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Reforesting Coral in Bali - OPP & LivingSeas

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.