It’s a cold, hard truth: coral reefs are dying. The world’s most diverse marine ecosystem has been suffering quietly under the blue ocean for many years. But now, the damage is far too worse for us to not take notice.
Overfishing, pollution and climate change are just some of the biggest culprits, as they cause seawater temperature to rise resulting in coral bleaching. The last 30 years has seen the death of 50% of the world’s coral reefs and up to 90% may die in the next century including 29 reefs with World Heritage sites.
But it’s not too late just yet, as these coral reef restoration projects prove to us that we can still do something to save these precious reefs:
Indonesia: Pur Coral
The lack of adequate financial support has always been a huge challenge for coral reef restoration projects. Luckily, several businesses have been more actively involved in environmental causes offering financial help to make restoration projects possible.
EAU THERMALE AVENE, a French dermo-cosmetics company partnered with Pur Project in creating Pur Coral, a restoration project aimed at saving the marine ecosystems in Pejarakan, Bali that were destroyed by cyanide and dynamite fishing. The project that started in 2016 has already planted 1,855 corals and immersed 24 artificial reef structures underwater.
Seychelles: Reef Rescuers
The Reef Rescuers coral reef restoration project on Cousin Island in Seychelles is proof that small actions can go far if done together. The project that started in 2010 has already planted 24,000 corals and grew 40,000 corals in underwater nurseries, all from donations and support from divers and other people who want to help save these precious reefs.
Maldives may be one of the most beautiful islands in the world, but under water, its coral reefs are still dying. But with the help of a technology developed by industrial designer Alex Goad, the once humongous task of preserving corals on the island and around the world may now be made a lot easier.
The Modular Artificial Reef Structure (MARS) project has been working on using 3D printing to create rigid skeletons where corals can be planted and raised. The first reef was submerged last August 2018 on Summer Island, an area that had no coral reef before. Once completed, MARS will be a huge help in the preservation of coral reefs around the world.
Finally, there’s the RangerBot, a robot reef protector created by researchers from Queensland University of Technology in Australia. This state-of-the-art technology was designed with one of the most important coral reef ecosystems in mind: the Great Barrier Reef.
The RangerBot is capable of searching for Crown-of-Thorns Starfish that can destroy corals and injecting them with poison. The protector can also map underwater areas and monitor the quality of seawater and the health of corals, which are very important in preserving them.
These coral reef restoration projects are definitely an inspiration to the rest of the world. At the end of the day, it’s never too late to do something for the planet, whether it’s in our small ways or the huge steps taken by people who made it a mission to preserve these coral reefs.