drop outs, and young fishers can be invited along with the students.

After joining as volunteers, the human energy of volunteers should be used and refreshed periodically, which can highly reduce project man power cost. The physical set up of our organization such as facilities and buildings have been very lively condition after being continuously used by thousands of students every year. So, any awareness should be lead to establishing such permanent facilities and not just a day of event.