2019 has kicked off with a bang for Coral Restoration Panama.
We have been busy building our coral nursery site, gathering coral clones and developing our sustainable non-profit strategy. Part of that strategy development has been taking an in-depth look at the programs behind Coral Restoration with the goal of ensuring that our impact has the lasting effects we are aiming for.
You may not know this, but a significant part of Coral Restorations programming is more than just “putting reef structures in the water”. We are working to positively influence entire marine ecosystems, and in the Bocas Archipelago, that means creating access to better nutrition (more coral habitat = more abundant fish!), and economic opportunities to advance indigenous communities.
Little by little, we are putting the pieces together a complete program for Coral Restoration to bring this vision into reality.
We are kicking off our program with a Community Build Event in partnership with another important organization here in Bocas - Floating Doctors. Together, we are going to be hosting an education and coral structure build event with teenagers from the community. Over the course of a few days - we will be introducing our event attendees to the process of coral restoration, building and curing the structures, and then installing them nearby where the local community can witness the transformation from “underwater desert” to a thriving fish habitat.
With their established access to local communities and a fantastic build site, Floating Doctors is able to ensure that the local kids will be in attendance (and well fed) during the event. Coral Restoration will be bringing our education program, artificial structure supplies and talents to create a complete reef (25 individual structures), and then installing it at a nearby location.
That location, as of this moment, doesn’t have a name. We want to turn it into Pargo Point.
Pargo (snapper) is a fish that is normally in abundance around Bocas when they have the habitat. The vision is that local kids participating in the build will see how the structures improve the local fishing, and that the adults will also see the impact, and the economic opportunity.
Part of our long term goals are to offer formal training and apprenticeship of adults who will be able to create the structures and sell them back to Coral Restoration as we continue installing structures throughout the archipelago.
Pargo Point Community Build is an informal kickoff to this program in partnership with Floating Doctors. The vision is big. Our goals are immense. But we aspire to recovering the marine ecosystems here in the South Caribbean, and this small step forward is a big one for Coral Restoration.
Want to help make this Community Build a success?
Coral Restoration is in need of 20 snorkel sets. We will be bringing a dozen or so kids to the installation location to show them what the site looks like before, and then after Installation Day, we’ll be bringing them back to see the difference. Those 20 snorkel sets will allow us to make sure everyone involved can participate, and the sets will become part of our nursery kit as well so that our donors, volunteers and staff can use them when visiting our other installation sites and tending to the coral clones growing in the nursery. We have priced the snorkels at about $20 a kit - things are a bit more expensive here on the islands since they are shipped in from elsewhere, but the impact they will have as part of the Coral Restoration program is long lived!
If you’d like to help bring this vision to reality, we could use your help. We’re grateful for your donations!