Help us reach our goal of raising $10,000 for the design and creation of a world-class artificial coral reef!
WHY ARE CORAL REEFS IMPORTANT?
Apart from restoring natural beauty, having healthy coral reefs are important for many reasons!
The global loss of coral reefs threatens to wipe out various ecologically and commercially important species. Artificial reefs can help combat this loss by providing the habitat and feeding grounds that many reef-dependent species need to survive, which will help to preserve an area’s biodiversity.
INCREASING FISH STOCKS
By providing a safe refuge for juvenile fish to settle, artificial reefs can enhance fish populations, which in turn benefits local fishing communities by ensuring an ongoing source of food and income.
PROVIDING HABITAT COMPLEXITY
Various reef creatures rely on good habitat complexity (tunnels, holes, overhangs, caves) to escape predators. Artificial reefs can be designed to increase the habitat complexity of an area that may have been degraded by intense storms or destructive fishing practises, thus providing much-needed habitat for the survival of these reef species.
HOW DO ARTIFICIAL CORAL REEFS WORK?
An artificial reef is a human-made underwater structure, typically built for the purpose of promoting marine life in areas that lack natural biodiversity or have experienced habitat loss. Within hours of sinking an artificial reef, small coral reef fish move into their new home, initiating a parade of marine life over several months. The hard structure of an artificial reef is slowly colonised by soft corals, sponges, plants and barnacles. Small coral reef fish will soon have new neighbours as snapper and grouper take residence, whilst nearby sand sediments come to life with sea stars, sand dollars and other exciting invertebrate species.
HOW DO DONATIONS HELP?
Creating artificial reefs is not as simple as throwing some wooden, metal or concrete structures in the water. Care needs to be taken to ensure that the design, materials, construction and placement of the artificial reef does not negatively impact surrounding natural habitats. As such, we are prototyping 6 different 'reef pod’ designs to find the ones that work best in our beloved marine reserve. Having achieved this, we will then deploy 25+ individual ‘pods’ throughout 2019. Donations received will directly support our scientific investigation, in addition to funding the creation and installation of our first 25 reef pods. You will be actively involved in making the coral reefs in our Song Saa Marine Reserve healthier and more biodiverse.