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On Friday the 12th of June, 2015 Projects Abroad joined forces with MAP staff at EPIC site 2. Projects Abroad arrived with a group of 15 volunteers with all hailing from Europe and Canada. There was a constant drizzle all day and nice cloud cover to keep the weather from becoming too hot, making for good working conditions.
Several objectives were on the list for that day with the first being trash pickup. The constant fluctuation of the tides brings trash that gets caught in the site area including large debris and trash, which is mainly plastic. MAP team member, Bobby, worked on repairing the fishnet fencing to keep goats. The second half of the day was spent repairing and rebuilding one side of the pond wall from erosion.
Removing trash and floating wooden debris that has accrued in the pond do to a damaged net over the water flow entrance.
Removing large debris from the pond will help protect sprouting seedlings from being damaged during tidal fluctuations.
Half way through the day lightning and thunder rolled in forcing us to take a hiatus from our activities. We used this time to discuss mangrove conservation and restoration techniques as well as mangrove ecology.
Stamping down the tidal wall reinforcement mud so that the high tide does not go over the wall and erode it.
Washing and cleaning the equipment makes a great end to the day.
Later in the day once the tide had gone to its lowest point and the trash and large debris had been removed we took a series of time-lapse photos for the site. These photos are important for monitoring site restoration progress and having picture evidence of what techniques have been working and what needs improvement. We have standardized the photos for the site and created reference points by placing pieces of PVC pipe in the ground to take pictures from, so that we may have consistency in our site documentation.
Time Lapse photo showing angle “A”, these photos are an easy, cheap and time efficient method of site monitoring.
Key Messages: Cleaning and maintaining the site of debris and trash not only helps protect the seedlings from the constant tidal fluctuations, soil and water contamination but also kept our time-lapse photos looking presentable and set a good example for the local people that trash in the environment should not be a common sight. By adding another mud layer to the pond retaining wall we were able to combat erosion for the time being and continue to control the water level of the pond. Controling the water level in the pond will encourage mud crab colonize the site and help create a more natural habitat for mangrove regeneration.
On April 10th, fourteen volunteers from Project Abroad arrived at EPIC Site #1 on Koh Klang to help local villagers with the digging of several new small canals to improve hydrology. Volunteers came from a range of different countries including France, Spain, Germany, USA and Denmark.
Objective: Teach the new Project Abroad volunteers about the importance of mangroves and get more local people involved in the restoration of this site. The overall aim of this day was to to dig new canals in order to improve the hydrology at EPIC Site #1, allowing more water to spread across the site at high tide and enabling water to easily leave the site at low tide. A group of volunteers cleared a stretch of beach where there is the potential for a new beach forest planting to take place to help reestablish the bio-shield from tropical storms.
The volunteers made their way down to the site to be introduced, by Jim and Ning, to the local people that they would be working with.
Those collecting litter worked quickly and soon had collected this much trash from the beach area of site 1. They were then joined the rest of the group on the site to assist with the hand digging of channels.
Work began on site, we were lucky with the weather in the morning as a cool breeze helped to keep everyone from getting too hot.
Work progressed well and the channels were becoming visible, with great teamwork by all!
By the afternoon, the weather had changed making it very hot and the work much more difficult. Everyone carried on and soon the work was completed.
By the end of the day volunteers were tired buy happy that they had successfully completed the work!
Key Message: When digging channels on site it’s important to carry the spoil away from the channel so it doesn’t quickly erode back blocking water flow. The channels are also “snake like” imitating natural creeks, wider at the connection, narrowing as they slope upgrade. The spoil is dumped in piles creating islands but not too high so seedlings could colonize these islets. It is great to have the involvement of local people as they are able to take ownership of the project and the future protection of the site is important.
Project Abroad volunteers visit EPIC sites on Koh Klang
On 13th March 2015, a group of international volunteers from Project Abroad gave up their time to help with some EPIC site restoration work. The main objective of the day was to do some hydrological improvement on EPIC Site #1, clear the litter from EPIC Site #2 and install the monitoring plots at the sites which will be used over the next few years to monitor the progress of the restorations.
The group was split into two with one half working on the hydrological improvement at Site 1 and the other half worked on litter pick-up. MAP decided to reward the volunteers by taking them on a boat trip through the mangroves channels of Koh Klang so they could appreciate what a health mangrove ecosystem looks like. Our boatsman was Bang Non, a local conservation leader, who is very much involved in the EPIC project and a member of the project’s Advisory Committee.
Key Message: Hand digging channels to improve hydrology is very hard labour work which often needs on-going adjustments due to erosion or channels are not constructed deep and wide enough.
Work Continues on the CBEMR site at Klong Kum village on Klang Island, Krabi
With the help from Project Abroad, an international volunteer overseas program with a marine and coastal project based in Krabi, and more than a few local community members, work continued on the hydrology restoration of an abandoned pond on Klang Island in the Krabi River estuary. The combined efforts of the multi-national team using shovels and broad hoes effectively continued the work of digging canals through the center of the pond for tidal water access without the use of heavy machinery.
Jim Enright, MAP Asia Coordinator, spent some time with our friends at Projects Abroad showing them around the site, introducing them to mangroves and wetland ecology. He explained the mangrove restoration demonstration site is part of an international project called Ecosystems Projecting Infrastructure and Communities (EPIC) supported by the German Government’s International Climate Initiative (ICI) which is promoting Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) or Eco Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR). This was actually MAP’s first time to work in partnership with Project Abroad in the field and the newcomers took no time at all jumping right into the work, plenty willing to get their hands dirty. In addition to the hydrology restoration, the volunteers combed the site, making sure to collect trash to be taken off island.
With the sheer number of workers combined with their enthusiasm, the work progressed more swiftly than anticipated and clear skies, atypical for this time of year, made sure there were no interruptions. An entire canal running from one edge of the site, through the center, to the other edge was just about completed and careful attention was made that it would meet the goals of the hydrology plan. This canal was specifically designed to maximize mangrove growth. This means that specific consideration was paid to the elevation and width to make sure tidal waters would efficiently flow through and recede as to ensure the mangroves would enjoy the proper ecological environment.
The next steps to be taken on Klang Island will be to build another canal for the site. This one will be wider and deeper to support tidal flushing, good drainage and support silvofisheries for local harvesting and sustainable economic development. Another task will be grading the slopes of the pond banks to increase the area of mangrove habitat.