This category contains those projects looking to conserve threatened habitats including oceans, freshwater lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands.
Please read though the details of the projects looking for your vote, and then select the one you would like to receive funding from EOCA this year. A difficult choice as they are all very worthwhile projects!


Looking For Your Support

Conserving Grey Crowned Cranes with local communities and gorilla ecotourists, Rwanda

Africa’s Endangered Grey Crowned Cranes are the fastest declining crane species in the world, due to habitat loss, illegal trade in chicks for pets, and reduced breeding success due to human disturbance while nesting. Rugezi Marsh supports 30% of Rwanda’s Grey Crowned Cranes, yet even here, they have virtually disappeared as a breeding species because some of the over 300,000 people neighbouring the marsh harvest grass from it illegally, disturbing the cranes. In return for not harvesting grass from the marsh, the International Crane Foundation/Endangered Wildlife Trust Partnership will work with two communities to protect 2,000 hectares of it by training and equipping 20 bird guides and promoting the marsh and its cranes as a destination to ecotourists who pass nearby on their way to see Rwanda’s famous gorillas. Napier Grass will also be provided for animal food in return for not harvesting grass from the marsh, which will reduce disturbance to breeding cranes, CO2 release from exposed marshland soil, and erosion from hillsides that clogs up the marsh. Mattresses will also be provided as an alternative to grass harvesting for bedding for 40 households, again reducing human presence and disturbance in the wetland.

Voting has ended

Making the (sea) grass greener for wildlife, local communities and tourists, Bali.

Seagrass plays a key role in the ocean carbon sequestration, whilst also providing vital habitats for vulnerable and commercially important species, but has declined worldwide, mostly due to poor water quality and physical damage. North Bali Reef Conservation will work with the local community to replant seagrass over 2 hectares in Penimbangan Beach, north Bali. The project will also create a marine protected area around the site, restricting boat anchoring and destructive fishing techniques as a minimum. The restoration site is close to known dugong and green turtle habitats, and will provide these species with important feeding grounds. This area is also being developed as an ecotourism destination and the project will work with local marine education institutions, as well as eco-resorts/ hotels to ensure enthusiasts such as kayakers / divers can safely enjoy the restored biodiversity. The project will also run weekly educational sessions with two local schools to educate local children about marine conservation.

Voting has ended

Marine Resource-Conservation Initiative, Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society has been working with rural communities for 25 years promoting a new paradigm for biodiversity conservation by bridging ecosystem protection with sustainable economic development. The Society will work with fishing communities in four villages in the Kalpitiya Peninsula of Sri Lanka, which is important for reptiles, sea grass, mangroves, whales and dolphins, coral and fish. However, due to poor education, poverty and short-term profit plans, the community uses about 5 million plastic bottles each year to help roll their boats in and out of the water, which are then left to pollute the environment after one use. Plastic gets entangled in the root systems of mangroves and seagrass beds, accelerating the destruction of mangroves and seagrass beds in the lagoon and along the coast. This project will provide 100 reusable boat beach rollers to the target fishing community as an alternative to bottles, conserve existing mangroves and establish nurseries to plant 10 hectares with an additional 50,000 mangroves. Awareness will be built with the fishing communities and marine environmental clubs in 21 schools, impacting 12,000 school children, will be established. A sustainable ecotourism program will provide economic incentives to value their marine ecosystems.

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The New Oases of Life, Czech Republic

Nature and biodiversity in the Czech Republic has suffered due to the cultivation of monocultural forests, drainage of land, intensive agriculture and bark beetle infestation. This project by Cmelák focuses on the creation of new biodiversity hotspots in the intensively used landscapes. In Liberec, the 13 year old New Virgin Forest project, is turning spruce monocultures into a natural, wild forest. Some spruce will be felled and the wood left in place for insects and to improve the soil. 10,000 native woody saplings including endangered yew, will be planted in the open spaces. In the wetlands of Ceská Ves, landfill sites are being transformed into wildlife-rich habitats. 20 new ponds will be created around which 1,500 seedlings of endangered species of wetland plants will be planted, involving between 150 and 500 volunteers. Both sites are well visited and the project includes new trails and a birds hide.

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Blue renewable energy to restore coral reefs, Indonesia

Website: https://giliecotrust.com

Gili Eco Trust has been replenishing and restoring damaged coral reefs in Gili Matra marine park in Lombok, Indonesia, using different restorative methods for almost 2 decades. Biorocks have shown remarkable success, enhancing coral growth and increasing reef resilience. Using low voltage electricity, usually from main grid or solar panels, this project will use a uniquely designed ocean turbine to use marine currents as a renewable source of energy. A hectare of Biorock will be installed, with coral fragments attached to aid growth, recovery and ultimately replenish fish stocks and biodiversity. An underwater art gallery made from repurposed glass bottles, designed by Canadian artist Ben Von-Wong will be installed in shallower water not only to accomodate further habitat but provide a unique attraction for snorkelers and divers to boost eco-touristic activities and therefore income in the area, to experience marine life renewal in action and take an extraordinary underwater selfie.

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If you are an individual who loves the great outdoors and would like to support our projects, please click the donate button below.
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