Oceanic change transpires over decades, observed but rarely stimulating swift action. Increasingly extreme climatic events are catalysing drastic changes to life as we know it on an unprecedented scale. How we respond matters.
This is a story about revitalising dying coral reefs, about Hurricane Dorian’s utter devastation, the herculean efforts by Bahamians to restore communities after the biblical storm, and the urgent need for entrepreneurs, innovators, scientists, investors, and locals to rebuild the ecosystems that sustain both biodiversity and humanity.
Half of the world’s coral reefs are dead. More than 90 per cent are on track to die by 2050. We’re experiencing an ecological catastrophe, but even if you’re not a nature-lover, their fate matters to you.
Found in over one hundred nations, reefs are foundational ecosystems for societal well-being, sustaining up to one billion people’s livelihoods, supporting critical fisheries and 25 per cent of marine life, powering coastal economies reliant on reef-based recreation, and sheltering coastlines from storms by reducing wave energy on average by an astounding 97 per cent.
Robust ecosystems both preserve and save lives, and after experiencing Dorian’s fury I can’t express enough how we are all made safer by the natural seawalls of mangrove forests and coral reefs. Their death threatens not only wondrous and magical marine life, but the sustainability of communities, nations, and global industries.
That’s why I decided to become what I am today, a coral farmer. Together with my friend Gator Halpern, we founded Coral Vita – a mission-driven start-up that grows coral to restore dying reefs. Using a land-based coral farming business model, we integrate methods developed by leading scientists to grow reefs up to 50 times faster, while strengthening their resilience to climate change threats.
By selling restoration to coastal developers, insurers, governments, resorts, and other customers whose prosperity and commercial viability is underpinned by the existence of coral reefs, we believe that we can galvanise a self-sustaining marketplace to protect the ecosystems that sustain us all.
Coral Vita: Rebuilding Reefs & Helping Bahamians Recover From Hurricane Dorian