In this category, you will find a varied collection of projects looking for your vote.  They all look to protect or restore water based habitats and species - oceans, lakes, rivers and wetlands are all included here.
Please read though the details below of the projects looking for your vote, and then select the one you would like to receive funding from EOCA.  A difficult choice as they are all very worthwhile projects!

Voting in this category runs from 4 October (00.01 GMT+1) to 18 October (12.00 GMT+1) 2017.

Looking For Your Support

Image Francois Louw (SANCCOB)

Nominated by:

Burgher's Walk Penguin Ranger Project, South Africa

Website: https://www.sanccob.co.za

The African penguin is endangered with less than 23 000 breeding pairs left in the wild. The five primary African penguin breeding colonies in the Western Cape are Dassen Island, Robben Island, Boulders Beach (including Burgher’s Walk), Stony Point and Dyer Island. While other colonies numbers have declined dramatically in the last few years, the penguin population at Boulders Beach has remained relatively stable due to expert conservation intervention.  Protecting and managing a key colony-area for the species is vital to its survival. The Burgher’s Walk African Penguin Project benefits endangered African penguins by taking direct, rehabilitation-focused, conservation action to bolster the wild population. It is a coordinated plan between City of Cape Town, SANParks and SANCCOB to protect the African penguin colony at Boulders Beach and rehabilitate the indigenous vegetation in the area. Funding goes towards the management of the terrain, the rehabilitation of penguins at SANCCOB, the salaries of four Penguin Rangers (including additional seasonal staff), and the upkeep of the fencing and the formalised path within the project.

Voting has ended

Nominated by:

Coral reef rehabilitation in Seaflower Biosphere Reserve, Colombia

Website: https://www.coralesdepaz.org

In the last three decades, live coral cover has declined by more than 50% on the oceanic islands of San Andres and Old Providence, within the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve, due to human activity and high algal dominance. Monitoring surveys of reef restoration projects have shown that large-scale coral gardening can increase coral cover on transplanted sites by 700% over a 4 year period. Corales de Paz then wants to upscale the magnitude of local restoration work from hundreds to thousands of coral fragments over large degraded reef areas at the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve following a participatory approach. Reef users, local community members, local fishermen and hobby divers will all be invited to take part in training schemes and then to help in reef rehabilitation activities, setting up and maintaining coral reef nurseries, transplanting coral colonies to degraded coral reef sites, conducting monitoring surveys, and enforcing protection. By the end of year 2, the nurseries will have a running stock of about 10,000 coral fragments, of which about 30% will have been transplanted to a degraded reef and should result in an immediate 10% increase in live coral cover and fish abundance. For long-term sustainability, a business plan will be developed so that skills can be transferred, results shared and income generating activities for locals implemented. Among these are a Coral Reef Restoration training program, an interactive reef restoration educational centre, a payment for ecosystem services scheme, and an awareness raising campaign and fundraising tailored to tourists and businesses.

Voting has ended
Litter pick!

Nominated by:

On board beach cleaning adventure, Greece

Website: http://www.isea.com.gr/?lang=en

Amvrakikos Gulf hosts the densest population of common bottlenose dolphins in the Mediterranean Sea, is an important feeding ground for the loggerhead sea turtles, an important breeding ground for the Dalmatian pelican, and is of particular importance for wild bird populations. The Inner Ionian Sea Archipelago includes submerged sea caves, important Mediterranean monk seal breeding grounds and high diversity of cetaceans. Overfishing is a major threat, but no management plans are in place, and the negative impact of micropastics has also not been assessed.  There are high levels of plastic pellets as a result of plastic macro litter decomposition which pose a serious threat to an already degraded ecosystem. iSea will contribute to research into the impact of microplastics and their sources.  It will run an “On board beach cleaning adventure” to restore important coastal habitats in both protected areas through the reduction of marine macro litter in inaccessible shores by carrying out 20 coastal and underwater clean ups and sampling the microplastics, communicating results locally and further afield.

