By David Vasquez —

The murmur of waves mingled with the teenagers’ laughter as they set their pails down in the white coral sands of Diani Beach. Kevin Lunzalu was satisfied with the contents of each brightly colored bucket—plastic bottles and debris, which unfortunately adorn this coastal area. Diani Beach is one of Kenya’s most popular tourist destinations, but garbage from nearby hotels and drifting marine plastics have negatively impacted the beach and the sea turtles that nest there. As a recent recipient of WCN’s Scholarship Program, Kevin is engaging the local community to make Kenya’s coasts hospitable for wildlife again.

A beach cleanup event organized by Kevin Lunzalu

WCN Scholars pursue field experience and academic degrees to establish themselves as effective conservation leaders in their home countries. Kevin is using his scholarship to complete his master’s in Coastal Science & Policy. His research focuses on how marine pollution affects sea turtle hatchlings along Kenya’s coast, which will inform local policy to better safeguard their habitat. WCN proudly invests in students like Kevin, whose enthusiasm and expertise are shaping the trajectory of conservation. By supporting their development, WCN is empowering emerging conservationists to become tomorrow’s leaders in their respective countries and shepherd the future of endangered wildlife.

This article was originally posted on Wildlife Conservation Network on July 18, 2022.