Coral Mission Foundation – A Rising Star amongst Coral Conservation OrganizationsOctober 31, 2022
Saving the world’s coral reefs has become one of the most pressing ocean conservation issues today. With millions of people and wildlife species dependent on healthy reefs, solving issues like coral bleaching, overfishing, and reef destruction is now imperative. Without healthy coral, reef ecosystems will be unable to sustain the diversity of marine life that depend on it for food and shelter, throwing the entire ocean biome out of whack.
Although solving this issue may seem like a daunting task, a small group of dedicated ocean lovers has taken it upon themselves to do what they can to increase coral production in their local community. Maria Sotek founded Coral Mission Foundation out of her passion for the ocean, the Maldives, and its people. Maria, along with an amazing team of volunteers, is striving to build up the coral reefs of the Maldives one coral fragment at a time.
SSI is excited to share Coral Mission Foundation’s work as it aligns with SSI’s Blue Oceans Movement.
Blue Oceans’ goal is to support the conservation and sustainable use of aquatic environments, including oceans, seas, coasts, and waterways, and their magnificent diversity of plant and animal species. Coral Mission Foundation exemplifies this mission by supporting coral growth in the Maldives.
Coral Mission Foundation operates in the Maldives, building coral nurseries where coral fragments can grow and thrive in a protected environment. Coral Mission obtains these coral fragments by visiting various locations around the Maldives, where reef damage from snorkelers, divers, and construction work is common. They find broken coral pieces that are still alive, remove the dead portions, and then bring them back to the protected nursery site where they can affix them to handmade PVC pipe structures. If they come across large coral sections that have broken from the reef, they will instead use underwater cement to fix the coral to the ground near the reef it broke from so it can continue to live and thrive in its original reef structure.
Coral Mission Foundation’s current undertaking, and its largest to date, is relocating an entire coral reef near the Maamigili Island airport. The airport is preparing to extend its runway by reclaiming land from the sea. Unfortunately, this project will flood the nearby reef with sand which will suffocate the area’s reef. The landowners have granted Coral Mission permission to collect the area’s corals and relocate them to the nearby island of Dhigurah.
SSI is proud of the critical work Coral Mission Foundation is doing and hopes you would consider joining in the fight to save our coral reefs. You can help in many ways!
You can learn more about coral reefs by taking the SSI Coral Identification course, where you will learn how to identify different coral species and how important coral reefs are to the world. You can also learn how to Become an Eco Diver with this SSI blog. Lastly, don’t forget to Join Blue Oceans and do all you can to help protect and preserve our ocean home for generations to come.