About the Local Ocean Trust
Who are we?
We are a private, not for profit organisation committed to the protection of Kenya’s marine environment. Our dream is to encourage people to look after their very own ‘Local Ocean’ in order to create a chain of properly managed and conserved areas of ocean all over the world. Imagine if everyone looked after his or her own little patch of ocean!
What do we do?
We work hard to ensure the future of sea turtles, the protection of a fragile marine environment and the promotion of sustainable livelihoods in the Watamu area. We campaign to both our local community and those further afield to love their “Local Ocean”.
How do we do it?
We run several programmes to help us achieve our goals:
- Nest Monitoring and Protection – We monitor and protect nesting female sea turtles, their nests and their hatchlings.
- By Catch Release – We work closely with local fishermen who accidently catch turtles in their nets. They call us so we can tag and release these turtles saving them from drowning or slaughter.
- Rehabilitation Centre – Sometimes turtles that come to us via our By Catch Release Programme are not fit enough to be released straight away. We bring them back to our specialist turtle rehabilitation centre, for medication and care until such time as they are strong enough to survive in the wild.
- Community Outreach – We are always looking for ways to help our local community, especially when it comes to alternative income generating projects that take the pressure off already over exploited marine resources and dependency on tourism.
- Conservation Education and Awareness – We work with community groups and local schools to raise awareness regarding conservation issues.
- Data Collection and Research – We have several research programmes designed to monitor the sea turtle population and the environment they rely upon.
How did we begin?
Over several years there has been mounting concern in Kenya as the range of human related threats on the marine environment has been increasing. In 1997 some local community members in Watamu decided it was time to take action to protect the sea turtles under threat in the area. Watamu Turtle Watch (WTW) was born. A dedicated team from the local community patrolled the beaches day and night to protect the female turtles coming to nest, their eggs and their hatchlings. In 2002 WTW, recognising a wider need for community involvement in marine conservation in the area, created Local Ocean Trust (LOT) in order to undertake marine conservation and community outreach both locally and nationally
How can you help?
We need your help to carry on this valuable work. Why not come for an EcoVisit or hold a fundraiser for us?