New Project Aims to Restore Coral Reefs in Antigua and Barbuda
by Karen Rollins Nov 7, 2022
A new coral reef restoration project called ‘OceanShot’ has officially kicked off in Antigua and Barbuda.
The initiative, led by the Global Citizen Forum and the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), planted the first of its new tailor-made coral “modules” off Antigua at the end of October.
The aim is to combine built structures and living corals which will then function as natural reefs to combat storm surges and sea level rises, provide a thriving habitat for hundreds of species, and revive ocean-dependent local economies.
The new reefs will also limit sand erosion and provide a “living lab” to further advance reef solutions around the world.
The ‘OceanShot’ team, which includes coral reef biologists, sea level experts, coastline engineers and local stakeholders, has grown 2,000 corals ready to outplant onto the modules.
In a press release, the lead scientist on the project, marine biologist Dr Debora Brosnan, described the project as “critical”.
She stated: “This is our moon shot but instead of launching up, we’re launching down. With OceanShot, we are restoring a place that is critical to human survival today as well as for our future. Without healthy oceans, there is no us.
“This isn’t just a science project this is a full-scale solution that might be the answer to saving small island nations. We now know how to design and build reefs and locate them, so we get maximum benefits for the coast, as well as reviving fisheries and local communities’ blue economies.”
Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, pledged the country’s “full support” for the project.
He said: “We are the first country on which the project’s scalable solutions have been deployed. Prioritising ocean resilience and the blue economy for our citizens are among the most important initiatives being developed on the islands of Antigua and Barbuda.”