The goal of my project is to help the restoration process of the Avellanas Mangrove. After the 7.6 earthquake that struck Costa Rica in 2012, the coastal land rose about one meter, shifting sand bars and closing out the river mouth at the Avellanas mangrove. This change prevented mangroves to receive enough saltwater, therefore lacking from proper brackish water, as their only source of water was now freshwater from rivers or rain. The water in the mangrove became stagnant and unbalanced for the mangroves, therefore drowning the vast majority of them. Then came the dry season, which finished killing and drying the mangroves…
My friend Sebastian started the project to restore the mangrove, but he is soon graduating, so it is now my job to keep it going! We had our first community event, and it was a success! We planted seeds directly into the mangrove, but also filled bags with mud and collected around 600 seeds more that went into our mangrove nursery (as seen on my previous log). The purpose of this activity was mainly to start filling our nursery while engaging with the community in order to start getting our project out there. We may plan more of these community events if we see an abundant amount of seeds around the mangrove that we could collect, but for now, the next big activity that I am going to plan is the Mangrove Explorer Weekend.
The Mangrove Explorer Weekend will be an event in collaboration with ConnectOcean, taking place at Cabinas Las Olas, Avellanas, Guancaste, Costa Rica. The event will be around September of 2019, because this is the rainy season when mangroves begin to seed, and one of the activities planned is to recollect seeds. The CEO of ConnectOcean, Ernst van der Poll, will be my main mentor for planning this event, but I will also work with my dad (Roger Jäggli) since we will hold the event at his business, because it is surrounded by the mangrove and where we have built our nursery. We plan on inviting students from other schools to attend the Mangrove Explorer Weekend, where ConnectOcean will provide educational material from their own Mangrove Explorer Program, which will be an official PADI & Project AWARE Speciality with a corresponding Citizen Science App soon; in order to inform about what mangroves are and their importance so students have a good base understanding. This would be great content for our project and help us with technological tools in order to gather and analyze scientific data of our mangroves which could be useful to other scientists around the globe. We will also plant the mangroves from our nursery directly into the mangrove, as well as collect more seeds since it will happen during seeding season. During one of the days of the program, we might visit other mangroves in order to compare and contrast a living mangrove to the dead one of Avellanas, along with recollecting seeds in order to test how plants from other mangroves behave in the Avellanas mangrove. The ConnectOcean Ernst and I have also talked about making informational signs (as part of the event) to be placed at the Avellanas mangrove in order for the general public to be able to easily reach information about the importance of these ecosystems as well as the efforts of our project and how they can help or get involved.
In general, the purpose of my project is to give back to the environment in the most ethical ways possible, after everything it constantly does for us. Mangroves are nurseries to many different species, and they process a large amount of carbon dioxide, just to mention a few reasons why we need to take care of these ecosystems. Overall, there is a lot of planning to be done for my main event, but I will share my journey on here, as well as the progress of our nursery, in hopes to gain support worldwide, as well as inspire others to start their own initiatives and take care of our planet! I love nature and I am passionate about it, results won’t come quickly but what counts is the efforts and perseverance, therefore I plan to stay committed and make a difference by starting small in my community.
Learning outcomes: Plan & Initiate, Global Importance, Work Collaboratively, Commitment & Perseverance.
Learner profiles: Reflective, Caring, Thinker, Open-minded, Risk-taker
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