Studying distribution of seagrass , Eluwankulam, Puttalam © kumudini Ekaratne, IUCN, 2012
Determine the effect of environment and substrate characteristics on species diversity and distribution of seagrass communities in Kalpitiya to Thalaimannar in Sri Lanka.
The information on the species composition and distribution pattern of seagrasses communities of the western coast of Sri Lanka is scarce. The main reason is that these ecosystems have not been studied for a long period of time. And the area was not accessible for three decades due to the war and its repercussions. Therefore a scarcity of information about the current situation of the sea grasses exists.
This study focuses on filling the knowledge gap and strengthening the current information base that is essential to manage this ecosystem properly. During the first phase, we identified larger information gaps and ecologically and economically important sea grass ecosystems available along the west coast. The information on the extents, present status, ecological importance and awareness is desperately needed for management strategies. Thus the second phase of the ongoing project is planned to assess this new information gap. Therefore this study will be useful in enhancing knowledge on seagrass in along the west coast (Kalpitiya to Thaleimannar).
Researchers and Coastal planners.
The main challenge was the unexpected rain, wind and thundering which hampered field activities. Heavy rain coupled with the tide, waves and water currents made the lagoon extremely turbid. This compelled field work to be stopped temporarily as the visibility was extremely low and the water became unhealthy to snorkel due to the re suspension of sediments loaded with organic matters.
The knowledge generated was shared/presented:
1) 19th Session of the Sri Lanka Association for Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, 16-17 May, 2913. Colombo, Sri Lanka.
2) 16th Conference of the European Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production (ERSCP) & 7th Conference of the Environmental Management for Sustainable Universities (EMSU), Boğaziçi University, İstanbul, Turkey, 4th -7th June, 2013.
3) Contribution to the National Red List (Ministry of Environment).
4) Data shared with the Marine Environment Protection Authority, Central Environmental Authority and the Coast Conservation Department.
1st Jun 2012 to 31st May 2013