Bronwyn Larner’s Diary
Tidal Forests of Kenya

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June 10, 2009: Team Briefing

In the last few weeks I have been preparing for my adventure to Kenya. I have been to the travel doctor twice now for various immunisations, with one more visit to go. I have obtained visas for Kenya and Tanzania (why Tanzania you ask? Since I am going all that way to Kenya, I will spend some extra time in east Africa and go on a safari to the Masai Mara and Serengeti). I have purchased a Lonely Planet guidebook to familiarise myself with the country and culture. A few weeks ago Gustavo (a fellow expeditioner based in Brussels) organised a phone conference between the 2009 Tidal Forests of Kenya volunteers. Gustavo, Tim (from Suriname), Ray (from England) and I introduced ourselves and discussed the trip, exchanging tips on what to bring based on other volunteers’ experience.

I have also been reading up on the project. We will be based at Gazi, which is 55 km south of Mombasa on the coast. Gazi Bay is surrounded by mangrove forests which is used by the locals as a fishing ground and wood source. The degradation on the mangrove forests has resulted in erosion and a declining fishery resources. This is the fifth year of the mangrove research project. We will be measuring the physico-chemical and biological properties in the sediment to investigate the recovery of the mangrove forest after restoration. We will also be monitoring tree growth and survival and faunal colonization and planting new tree plots. We will also be working on carbon sequestration experiments to determine what becomes of the carbon stored below the surface in harvested forests and how to encourage new plants to grow in these harvested regions. This will help manage the sustainability of the mangrove resources in this region.

The more I read the more excited I am getting about the expedition, but for now I have to stay focused on my work, try not to daydream too much (well, no daydreaming in work time anyway!) as I still have a month and a half to go.  Until my next entry, Kwaheri! (that’s Swahili for goodbye)

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