The Local Ocean Trust is a non-profit organisation committed to the protection of Kenya's marine environment.

Local Ocean Trust's origins began in 1997 when residents became concerned for the sea turtle population in Watamu, Kenya, after seeing a dramatic increase in activities the threatened the safety of nesting turtles and their eggs.  Volunteers began to conduct beach patrols to make sure that nesting turtles were safe from poaching and that their eggs were left untouched.  This original conservation initiative, named Watamu Turtle Watch, grew to include the Turtle Bycatch Release Programme and the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.

It was soon realised that a wider approach was needed to effectively tackle the marine conservation challenges in and around Watamu.  As a result the Environmental Education Programme that teaches local school children about the importance of the marine environment, and the Community Outreach Programme that works together with local community groups to explore ways to reduce reliance on marine resources, were launched.

In addition to all this, Local Ocean Trust conducts mangrove restoration work, beach monitoring and thousands of visitors come to the HQ each year to learn about turtles and the ocean.  Through the Eco Visitor programme, people are given the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of Local Ocean Trust's work.

Diani Turtle Watch is Local Ocean Trust's latest programme and was started in response to a public outcry from local residents in Diani to protect nesting turtles on the south coast of Kenya,

Local Ocean Trust is the leading sea turtle conservation organisation in Kenya and has protected over 700 sea turtle nests, conducted over 14,500 turtle releases and provided treatment for over 400 sick and injured sea turtles so far.

To learn more, donate or volunteer check out: www.watamuturtles.com


Deepa Shah