SEVENSEAS Marine Conservation & Travel Issue 15, August 2016 - Page 75

place before planting the next one. It’s ironic that just like I feel that these students are my ducklings, many of them feel like the seedlings are their ducklings that they have been caring for during the past 8 months. The students have taken ownership over these propagules, which I hope will leave a lasting imprint of the conservation of mangroves in their minds.

After the program, individual students thanked me for bringing this project to the school while others explained where they were going to university. One student told me that this project inspired her to study science and that she will be attending university next year to pursue an environmental science degree. I was completely touched by the students’ openness and gratitude.

When I look back at the entire project, the planting the mangrove propagules is symbolic. We literally planted mangrove seedlings to restore an area where they have been removed. Throughout this project, I feel that we planted much more than seedlings. We planted the seed of knowledge so that these students can bring about awareness of restoration and conservation of their mangroves for many generations to come.