Updated: Nov 12, 2020
Ocean Purpose Project and LivingSeas begin their coral restoration project in East Bali
Corals of our Earth
Corals are marine invertebrates within the class Anthozoa of the phylum
Cnidaria. Most structures that we call "corals" are, in fact, made up of hundreds to thousands of tiny coral creatures called polyps. Each soft-bodied polyp—most no thicker than a nickel—secretes a hard outer skeleton of limestone (calcium carbonate). There are 2 types of corals, hard and soft coral. The coral species that build reefs are known as hermatypic or "hard" corals because they extract calcium carbonate from seawater to create a hard, durable exoskeleton that protects their
soft, sac-like bodies.
Other species of corals that are not involved in reef building are known as “soft”
corals. These types of corals are flexible organisms often resembling plants and trees and include species such as sea fans and sea whips A group of coral reefs when are collected together, form underwater structures composed of the skeletons of colonial marine invertebrates called coral. Most of the substantial coral reefs found today are between 5,000 and 10,000 years old, according to
CORAL. They are most often found in warm, clear, shallow water where there is plenty of sunlight to nurture the algae that the coral relies on for food. Coral reefs cover less than 1 percent of the ocean floor — all the reefs combined would equal an area of about 110,000 square miles (285,000 square km), only about the size of the state of Nevada. Nonetheless, they are among the most productive
and diverse ecosystems on Earth.
About 25 percent of all known marine species rely on coral reefs for food, shelter, and breeding. Sometimes referred to as "the rainforests of the sea" for their
biodiversity, coral reefs are the primary habitat for more than 4,000 species of fish, 700 species of coral and thousands of other plants and animals, according to CORAL.
Coral reefs are typically divided into four categories, according to CORAL: fringing reefs, barrier reefs, patch reefs and atolls. Fringing reefs are the most commonly seen reef and grow near coastlines. Barrier reefs differ from fringing reefs in that they are separated from the coastlines by deeper, wider lagoons. Corals and
coral reefs are especially important to the ecosystem. Coral reefs are an amazingly effective for absorbing elements coming from the ocean. They absorb waves energy and contribute to environmental protection through the reduction of coastal erosion. They reduce the damage in case of storms, hurricanes, and in some way, the energy of tsunamis. In doing so, they protect both ecosystems located between the reefs and coasts, such as seagrass and lagoon for example, and human settlements located by the sea. They even serve as a means of food resource, tourism, and medical future.
Current Situation of the Coral Reefs
Sadly, our corals are dying. At present, coral reefs are facing multiple stresses such as pollution, overfishing, and, overall, the ongoing climate change. Consequently, raising sea water temperatures and causing coral bleaching worldwide. As a result, over 50 percent of the world’s coral reefs have died in the last 30 years and up to 90 percent may die within the next century, very few pristine coral reefs still exist.
The impact of our changing climate on coral reefs was manifested by the third global bleaching event in 2015 and 2016. This event has caused a mass die-off of corals. Unfortunately, there is a clear pattern of severe bleaching events
increasing in frequency, to a point where there are now inadequate intervals for corals to recover in between. A world without corals means not only will we have a less diverse and less beautiful ocean, but it will also be an economic disaster for many people. About half the world’s shallow water coral reefs are already gone, and without urgent action to address climate change, pollution, overfishing
and destructive coastal development, these life-sustaining natural wonders could all but disappear.
How are we saving the corals now?
Coral reefs around the world are shrinking and under massive
pressure. Climate change and rising water temperatures are causing corals to bleach and die. Pollution and illegal fishing practices such as dynamite fishing cause additional damage to the reefs.
Therefore, a method called “coral restoration” has been implemented where there are methods of growing and planting coral fragments structurally and biologically in the seas and letting it re grow into a healthy and evergreen ecosystem.
Ocean Purpose Project to the rescue!
Since Ocean Purpose Project is always on a lookout for the stability and good health of the corals, we decided to contribute a small project to help increase the
number of coral restoration project. However, we decided to expand our reach a neighbouring country, Indonesia, Bali.
Livingseas, Bali, also known as the “Artisans of diving” aim to deepen the
relationship between humans and the living seas. They are a dive company and also look out for the ecosystem of the waters there. One of the main conservation projects that they do is the Coral Planting Project in Padang Bai. Caring for the environment is a core value of Livingseas. We run regular conservation projects to preserve the marine environment. For this Coral Planting Project, divers are given the opportunity to set up Reef Stars made from metal on the seabed. Broken corals lying on the seabed are rescued and will be transferred and tied to the Reef Stars to encourage coral growth. This provides an elevated platform for efficient nutrient absorption of the broken corals from water movements during tide change. Therefore, since the world has come to a standstill, we
decided to sponsor 4 frames for coral plantation!
The first picture on display is the frames and corals planted that were sponsored by Ocean Purpose Project in Bali waters. The following pictures of those of Acropora grandis, Xenia umbellate, Sarcophyton lobatum and Acropora Formosa, which are the different kinds of coral species that were planted.
Leon, who is the founder of LivingSeas Bali, started this and aims that corals are looked after and are preserved properly. “The earth's oceans contain a wide variety of life, but all of them have some roots in the coral reefs. Imagine a forest
without trees, and all you will have is bare land without other life. Coral reefs also play an important role in marine life, and the importance of coral ecosystems cannot be stressed more. They are a source of food for millions, they protect coastlines from storms and erosion, and provide habitat, spawning and nursery grounds for economically important fish species. This ecosystem can provide
jobs and income to local economies as well, from fishing, recreation, and tourism”, Leon added. Therefore him and his team pro-actively go down and are doing a great job in inspiring the society and the younger generations to preserve the coral reefs.
It is very important to know that one of the worlds greatest ecosystems in dying off and it is high time for us to do our part to help save the forests of the ocean!
Ways you can help conserve the coral reefs is by cutting down plastic usage
that gets dumped in the water and creates excessive gas output while degradation. You can also help sponsor corals to different diving and conservation companies. Lastly, if you are a diver and can see and experience changes in the coral ecosystems, please dont hold back, go and educate the public to save the corals! The corals are depending on us, we are the only ones who can make
change and save them.