On Salisi’s Besar reef platform, near the island of Bontosua, there’s a 46-foot-high reef spelling the world ‘HOPE’. The letters, which are composed of revolutionary reef stars and quickly growing coral, marks the beginning of the positive change that can happen within our lifetime and that hope can grow.
Coral reef systems are the tropical rainforests of the ocean and home to a quarter of marine life. But they are critically threatened by overexploitation, destructive fishing practices, pollution and climate change. Scientists estimate that if the world does nothing, 90% of the world’s tropical reefs will be gone by 2043, impacting nearly 500 million people who depend on them for food, income and coastal protection.
In response to the loss of reefs worldwide, Hope Reef has created to kick-start an even larger restoration effort and create a movement to restore reefs at a large, ecologically relevant scale. With the help of governments, universities, businesses and NGOs, Mars, Incorporated started the Hope Reef coral restoration program in 2019.
The program utilizes handmade reef star structures known as the Mars Assisted Reef Restoration System (MARRS). The reef star’s materials are locally sourced and handmade by the local people of Bontosua. By the end of 2029, SHEBA® and its parent company, Mars, Incorporated’s ambition are to restore more than 185,000 square meters of coral reef around the world – roughly the size of 148 Olympic Swimming Pools.
With more coral in the present day, implies that there will be more fishes in the future, resulting in a healthier planet in the not-too-distant future. Swimming or diving at Hope Reef, you might see hawksbill and green turtles, eagle and devil rays, blacktip reef sharks, and barracuda, as well as gorgeous butterflyfish, rabbitfish, angelfish, surgeonfish, Napoleon wrasse, and bump head parrotfish.
To play a role in reef restoration, so that we have more coral today and more fish tomorrow, watch and share this video #hopegrows: The Film That Grows Coral which can be found on the SHEBA® Brand YouTube page.
Pictures by International Coral Reef Initiative, FAB News & MarComm News