Roy R. “Robin” Lewis III has been studying or restoring coastal habitats for nearly half a century. A wetlands ecologist and president of Lewis Environmental Services, Inc., he specializes in the ecology, management, restoration and creation of fresh and saltwater marshes, mangrove forests, forested freshwater forests, and seagrass meadows. Robin has applied his expertise to hundreds of projects
During our years working in the mangroves of Indonesia, we have come across several instances of fisherfolk communities eating mangrove fruits and leaves for subsistence purposes. In 1999, in order to discover new recipes, a study tour was arranged by MAP-Indonesia to send a small women’s co-op from the Coastal Community Resource Center in Tiwoho, North Sulawesi to Balikpapan, East Kalimantan. The Kelompok Kreasi Mangrove Lestari Balikpapan (Mangrove Creation/ConservationGroup) eagerly shared several new recipes for cakes and fish with the Sulawesi contigency.
Blue Forests’ video consultant Mohammad Ridwan often travels into the field with us. In June 2015, he brought his skills to Blue Forests’ trip to Tanekeke Island, where he helped elementary school students of Balangdatu village discover the magic of digital video making, and learn some technical skills in this highly marketable field.
Tambak’ is the common Indonesian name for a brackish water fish pond, classically supporting a polyculture of milkfish (Chanos chanos) and brackish water shrimp. There is historical evidence of 400 year old tambak in South Sulawesi, naturally constructed in the lower meanders of river estuaries. Not until 1964, in response to increasing demand from Japan for shrimp (a result of post-World War II affluence) did large-scale expansion and intensification of culture occur in tambak. In 1984/85, the Indonesian central government developed policies to ramp up expansion and intensification, through the INTAM program, which targeted twelve provinces in Indonesia. Much of the increase in tambak coverage took place in mangrove forests, as both mangroves and tambak require tidal flooding and adequate drainage.