Basking in saltwater before I could even walk, I was always well versed by the qualities of the ocean and the coral reefs. They have given me everything in my life: the waves I surf, the food I eat and even the oxygen I breathe. They hold a very important place in my perception of things…
Coral Gardeners is working to restore valuable coral reef ecosystems by rescuing coral fragments, planting them in a garden to grow, and then repopulate coral reef ecosystems with healthy coral. They focus on coral species that have proven to be resistant to climate change and warming temperatures.
The founder of Coral Gardeners started by planting broken corals he found, in the ocean in front of his house. The corals grew, as did an idea; and Coral Gardeners was born. A beautiful example of one person making a difference!
Many people feel helpless and disconnected from the ocean, the reefs, and the damage being done. Coral Gardeners gives people an opportunity to “adopt a super coral” personally or as a gift; offering a way for those far from the ocean to contribute to its protection. With 21,000 corals adopted, Coral Gardeners is making a difference, one coral at a time!
The core of our work is built around coral reef restoration. Every day, our restoration team jumps in the water to monitor coral reefs, the coral nurseries, or to plant corals. The aim is to restore abundance and biodiversity, increase coral reef resilience, and identify coral species that have a better chance at surviving global warming.
Yet, we realized in our early days that reef restoration could be leveraged as an incredible awareness tool. We tell the story of the reef by sharing our restoration work, and also by promoting the beauty and interconnectedness of coral reef ecosystems. We want to spark a passion in our following that inspires change.
In 2020, we also asserted the potential of innovation and technology for coral reef restoration. Cutting-edge technology such as artificial intelligence, smart sensors and underwater cameras will help our restoration team improve their methods, the reliability of their monitoring and their understanding of the reef ecosystem. These technologies will also connect people from all around the world to the reef.
Our work is important for us, our families and our friends. Coral reefs provide food, income and protection from storms and floods. We are not alone – we are 500 million people directly depending on coral reefs alongside 25% of marine life relying on it to survive. Coral reefs are the foundations of a healthy ocean, which produces over half of the oxygen we all breathe.
If the reef dies, all of it would collapse. Scientists estimate that coral reefs will be condemned by 2050, unless action is taken now.
Human activities represent a major threat to coral reefs, from warming climate to pollution and many other destructive practices. Climate change increases the frequency of heat waves, water acidity and storms, which can eventually lead to corals’ death.
We need to act now.