On the rainy morning of Sunday, the 17th of July 2022, team Grassroute welcomed the Sustera Foundation staff and activists to the new venture to plant Mangrove Saplings jointly. The planting site is located at Ayyampilly, around the Fruit Forest of Mr I.B. Manoj, the Vanamithra award winner 2021. Mr Manoj – a famous environmentalist – was in the news for growing a natural forest in the land adjacent to his house.
Exploring the River Veeranpuzha
The activity started with a boat journey to Veeranpuzha River (the local name for Vembanad Lake) to determine the current status of Mangrove forests on its banks. Mr K.K. Reghuraj, patron and mentor of Grassroute and KUFOS Farm Superindent led the boat journey. All Sustera team and two grassroute members participated in the trip. Earlier on Sunday, July 10th 2022, a team from Grassroute explored the same route in the River Veeranpuzha to find a suitable location for planting Mangrove Saplings. Since the water level was too high, we abandoned the plan.
“I consider this activity as a curtain-raiser of the forthcoming International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem which falls on 26th July. As UNESCO says, mangroves are rare, spectacular and prolific ecosystems on the boundary between land and sea. NGOs and eco-system people should join together to protect it.”— K.K. Reghuraj, Patron, Grassroute & Farm Superindent, KUFOS
“GenRe is the ongoing project of Sustera, and Mangrove restoration activity is being taken up under this. This planting project is just a starter event, and a series of such activities will be announced soon.”— Deepa Ananthapadmanabhan, Co-founder, Sustera
After finishing the trip, we headed to Manoj’s Fruit Forest at Ayyampilly to plant the Mangrove saplings. We had planted 100 saplings of Rhizophora mucronata (Asiatic mangrove) and 500 seeds of Bruguiera gymnorrhiza (Oriental mangrove) around his Fruit Forest.
This is the first joint Mangrove planting project between Grassroute and Sustera. There are many other similar projects that are yet to be announced. Hopefully, before the end of this monsoon season, we can plant as many Mangrove saplings as we can.