We are both incredibly excited and thankful to continue our partnership with SeaTrees - An organization dedicated to restoring and protecting the underwater forests of the ocean.
Our Bali-based crew recently visited Nusa Penida for SeaTrees' coral restoration program, led by Vincent Chalias of Ocean Gardener. Vincent, an experienced coral growth specialist and underwater photojournalist, guided us on an extensive tour, both on land and underwater.
Through our partnership, the project employs 28 local fishermen to restore damaged reef areas caused by tourist activities. These fishermen have witnessed the decline of coral colonies, fish populations, and even the loss of certain species.
During our dives with Vincent, we witnessed a striking contrast between lifeless, rubble-covered reef sections and vibrant, colorful areas teeming with marine life.
Coral reefs play a crucial role in providing sustenance, shelter, and coastal protection for millions of people. Restoring coral reefs will create habitats for over 500 fish species, many of which face extinction, and generate job opportunities for the local fishermen, benefiting their families and communities.
The project crew showcased warm Indonesian hospitality, embracing a friendly and passionate approach to their work. Their smiles and light-hearted jokes added to the enjoyable atmosphere shared with both each other and the assisting tourists.
The project adheres to an organic, plastic-free approach. Local residents utilize cotton ropes and wooden stakes to suspend coral fragments from the seafloor, allowing them to grow and attach in various directions.
To celebrate our successful coral planting and resilience against strong currents, the locals organized an exciting barbecue party on our final night. The crew's skilled spearfisher provided enough fish to feed everyone, complementing the rice, vegetables, and spicy curry prepared by the team. We contributed to the festivities with a case of beer.
As we departed Nusa Penida the next morning, we carried a mix of accomplishment and a slight headache, along with the firm intention to return. We formed new friendships, gained valuable knowledge, and felt gratified by our contribution to coral reef restoration.
Want to learn more? Watch this video we made during our visit!