The MaRINE Project will be based in the Kalpitiya Peninsular in the Northwestern Province in the Puttalam District. The project will focus on both brackish water and marine ecosystems in an effort to understand the synergies, correlations and codependency between these two environments to make Kalpitiya one of the most biologically diverse marine ecosystems in Sri Lanka. The Kalpitiya-Karaitive-Puttalam Coastal Wetlands Complex includes the Puttalam Lagoon, which is the largest inland brackish water body in Sri Lanka. The Puttalam Lagoon was identified as a wetland of international importance and listed in the Directory of Asian Wetlands in 1989.
This vast combined marine and lagoon ecosystem and region is home to a rich biodiversity, culture and history. The coastal waters are teeming with marine mammals, fish, marine reptiles, and crustaceans. There are bar reefs just off the coast and a chain of remote off shore islands unique in their own way. In the lagoon there are huge mud crabs, tough barramundi, quite and inoffensive dugongs, and the colorful pink dolphins and much more. Kalpitiya is critical stopover for migratory birds along the Asian Flyway and during the winter season the coastal beaches, mud flats, and lagoon is a quivering flitting flying mass of avian visitors – a birders paradise.