Turquoise Coast Environment Fund – Turkey First Grants

In January 2022, the Turquoise Coast Environment Fund – Turkey announced the first 13 projects it is supporting to protect and regenerate the South and Eastern coasts’ natural ecosystems and biodiversity

Each project supported by TCEF falls into one of the fund’s four main areas of interest: Protecting and Promoting Sustainable Food Systems, Biodiversity Conservation, and Ecosystem Services, and Empowering and Supporting Local NGOs

Ecological restoration & wildlife support after mega-fires in the Mediterranean coasts – ₺ 170,000

2021 & 2022 registered the worst-ever wild fires in Turkey. This project will assess the ecological and wildlife state of the burnt areas and draft a post-fire restoration plan, taking into consideration the post-fire vegetation, wildlife and ecosystem functions.





The Caracal cat is a native species of the region threatened by habitat loss from wildfires

Raising environmental awareness of the Gokçeada salt lake wetland – ₺ 180,000 

More than 71% of the world’s wetlands have been plundered in the last century before their importance was known. With this project, local people, including tourists, will take part in the scientific monitoring of the area, thus understanding the importance of biodiversity by using on-site observations and media.  

Gokçeada salt lake wetland

Climate-resistant and sustainable beekeeping pilot project – ₺ 180,000

Bee pasture is the flora from which honeybees collect nectar, pollen, and bee glue. This project will create a local bee pasture product map, proposing different plants used for bee pasture, and a workshop to bring together the facts and figures on the topic. Local consultations and a feasibility study will culminate in a pilot implementation area.

Act4Species – ₺ 180,000 

The rate of species loss in the Aegean Mediterranean region due to climate change and anthropogenic destruction is increasing.   This project addresses species loss and the reduction of the populations of endemic species through awareness-raising, and ecosystem-based management. 

Civic society engagement for raising awareness

The Mediterranean region of Marmara is a hotspot for marine biodiversity that needs enhanced protection. In order to raise awareness about this threatened jewel, this project will produce a series of interviews and visual materials showcasing the wonders of life below water.

Gorgonian sea fan, Marmara region

Cliffs are our home – ₺ 159,000

Cliffs in the Antalya Falez Coastal Band are home to the critically endangered Mediterranean monk seal. However, as tourist destinations, they also fill with plastic waste and pollution. This project will carry out periodic underwater cleaning by trained volunteers; raise public awareness about marine plastic pollution; and encourage practices of reusing, recycling, reducing, and upcycling.

Cliffs are our home volunteers

Conservation of Kavak Deresi, Bodrum – ₺ 72,000

The Kavak Deresi (Derekoy) is a river of vital importance in the Bodrum Peninsula. This project will produce a 10-minute long documentary – alongside the Bodrum Lokal group – describing the values of Kavakderesi, the threats it faces, and the conservation measures needed to preserve it.

Kavak Deresi river

Plastic pollution awareness among beach users in Antalya – ₺ 179,000 

Plastic pollution levels in Antalya beaches get higher every year, threatening the coastal ecosystem of the Mediterranean. This project aims to clean and protect local public beaches through a series of awareness-raising and media campaigns, and educational activities.


Beach clean-up volunteers

Data collection and conservation of nesting marine turtles –  ₺ 179,500

The coastline of Antalya is an important breeding area for the globally endangered loggerhead and green sea turtles. Data deficiency on the numbers of nests and hatchlings greatly hinders conservation efforts. This project bridges that knowledge gap by monitoring and surveying nesting and hatching activity in the region, while also raising awareness among local communities and tourists.

Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) hatchling

Safeguarding the marine mammals of the Mediterranean – ₺ 179,000

Dolphins of the Mediterranean face a number of threats. This project focuses on the effective conservation and protection of cetaceans in the coastal protected area of Kaş and Kekova, and the unique deep-sea habitats of Finike Sea mounts Special Environmental Protection Area

Bottlenose dolphin

Let Gediz Delta live! – ₺ 180,000 

Gediz Delta is one of the most important wetlands in the Mediterranean basin.  In order to ensure the sustainable management of the Delta, this project aims to increase the awareness of the people of Izmir, local decision-makers, and local civil society about the importance of this ecosystem.

Gediz Delta - a hotspot for biodiversity and important bird breeding ground

Empowering the local communities & NGOs of Gokçeada for the sustainable management of Gokçeada Island – ₺ 178,050

Gökçeada, the biggest island in Turkey and a reservoir of drinking water. However, unsustainable practices are draining and degrading the island’s natural resources. This project works with local stakeholders to sustainably manage them.

Gokçeada Island

Coexistence of nature and culture in the Aegean coasts of Turkey – ₺ 180,000 

Turkey’s great biodiversity is heavily threatened by human activities and climate change. Nevertheless, nature conservation plans and approaches in the region do not always consider and include local communities and cultural practices, which is crucial for developing sustainable responses to the threats. This project focuses on the assessment of bio-cultural values from traditional cultural practices which sustainably coexist with the high biodiversity areas.