We added two new frames to the reef system and propogated them with corals fragmented from the original frames. Let Cynthia run through our process with you as the interns also wave Cerf Island and the Seychelles Goodbye.
"Time for us, the European team to say goodbye to the CICP and the Seychelles and put an end to our adventures. But last time, we kept you waiting a bit, as we were just preparing new artificial frames, remember? We know you’re impatient to know more about them, so here it comes!
“But what are those things you keep talking about?!”, you say? They are metal structures that were made specially for the project. Six faces with several horizontal bars, they offer us a lot of space to put our dear coral fragments.
“And you put the corals on the metal like this?! You guys kept on saying that corals were fragile and vulnerable, and you just leave them all alone to survive on metal?” Of course not, we have to protect them from the rust, that’s absolutely right! To do that, we prepared the frames: first, we put some resin – veryyy sticky and chemical – on the whole structure. Before it could dry, we covered it with rinsed sand from the beach, covering it as carefully as possible, not leaving any blank space on the poles. Then, the next day – because it needs to dry perfectly – we put another layer of resin, to protect it all. Another drying session, and the frames are ready to welcome coral fragments!
“And then? How can you stick the coral on there??” For that, remember how amazing corals are: they can grow through fragmentation. So we took advantage of it of course! Using corals of opportunity around the reefs or fragments from our nurseries, we attach them on the frames, simply using cable ties. Super easy isn’t it?
“That sounds great! But why are you actually doing this? So that tourists can have more alive corals to look at?”, you ask? Even if that is true, people love beautiful and colourful corals, right? But it is only a side-benefit. Implementing those frames, we aim on replacing the reef structure. The corals will grow more and more on those, and become a new shelter, a new source of nutrients, and a new playground for the reef fish! It will create new healthy reefs, that were lost after the bleaching events or the tsunami in 2004. Of course, it’s not a magical solution that will solve all problems, because as you know – yes you do, don’t listen to Trump –, climate change is happening, and will trigger more bleaching events… Corals will continue to suffer with these global warming events, but we have to try our best to counteract the consequences of those events and help our beloved corals. With the use of resilient and resistant corals, we are helping to prepare the reefs for these events as we help create the reefs of the future.
So yeah, somehow, we worked on making the world a better place here with the CICP! Which isn’t nothing right? Your turn now… ;)"
Thanks for your enthusiasm and hard work Cynthia! You are very right in passing the baton to our audience. There are so many things one person can do to help our planet. You can lead a beach clean with you community, reduce your meat intake, recycle and up-cycle as much as possible, buy in bulk, say no to disposables, and share your passion for the marine environment with as many as you can. These are of course just a few suggestions but one person's actions is never too small. It takes many snowflakes to build an incredible snowman, but the secret is teamwork!