Reef Renewal Foundation International
2022 PADI AWARE Grantee
Providing supplies, tools, and training to two dive shops in Curaçao to run long-term coral restoration projects.
For this project, their explicit goal is to successfully install two coral nurseries with two new dive shops in Curaçao. These are Scubacao and Goby Divers. Reef Renewal hopes to help both reach their outplanting target of 180 corals after their first year in operation.
Reef Renewal Foundation International has a long history of coral restoration work in Curaçao. Thanks to their PADI AWARE Foundation’s Community Grant, they’ll be able to expand community involvement opportunities and training for local dive shops.
Network Coordinator Katie Leeper said, “The grant money provided has allowed Reef Renewal Curacao the opportunity to increase their community involvement by expanding the number of dive shops they partner with and the education programs they can run.”
Indeed, Reef Renewal’s coral restoration work operates through citizen science divers who train in proper coral restoration techniques before going out to transplant and monitor coral fragments. The hope is that these will grow into tomorrow’s reefs and replenish what we’ve lost.
“Alongside this Reef Renewal Curacao would like to increase the number of PADI Reef Renewal divers certified across the year!” she emphasized.
Through outreach and education of individuals and the greater community, Reef Renewal hopes to bring more people into their coral restoration mission. Helping those two shops get going would make the Reef Renewal team feel “proud that we’re expanding our reach, involving more of the local community with our work and helping further our mission of restoring more corals back to the reef,” Leeper said.
In the end, she and her team hope to bolster the ocean so that it can continue to give us awe, gratitude and hope.