A group of 18-20 year olds, who live on Mo’orea in the Islands of Tahiti, have taken it upon themselves to translate their passion for the water and marine life all around them into affirmative action. While the Islands are home to an abundance of marine wildlife, and the oceans are crystal clear, predictions are that by 2050 things could be very different.
Calling themselves The Coral Gardeners, the young adults are addressing the issue of the deterioration of the health of our oceans and, having grown up on Mo’orea, have seen the changes on the coral reef changes firsthand. All surfers, freedivers, and fishermen – and with salt water running through their veins – the group aims to change the future, starting with The Islands’ reefs.
Through conferences with the general public, visitors, and schools, The Coral Gardeners educate adults and children of all ages about the coral’s health and what they’re doing to restore the reef surrounding The Islands. They plant healthy coral fragments back onto the reef to encourage growth and to rebuild habitats. The idea is to transplant coral cuttings into threatened areas of the reef, which will help to recreate the reef environment so that marine wildlife can prosper and strengthen the health of the surrounding ocean.
Anyone, from anywhere in the world, can adopt a piece of coral that The Coral Gardeners will replant and take care of until it can survive and flourish on it its own. Already supported by well known ambassadors such as surfer Teiva Joyeux and Olympic swimming champion Florent Manaudou, from just AUD$40 individuals can help to restore the Coral Gardeners to help the Mo’orea coral reef.
As the largest and most complex ecosystem on the planet, coral reefs are rich habitats and are home to more than 25% of marine life, including over 4,000 species of fish, 700 species of coral, and thousands of organisms. Not only of enormous value to the ocean, coral reefs provide humans with food, jobs, protection from storms, flooding and erosion, and offer huge opportunities for biomedical research.
Explore The Coral Gardeners on Instagram.
TOP IMAGE: Moorea’s Coral Gardeners/Uli Kunz