On June 26, the USAID Environmental Restoration of the Aral Sea Activity started the first watering cycle of 62,500 black saxaul seedlings at “Forest Oasis” site in the northern region of the dried bottom of the Aral Sea.Working in partnership with the Executive Directorate of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea of the Republic of Kazakhstan, trucks are delivering 316 tons of water to the Oasis, providing five liters of water per seedling to help the plants overcome the current drought season and high temperatures. These initial waterings will continue over the next several weeks. Through 2023, the saxaul seedlings will be watered four times a year to help them develop strong root systems to reach the deep groundwater sources in this area.When mature, the saxaul will help minimize sand and dust storms that impact human health in the area and provide valuable ground cover that will allow native plants and animals to flourish.The Environmental Restoration of the Aral Sea Activity supports the Government of Kazakhstan’s efforts to restore the Aral Sea ecosystem for its human communities. By using the innovative approaches, the Activity contributes to improving the environmental conditions and socio-economic stability of the region. An additional benefit of the “forest oasis” created will be the increase of plant and soil carbon sequestration to mitigate the effects of climate change.