It started a couple of years ago as a dream. What if we quit our jobs in the Netherlands and dedicate our lives to protecting and restoring coral reefs full-time? After talking with our family, friends, and people who have experience with starting a business abroad, we began our journey. Our dream was beautifully visualized by Zes x Zes.
In May 2016 we took a giant leap, we gave up our house, and moved to Thailand. To start a new project is not easy. Things may go differently than expected, things might go wrong. Other things take much longer than you anticipated. On the other hand, you get help from unexpected sources and the most wonderful people!
Thanks to many donations, sponsors, and volunteers we built an artificial reef on Koh Tao! Here is an overview of what we accomplished together.
The CoralGarden is built in Hin Wong Bay south, the GPS location is: 10°06’04″N – 99°50’59″E
The artificial reef structures of the CoralGarden are deployed on an empty patch of sand in Hin Wong Bay. There was not much marine life in this area, though there are healthy coral reefs nearby.
It total we created ten flowers, one pair of hands, and one tree. We gave each of the flowers a name based on the top portion of the flower. Between the flowers and the natural reef, we deployed bottle nurseries, to create a path for fish to migrate to the new habitat. The flowers and tree are designed for marine life and as structures to accommodate the transplantation of corals. The hands are made for divers, to practice their buoyancy control. Here the map of the CoralGarden:
We have learned a lot during the building of the CoralGarden. In 2015 we deployed a test flower in Hin Fai, which was connected to the Biorock structure of NHRCP, to test new ideas about how to use new materials. This flower is doing great, but the conditions in Hin Wong Bay are completely different. So a couple of flowers were having a difficult time. We had to alter our design to deal with the rough weather conditions and different bacteria in the soil.
Do you want to see the CoralGarden we realised together with you?
See here the CoralGarden
Video of CoralGarden, coming soon.
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to see the video as soon as we release it.