Scientists estimate that all 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.
Snorkeling is a hugely popular activity in Tahiti, but it may not be for much longer.
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.
The Coral Gardeners at work. Photo: Coral Gardeners
“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 coral reefs, why they are important, and the threats they face.
Information session run by the Coral Gardeners. Photo: Coral Gardeners
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 trying 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.”
The team hopes to restore the reef by replanting healthy corals in damaged areas. Photo: 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.
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 will receive a certificate with its exact coordinates.
A young, enthusiastic crew of ocean adventures. Photo: Coral Gardeners The project is scientifically backed by three accredited scientists who specialize in marine biology and ecosystem protection. Another 10 staff organize events, host tours, and spread the word about the Coral Gardeners Project.
Get your official adoption certificate. Photo: Coral Gardeners
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 invites volunteers to help them harvest, restore and replant the corals. You can register your interest on the Website.