The Reef Life Foundation is teaming up with Mother of Corals in Panama for a comprehensive approach to coral restoration.
Our site in Bocas del Toro, Panama, will serve as (1) a biodiversity hotspot, (2) an underwater classroom, and (3) a critical research area. Oceanite, our substrate, is the ideal home for wild coral spawn and has proven to increase biodiveristy by 400% in only 14 months. The site will also serve as an underwater classroom for hotel guests to learn about the importance of these critical ecosystems to the planet's overall health. They will even help increase coral growth by planting their own coral grown by a local coral nursery. The site will attract most of the island's ecotourism, allowing us to assess the use of artificial reefs as a restoration method and eco-friendly option for ecotourism.
Additionally, the Reef Life Foundation will provide fun programming for local schools that teaches kids about their local ecosystem. Kids of all ages will get to go home with a UN Ocean Literacy Certificate. Interested teenagers will be trained as volunteers for coral monitoring to increase their experience in science and foster a love for the ocean.
Everything needed for this project to be a success is already in place: Mother of Corals has built relationships and programming with local partners. Mother of Corals has secured funding to build and monitor their portion of the artificial reef and launch the program. Permits for building the artificial reefs are in hand and we have Oceanite cast and waiting to be shipped.
Funds will be used as follows:
- $20,000 Setting up the reef: shipping Oceanite and hiring local crews to get it safely in the water.
- $42,000 Research: Site assessment before and after Oceanite is deployed. This includes several staff scientists and lab fees to gain insight into water quality and the biodiveristy of microscopic life (the basis of the food web). We will do one site assessment before and two follow up assessment in the following 12 months. This information is critical to future coral restoration projects and openly shared to improve best practices.
- $38,000 Education: We will (1) teach Ocean Literacy workshops in local schools and (2) train teenagers and college students for internships where they gain field experience monitoring the reef, working under the guidance of skilled scientists. We will be able to spend a week visiting numerous classrooms, and the interns will be able to monitor on their own as well as participate in our site assessments. Educational materials will be given to schools for future use with optional teacher trainings at various grade levels.
Want to know more? This video shows the success of our work in the Caribbean at St. Marteen.
These are our wonderful partners, Mother of Corals, training volunteers!
Here is a close up of Oceanite, already covered in life with fish feeding on the reef every 15 seconds. Our eDNA analysis showed a rapid increase in biodiversity that was unprecedented!
Our team installing Oceanite in St. Marteen.
Fundraising team (2)
Salt Lake City, UT
Reef Life Foundation
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