Scientists estimate that all of the world’s coral will be dead by 2050. A group of divers, scientists and environmentalists in Tahiti have launched a project to combat this grim prediction. And you can get involved too.
About the project
The Coral Gardeners Project aims to harvest, restore and replant sick coral to bring vitality back to the world’s oceans. The idyllic Tahitian island of Moorea looks immaculate from above, but below the turquoise surface, it is dying a slow death.
“Coral reefs are the ocean’s lungs; they absorb a big part of the CO2 rejection and transform it into the oxygen we breathe”, Coral Gardeners Project Founder & CEO, Titouan says.
The Coral Gardeners Project holds conferences and school visits to educate people about corals reefs, why they’re important, and the threats they face.
They also run reef restoration projects. The island of Moorea in French Polynesia, Titouan’s home, has suffered severe coral bleaching in the past few years.
The Coral Gardeners Project is attempting to restore parts of the reef by replanting healthy coral fragments.
“The idea is to transplant coral cuttings into threatened areas of the reef. Once those little coral fragments grow, they will help recreate the reef environment and aquatic life will be able to return, and strengthen the new reef.”
Who are the Coral Gardeners?
The divers, also called Coral Gardeners, are the face of the project. These young locals from Moorea and surrounding Tahitian islands have grown up on the reef. A huge team of volunteers also work behind the scenes.
The project is scientifically backed by three accredited scientists who specialise in marine biology and ecosystem protection. Another 10 staff organise events, host tours and spread the word about the Coral Gardeners Project.
How can I get involved?
You can adopt a piece of coral for 25 Euros and buy a cool Coral Gardeners T-shirt for 39 Euros to wear around as proof of your contribution to the reefs. You get to give your corals a name too. Once the coral has been rejuvenated and replanted, you’ll receive a certificate with its exact coordinates.
You can even visit you coral if you ever find yourself in French Polynesia. The team will take you out on the reef to see your act of kindness in real life. The Coral Gardeners team also invite volunteers to help them harvest, restore and replant the corals. You can register your interest on the website.
I was blessed with parents who really saw the value in travel. After our first family trip abroad to Thailand, I became obsessed. I was hungry for anything new and different. I yearned to be in the middle of a city on the other side of the world with a suitcase in one hand and google maps in the other, stumbling around trying to figure out where I was going; literally and spiritually.