Voting has ended
Beach Clean

Nominated by:

Reducing plastic at coastal community schools, Guatemala

Website: https://www.semillasdeloceano.com

Plastic is one of the main issues that threatens coastal and marine ecosystems such as mangroves, sea grass beds and coral reefs which are a great source of biodiversity including several migratory and endemic species.  The Refugio de Vida Silvestre Punta de Manabique is protected due to its great biodiversity of species and habitats but it is being increasingly threatened by plastic pollution. This threatens the species but also the potential for ecotourism in the area, which could be used as a solid argument to prevent extractive activities in the region. Semillas del Océano aims to reduce by at least 30% the consumption and emission of single use plastic at schools of the coastal communities of the Guatemalan Caribbean. Six schools that are located in communities settled in the protected area will each take 10 workshops about marine debris and solid waste.  These workshops will include theory as well as practice through activities such as beach clean-ups, classification of litter, creation of school gardens with recycled plastic and experiments about its characteristics and rate of degradation.    The ultimate aim is for each school to become 100% plastic free.

Voting has ended
Surfers Against Sewage

Nominated by:

SAS Coastal Environmental Regional Reps, UK

Website: https://www.sas.org.uk

The aim of this project is to work with communities across the UK to rid our oceans & beaches of plastic pollution. To do this Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) will train up to 175 volunteers over two residential weekends to act as Regional Representatives for its coastline. Each year these amazing volunteers will organise over 350 beach cleans, remove up to 30 tonnes of plastic pollution from the UK’s beaches and engage over 10,000 local community volunteers. They will deliver environmental education talks at beach cleans to community groups, businesses, schools and universities encouraging everyone to go “Plastic Free”. Working together, plastic pollution will be removed from beaches, people will be taught about the damaging effects it has on habitats and species and stop it getting there in the first place.  By working with communities, businesses & local government the project aims to have “175 Plastic Free Communities” committed to reducing single use plastics.

Voting has ended
Scalloped Hammerhead

Nominated by:

Sharks: Umbrella Species for Coral Reef Restoration, Philippines

Website: http://www.lamave.org

Arena Reef and Cavili Island are isolated reef systems in the Sulu Sea inhabited by 600 people, all of whom are dependent on marine resources for sustenance and livelihoods. Both reefs are under increasing pressure from human activities and are currently exposed to intensive fishing and destructive anchoring from both local and transient vessels. The reef and lagoon ecosystems are critical habitat areas for numerous endangered species including green turtle, hawksbill turtle, napoleon wrasse and large schools of iconic scalloped hammerhead yet no protective measures are currently in place for these threatened species. This project will track the movements of grey reef, tiger and hammerhead sharks using acoustic technology and use this information to design the boundaries of a shark sanctuary. Local fishermen will receive training in shark research techniques and 4 of them will become ‘Shark Wardens’ and certified as dive guides. To prevent coral destruction from anchoring boat, at least 8 mooring buoys will be strategically installed throughout both reef systems allowing local vessels and tour boats safe access to the reef. Once the sanctuary is in place, local community members will be employed as marine park rangers and sea wardens to monitor activities, ensure maintenance of the sea moorings and manage the collection of conservation fees. This will provide alternative livelihood opportunities for former fishermen in the advent of growing dive tourism in the area. Education of the islands kids and adults through school programs and community events, will augment community knowledge about the conservation status of shark species and shift local perceptions of sharks into a positive light.

Voting has ended
If you are an individual who loves the great outdoors and would like to support our projects, please click the donate button below. During 2017, all money donated will fund tree planting in Nepal as part of our 2 Million Tree Project.
The funding is enabling us to repair a damaged section of the iconic Three Peaks long distance footpath and restore an area of internationally important upland habitat. Voting for our project was a simple but highly effective way for our supporters to show how strongly they felt about improving access and protecting the landscape of this wonderful area. Thank you , EOCA!
Don Gamble, Yorkshire Dales Millenium Trust