Zen Harmony Diving™ and Zen Dive Resorts are creating the “Underwater Garden” – artificial reef project, with the idea of recovering some damaged inflicted to the corals. You may plant your own coral and get monthly updates on its growth rate, supported with photos.
Thriving reefs around the Indonesia are some of the oldest in the world. In fact, Indonesia is part of the famous Coral Triangle, “a global centre of marine biodiversity, is a 6 million km2 area spanning Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands” (WWF). Often called rainforests of the sea, shallow coral reefs form some of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. They occupy less than 0.1% of the world’s ocean surface, about half the area of France, yet they provide a home for at least 25% of all marine species. However, reefs are getting systematically damaged as a result of diverse factors, and as usual human beings are the one inducing the major risk. Our Underwater Garden project gives us the opportunity to give back to the reefs and help counteract some of the damage we’ve caused.
4 FACTS ABOUT CORALS
1Corals are not just colorful rocks; they are animals, actually colonies of millions of polyps! Imagine those polyps being like tiny, microscopic jelly fish, turned upside down and planted in the exoskeleton where they peacefully live in symbiosis with algae. Together, these colonies compose what we call coral reefs.
2Corals can be stressed! They have very specific needs to survive and any change in the temperature, pH factors from ocean acidification, pollution, may cause polyps to “spit” the symbiont algae out and slowly lose their colour and turn white in a process known as coral bleaching. Coral bleaching often leads to the death of the coral reef.
3Coral reefs deliver ecosystem services to tourism, fisheries, and coastline protection. The global economic value of coral reefs has been estimated to be between US $29.8 billion and $375 billion per year. Think about that next time you step on a coral!
491.9% of the total coral reefs are in the Indo-Pacific region which includes the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Most of that amount is within Southeast Asia, with Bali being nested somewhere in the middle of it all – within the Coral Triangle.
5 RESOURCES HEALTHY CORAL REEFS PROVIDE
1Habitat – Coral Reefs are home to over 1 million diverse aquatic species, including thousands of fish species
2Income – Billions of dollars and millions of jobs in over 100 countries around the world are easily provided in the tourism industry due to beautiful coral reefs
3Food – For people living near coral reefs, especially on small islands they become the most important zone for fishing and food supply
4Protection – A natural barrier protecting coastal cities, communities and beaches. Think of all those big waves if there were no coral reefs to protect the shores
5Medicine – Due to the rich variety of species living in coral reefs, they present an astounding opportunity for scientific research into creating new medications
1 SOLUTION WE OFFER – UNDERWATER GARDEN
Coral aquaculturealso known as coral farming or coral gardening, is showing promise as a potentially effective tool for restoring coral reefs. Zen Dive Resorts’s Underwater Garden bypasses the early growth stages of corals when they are most at risk of dying. We elevate corals on metal tables which give them a better chance of survival by putting them closer to the sunlight (source of energy & food) and further away from the bottom sediments.
Coral seeds are grown in nurseries and then replanted on the reef. Coral is farmed by coral farmers who live locally to the reefs and farm for reef conservation or for income. Other ways of providing corals is moving them from almost dead patches of reefs which are close to the bottom and giving them better chance on the tables.
Weekly dives at the Underwater Garden are organized, with the scope of removing algae overgrowing young corals, cleaning up sediment of it, and measuring growth rate.
3 WAYS FOR YOU TO GET INVOLVED WITH UNDERWATER GARDEN PROJECT
1Become a member of the coral family – join Zen Harmony Divers™ for a dive in the Underwater Garden. Money paid for the dive will be invested in the reef project and supports its maintenance. We will plant the coral together, have you name it, and send you monthly updates on its growth rate.
2Adopt a coral from the distance by donation. If you are too far away to join for a dive, we will plant the coral for you, send you the video and photo of doing so and still keep you updated on its growth. Maybe one day you may decide to visit and see it with your own eyes.
3Share story of the Underwater Garden with your friends and help us grow the community of people who care about Ocean wealth. Like our FB page or send us an email and share your thoughts and ideas with us, we would love to hear from you!